Skip to content

17 Ways to Reinvent Yourself While You’re Unemployed

November 2, 2010

Are you in between jobs? Or perhaps you’re temporarily out the job market. Regardless of the reason, if you’re not currently employed you shouldn’t stay idle. I understand seeking employment can be a full-time job, but prospective employers don’t see your search on your CV. Live your life as if you’re constantly building your résumé. Below are 17 ways you can reinvent yourself while you’re unemployed, yet simultaneously looking for a job. You’ll be basically creating a non-paying position for yourself, while being productive, filling an employment gap, generating experience for your résumé, and adding value to the community.


Photo by Drew Leavy on flickr

1. Brand Yourself – Even though you’re not working, you still need to constantly reinforce a positive image. Networking in person is important in branding yourself, and could lead to other opportunities, especially if you’re changing fields. Attend seminars, go to panel discussions, etc. and network to get your name out there. Add one or more of the below tips to supplement your networking to further boost your personal brand.

2. Hobbies – Share your talents by teaching your skills at local organizations.

3. Blogging – Write a blog about a personal experience, or your professional field. You add value to the online community, and sharpen your writing and editing abilities.

4. Volunteer – Do volunteer work that utilizes your know-how. It’s a great way to spread your wisdom, and give back.

5. Classes – Take classes and obtain new talents. If possible, get certified or licensed in your newly acquired knowledge.

6. Get Noticed – Try to get published in your local newspaper (articles/photos), or do something in your area worthy of an interview in a periodical or on your local news.

7. Groups – Start or join a group on MeetUp or LinkedIn. Starting one adds to your organizational and leadership skills. It also gets you engaging those with a similar interest, which could even lead to great connections whether you organize or join one.

8. Speaker – Offer to speak to a local organization or business. Put your oratory and PowerPoint skills to good use. This could also lead to more speaking offers, and this helps establish you as an expert in your field.

9. Fundraiser Chair – Chair a fundraiser for a non-profit organization. You certainly gain a lot of experience doing this. If you don’t want to chair one, at least join one of the committees.

10. Consult – Become a consultant. You can volunteer your services or ask small businesses if they need your occasional help for a modest fee.

11. Become a Board Member – Giving your time to be on a board keeps your mind fresh, and is most impressive on a résumé. The position is most easily obtained through non-profit organizations.

12. Podcast – Create an audio or video series of trade tips in the form of a non-streamed webcast. You can submit your podcasts to iTunes for distribution.

13. Social Networking – Brand yourself online, and meet people in your location or professional field. Sign up for a LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter account if you don’t already have one.

14. Panelist – Ask your local library, place of worship, YMCA, etc. if they’d like a panel to speak about your specialty, which should be of interest to the public. If so, gather a few others in your field to be on the discussion panel.

15. Start a Small Business – Think outside of the box and turn one of your passions into a small business. If you’re interested in doing it, but only on a very small-scale, start a small business while continuing with your job search, and perhaps keep it on the side once you find employment.

16. Webinar – Offer one or more web seminars for little money or gratis in your field of expertise.

17. eBook – Write your own eBook and publish it with AmazonApple, or Barnes & Noble.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. MickG permalink
    November 28, 2011 5:47 AM

    In other words, belittle yourself in every which way in the hopes someone recognizes you and your talents. Jesus, are you serious? I’ve been unemployed for almost 4 years and tried almost 14 of your 17 so-called ways. To be honest, the only way people will get ANY jobs these days is if employers just pull their heads out of their asses and hire people willing to work. Many of us are willing to work for low pay and horrible hours. That trumps someone with salary demands any day of the week. Volunteering doesn’t mean muchh if they company has no money to provide you an income. You’re giving away free labor on an indefinite basis. ALso, starting a business is just making things worse for you, isn’t it? How about providing some REAL advice we long-term unemployed can use: how do we get a job, ANY job,without having to deal with 2-3 interviews only to get the “thanks but no thanks”. I’d wash dishes or clean out of gutters if I knew of a place that was hiring. Not the whole issue of “send a resume,hope you hear back,cross your fingers that you get a first interview”. That’s the new economy and LinkedIn is way behind the curve on those who are truly struggling. LinkedIn will never say it works best for people who already HAVE jobs. It doesn’t do much for the rest of us trying to get even a $7 an hour job.

    • shutterbuggeek permalink*
      December 9, 2011 3:54 PM

      Mick, I’m sorry to hear about your employment status. This recession has taken a toll on everyone. Unfortunately, a trickle down effect has occurred. Many people previously in upper level positions are underemployed, leaving those in middle-level position taking jobs they’re overqualified for, and not leaving much for those in entry-level positions.

      I used to have the final decision in hiring people, and I often looked for people currently employed or at least keeping active with p/t jobs, volunteer work, or consulting. If you weren’t active it gave me the impression of laziness. I’m just being brutally honest. In this current atmosphere, keeping active could simply mean networking, taking free classes, or doing odd jobs.

      I understand your frustration. These tips work best for those who are unemployed for under a year or very persistent, and are general tips. Long-term unemployment adds stress to those going through it on many levels, and need to be individually advised. I can only suggest to seek counseling and ask everyone you meet if they’ve heard of any opportunities.

  2. September 12, 2012 10:56 PM

    I have been unemployed for about three months, and have considered a few of the ideas you mentioned. Thank you for adding a couple new things to consider. I believe that more than one single path will take me to where I want to be.

    One of my primary interests is to start blogging, though I have yet to get the ball rolling. Perhaps I’m just a little anxious and confused by the options, since I have no experience yet in developing internet-based media. As an aspiring blogger, I must say that I am so impressed with your tactful and empathetic way of responding to a fairly critical comment. Bravo!

    • shutterbuggeek permalink*
      September 13, 2012 12:35 PM

      Thanks for your kids words. I understand how difficult it is to find jobs, even four years after the economy started to take a nose dive. I know top level executives who are still looking for a job in their field. Many are underemployed taking sales jobs to pay their mortgage. If they take these jobs, people looking for them might have to settle for something they were not willing to do in the past.

      Sometimes we have to create jobs for ourselves, so blogging could be the thing for you. It might even open doors for you, because others might want you to guest blog or write for them. Try it out. There are a few options, but I’d recommend starting a blog, so you can have the option of selling ads, and earn income from it. The second option would be a Blogger account to sell ads.

      I wish you the best of luck, and please post your blog URL here if you decide to start one!

  3. Minette Smith permalink
    August 19, 2013 1:25 AM

    This has been very helpful to me I have been unemployed for 10 months. I have been writing articles for my local church and they have been publishing them and will soon publish on their website. I am putting together a portfolio of my writings and want to someday freelance write for different magazines. I have a diverse background in mental health, financial management and customer service /collections. Staying busy and possibly offering your skills and talents may not land you a job with that company or any for that matter. But neither will sitting home doing nothing. Because even if you are home searching everyday (as I and many unemployed are) the employer can’t prove or just take your word for it. However if you can say while yes I have been unemployed and such have a gap in my resume I was “volunteering, freelance writing, blogging, started group” ect. The proof of who we are is to show that I am more than my employment status and worthy of being hired. It shows we know how to handle tough situations. Some companies are hiring people to work in a fast pace and high energy environment that may be up and down. By showing your strength in a time of unemployment which is down, shows the tenacity of their potential employee. You will surely stand out. I sure hope I will. Thank you for the information.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: