Practical tips for people in between jobs

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When one is in between jobs and facing certain financial limitations, options could become limited. Someone recently asked me this question: “What can I do to improve my financial status, when I am in between jobs and there aren’t so many options on the horizon?” I realized there may be more people like her who are facing financial uncertainties at this time. I dedicate this column to these individuals, as I try to offer practical tips on how one can keep on growing even when one is unemployed.

First thing you need to do is to sit down and reflect on why you are in this situation, and to decide on your next move. Think about what you want out of your career and personal life, set some goals, and see how you can get there. Focus on your interests, your skills and the things that make you happy.

You can also use this lull to rest, take a mini vacation, practice a hobby, or go on a job search. Make sure that you spend each day doing something you love, so you don’t feel bad about your current situation. It is very important to stay positive and grateful, no matter what happens.

You can focus on expanding your skills set. Look online for courses (online and offline), workshops, classes and lectures that you can attend. The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority offers these, as well as other local and international web sites. Examples are massage therapy, jewelry making, sewing, graphic design, candle making and many more. Enroll in courses that really interest you so you will be inspired to continue and turn them into money-making opportunities. You may also want to consider further education: a second degree, postgraduate course, or distance learning. The latter is being offered by the University of the Philippines Open University, as well as other institutions based abroad. Check online for possible options.

It would also be wise to visit career expos and job fairs. Look around, drop your CV with companies you want to work for, and meet potential employers. You can check online for upcoming schedules for these career events.

Another idea is to use the time to set yourself up for serious job applications. Research online to see how you can improve your CV. Hone your speaking skills to prepare for job interviews. Visit job sites online and set up your accounts. Check your wardrobe for the appropriateness of the pieces you currently have.

You can also consider setting up your own business. If you have access to enough capital, there are plenty of investment opportunities these days. Work with what interests you: coffee, books, cooking, flowers, art, photography, etc. Let your passions point you toward the right direction.

Be open to new avenues and try things you haven’t tried before. It may be a different field, or a different work setup (freelancing, consulting, part-time or casual employment, contractual agreements, etc.). You can take these in-between-jobs job to tide you over until you get a permanent job that you like. This way, you will have continuous flow of income for your bills and necessities.

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Atty. Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II received his Law degree from Ateneo de Manila University in 1994. He is currently engaged in the General Practice of Law through the firm he established, Jose M. Rojas Law Office. Prior to getting his Law degree, Atty. Rojas graduated Cum Laude in Economics and Political Science from the University of Massachusetts. He used to chair the Philippine Racing Commission (Philracom) and, more recently, used to sit as Vice-Chairman and General Manager of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). Atty. Rojas is an opinion columnist for the Business Mirror and Pilipino Mirror, and 2014 awardee of People Asia’s “Men Who Matter.” He is a member of the Saturday Group of artists and is married to Atty. Patricia A.O. Bunye.