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5 Ways to Be Extremely Productive Even If You Are Unemployed

5 Ways to Be Extremely Productive Even If You Are Unemployed

A man is measured by what he does with his time. It’s quite possible to hit a rough patch in life and enter a period when you can’t find a job that can pay the bills. Nobody in their mid-twenties wants to live with their parents, but the truth is that if you put your mind to it, you can acquire a set of skills that will definitely land you a job. We live in the age of information and if you have an internet connection, ignorance is basically a conscious choice.

Almost anything you want to do today has a tutorial online. In other words, by fully devoting yourself to mastering a new skill, you can easily become proficient in a new field after only a year. So, here are some approaches you can take while unemployed, and build yourself a better future.

1. Learning WordPress

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    With the arrival of online shopping, and with crowdfunding as a source of financing, the number of small business owners and startups has skyrocketed in the past decade. Any newly fledged business owner is going to need one thing, and that is a website. Most of these websites are WordPress sites, which means knowing WordPress will not only get you a short term job of creating a website, but also they will need someone to update it and maintain it.

    Of course, learning WordPress without any previous knowledge of coding can be daunting, but believe it or not, it’s not that hard. You can go through video tutorials, take one step at a time, and with every small victory you’ll build up your confidence. Here’s another great website for WordPress beginners where you will learn some additional tricks that are certainly going to come in handy.

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    You’d be surprised just how many web design job offers there are on freelancing platforms, and you can apply any one you want. Just make sure you have a website of your own, to show what you are capable of. Again it may seem like investing a whole year is a lot of time, but this is a pretty safe bet, because it is a skill that definitely won’t go to waste.

    Once you manage to find your way around WordPress, all that remains is to get acquainted with some of its quality themes and plugins, and you’ll be fully equipped to take on any job offer. So, if you are in need of a new hobby, start learning WordPress.

    2. Creating your own website

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      As mentioned, once you learn WordPress you should create your own website as part of your portfolio. However, you do not necessarily need to create a website just to display your skills, as a website is a valuable asset on its own, if you have a specific purpose for it. You can create an interesting content, and become a part of an affiliate program. Meaning that you use your website to sell someone else’s products and get a certain percentage of every sale.

      So, even if you don’t know WordPress, you can invest some of your resources into a website and have an online corner of your own that can generate revenue. If you manage to rank well, and create a high domain website, then you can also earn some cash by putting ads on your site.

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      Think about the topic for your website. Do you want to create a blogging platform, or maybe you want to create videos, or post edited images, basically create engaging content for people to enjoy.

      Your website can either help people or entertain them, the important thing is to have a specific purpose and to live up to it. You will also need to pick a name for a website, which will most likely become your brand name at some point, and quality branding is quite important nowadays. So, do not just pick any name at random, since you need something that people can easily discover, when looking for content that is on your website.

      Another thing to look out for when creating a website is getting a quality web hosting services. Web Hosting and website’s code complexity influence its loading speed. If your site needs more than 5 seconds to load a single page, then visitors are very likely to leave without giving it a chance.

      3. Start a blogging career

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        Another profitable hobby is to become a blogger or a video blogger. This is relatively easy to pull off, but becoming an influential blogger is an entirely different thing. If you want to be become a minor online celebrity, it needs to become your full-time job, and just re-writing or spinning other content you’ve read online won’t cut it.

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        Your posts and content you create needs to exceed what can be currently found on the Internet. This is called 10X content, and the name suggests that it needs to be 10 times better than existing content on the same topic. It’s something that’s really hard to create, and it’s very time consuming, but it is definitely worth it.

        If you only want to blog for the sake of blogging you’ll get stuck in the sea of other bloggers. Even just being a common blogger has its perks, but not as many as being an online influencer. Also it would be good to go through some writing tips for blogging, so that you can create articles that are easy to read and engaging for the audience. It’s also good to remember to use quality pictures or infographics to demonstrate your point, use videos and links as additional reading material.

        If you are good at blogging, you can even earn money by writing for paying platforms. Again most of these platforms are after the aforementioned 10X content, but at least this way you’ll secure some income for all that hard work, but on the downside, instead of putting that content on your website you give it to someone else.

        4. Become a freelancer

        If you do not have a job, then there is nothing stopping you from becoming a freelancer. You can be freelance writer, graphic designer, or web designer. There are also jobs for those who are skilled at sound, picture or video editing. However, even as a freelancer, you’ll need to look professional if you are to land a job.

        So, if you have a blogging portfolio, or a website that is certainly going to increase your chances significantly. Also, you should make a deviantart account to present your graphic design skills, and as far as video and sound editing goes, you can go with a YouTube account.

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        As far as freelancing platforms go, you can create an UpWork account, and make sure your profile is fully filled out. You can also do some test related to line of work, you have selected as your field of expertise, in order for potential job owners to see that you are legit.

        5. Learn new skills

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          Lastly, you can learn some new skills in general that do not require you to sit behind a desk all day, like coding, writing, or drawing. There are ways to earn enough money as a handy-man, since there are also job platforms for those tasks as well. Again you can also learn by watching tutorials, and you’ll have a skill set that will always be useful, and you won’t have to feel like you are unproductive.

          If you become a skillful craftsman, you can both repair and create items. You can become a DIY expert and create decorations and furniture that you can sell online on eBay or etsy. For example there are a ton of DIY pallet projects that are quite easy to pull off, but look amazing at the same time.

          Even these skills can work in synergy with the previously mentioned tips, because you can create video tutorials of how to create furniture or accessories, or how to make some common repairs at home. Just make sure you have a quality camera and start recording.

          As you can see all is not lost, there are various ways to be productive, even if you can’t get a job. This is a great coping mechanism if you are feeling depressed, because every project you complete fills you with a sense of achievement and builds up your confidence. In other words, get to work and start conquering new heights. Besides, when you are employed you get focused on one thing, but this way you can be a jack of all traits, which is significantly better, and you will feel much more accomplished.

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          Djordje Todorovic

          Blogger, Gamer Extraordinaire

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          Last Updated on July 18, 2019

          How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

          How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

          Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

          However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

          Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

          Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

          There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

          Better Job Offers

          Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

          People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

          Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

          You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

          Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

          A Shot at Entrepreneurship

          Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

          We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

          13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

          1. Update Your Resume

          You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

          Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

          While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

          There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

          2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

          Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

          That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

          To hone this skill:

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          Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

          Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

          This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

          How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

          3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

          Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

          Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

          To hone this skill:

          Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

          4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

          No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

          Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

          To hone this skill:

          Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

          Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

          These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

          The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

          5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

          Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

          How to hone this skill:

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          Practice being resourceful.

          Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

          Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

          No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

          If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

          6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

          6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

          Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

          The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

          Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

          How to hone this skill:

          Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

          Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

          17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

          7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

          Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

          What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

          How to hone this skill:

          Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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          Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

          5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

          8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

          Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

          Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

          How to hone this skill:

          Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

          Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

          What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

          9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

          How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

          Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

          How to hone this skill:

          Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

          Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

          The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

          10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

          Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

          How to hone this skill:

          Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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          Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

          What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

          11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

          Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

          You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

          How to hone this skill:

          All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

          How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

          12. Build Networks and Relationships

          You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

          Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

          How to hone this skill:

          Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

          To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

          How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

          Final Thoughts

          Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

          You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

          Happy career switching!

          More Resources About Career Advancement

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

          Reference

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