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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 January 13, 2020

          Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

          Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

          Are you challenged at work? Do you regret career decisions? Are you happy? If the answer to the questions leads to a negative feeling, it is time to determine next steps.

          Many people settle for a career that no longer brings satisfaction. Most will respond by stating, “I am surviving” if a colleague asks them “How’s work?”

          Settling for a job to pay bills and maintain a lifestyle is stagnation. You can re-direct the journey of a career with confidence by taking control of future decisions. After all, you deserve to be live a happy life that will offer a work-life balance.

          Let’s look at the reasons why you need a career change and how to choose a career for a more fulfilling life.

          How to Know if You Need a Career Change?

          The challenges of dissatisfaction in a career can have a negative impact on our mental health. As a result, our mental health can lead to the obvious appearance of stress, aging, weight gain and internal health issues.

          You deserve a career that will fulfill the inner desire of true happiness. Here are common factors that it is time for you to change your career.

          Physical Signs

          Are you aging since you started your job? Do you have anxiety? What about work-related injuries?

          It feels amazing to receive a pay cheque, but you deserve to work in an environment that brings out the best of you. If the work environment is hazardous, speak to your boss about alternative options.

          In the case that colleagues or your boss take advantage of your kindness, feeling the anxiety of fear of losing your job because of a high-stress environment may not be right for you.

          Mental Signs

          One out of five Americans has mental health issues, according to Mental Health America.[1] In most cases, it is related to stress.

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          I remember working at a job in a work environment where harassment was acceptable. I had to walk on eggshells to avoid crossing the line with colleagues. My friends started to notice the difference in that I seemed out of character. It was then that I knew that changing a career to freelancing was the right decision.

          Here is a list of mental signs of workplace unhappiness:

          • The tension in your neck
          • Difficulties with sleeping
          • Unable to concentrate
          • High anxiety
          • Depression

          If you start to feel your self-esteem is diminishing, it is time to consider if working in a high-stress industry is for you. The truth is, this negative energy will be transferred to people in your life like friends and family.

          Are You Sure You’re Not Changing for the Wrong Reason?

          Most people that feel they need a career are frustrated with their situation at work. Do you really understand your current situation at work?

          The reason it is important to think about the work situation is some people decide to change career for factors that are insignificant. Factors that can potentially change if the person works in a different department or new organization.

          Here is a list of unimportant factors to think about before you decide to make the transition:

          Desire for an Increase of Salary

          The desire for a higher income can persuade some to believe they are in the wrong career. The issue with this is more money requires more time in the office or taking on several positions at a time.

          At times, pursuing a high-income role can be the complete opposite of what one is expected. It is what happens when a colleague leaves a company to a new one and returns several years later.

          Overnight Decision

          Let’s face it. We make overnight decisions when stressed out or disappointed with situations at work. The problem with a quick decision is the negative and positive points is overlooked.

          Rejected for a Promotion

          I have heard stories of managers that applied ten times for a position throughout a 5-year period. Yes, it sounds to be a lengthy process, but at times, a promotion requires time. Avoid changing a career if you do not see the results of a promotion currently.

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          Bored at Work

          Think deeply about this point. If you work a job that is repetitive, it is normal to feel bored. You can spice it up by changing the appearance of your desk, socializing with new employees in a different department, joining a leadership committee at work or coming to work with enthusiasm. Sometimes, all it takes is you to change jobs into a fun situation.

          A career change can take time, networking, education and the job search process can be a journey. Here is a list of things to consider before making a final decision:

          • How long have you worked in your career?
          • What is the problem at work? Do you work well with the team?
          • Do you receive recognition?
          • Can you consider working in a new department?

          If after reviewing your work situation and none of the above recommendations can help, then it’s time to make a career change.

          How a Career Change Will Change Your Life

          I have a friend that works in the medical industry. She was once a nurse working directly with patients in one of the top hospitals in her area. After five years, she started to internalize the issues with her patients to the point where she felt depressed after work hours. It impacted her relationship with her family and she almost lost herself.

          One day, she decided to wake up and take control of her destiny. She started applying for new medical jobs in the office. It meant working on medical documentation of patients which is not an ideal career based on what society expects a medical professional to perform. But she started to feel happier.

          It is a classic example of a person that was negatively impacted by issues at work, stayed in the same industry but changed careers.

          A career change can fulfill a lifelong dream, increase one’s self-esteem or revive the excitement for one’s work.

          You know a career change can be the right decision to make if you experience one or all of these:

          • Working in a negative workplace: Don’t be discouraged. A negative workplace can be changed by working at a new organization.
          • Working with a difficult boss: The challenges of working with a difficult boss can be stressful. All it takes is communication. You can address the issue directly with a manager professionally and respectfully.
          • Feeling lost about what you do: Most people stay at their jobs and settle for mediocrity because of the fear of failure or the unknown. The rise to success often comes with working a tedious role or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. If you fear the idea of being involved in activities that are new, remember that life is short. Mediocrity will only continue to make you feel as if life is passing you by.

          How to Make a Career Change Successfully

          The ultimate key to success is to go through a career transition step by step to avoid making the wrong decision.

          1. Write a Career Plan

          A career plan has a dead line for action steps that includes taking new courses, learning a new language, networking or improving issues at work.[2] A career plan should be kept in your wallet because it will motivate you to keep pursuing the role.

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          You can learn how to set your career plan here.

          2. Weigh Your Options

          If you have a degree in Accounting, write down five positions in this industry of interest. The good news is diplomas and degrees can be used to a variety of roles to choose.

          You don’t have to stick to what society holds a top job. In the end, choosing the right role that will make you happy is priceless.

          3. Be Real About the Pros and Cons

          It is time to be honest about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the job market that are impacting the current situation.

          A SWOT Analysis of a career can include:[3]

          • Economic factors
          • Direct competition: Is this role in high demand?
          • Location: Do you need to move? If the goal is to work in tech and living in Cincinnati is not realistic, consider moving to San Francisco.
          • Achievements: To stand out from the competition achievements like awards, committee involvement, freelance work or volunteering is a recipe for success.
          • Education: Do you need to go back to school? Education can be expensive. However, online courses, webinars or self-study is an option.

            A career blueprint is the first step to creating realistic goals. A person without goals will be disappointed without a clear direction of what to do next.

            4. Find a Mentor or Career Coach

            A mentor or a career coach that works in the desired position can share the pros and cons of working in the role. Here is a list of questions to ask a mentor:

            • What is required to be successful in the role?
            • What certification or educational development is needed?
            • What are the challenges of the role?
            • Is there potential for career advancement?

            A chat at a coffee shop with a mentor can change your mind about the desire for a career change.

            Find out how to pick a good mentor for yourself in this article: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

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            5. Research Salary

            Some people decide to change careers for a role that pays less or perks like benefits to make up for the difference in previous to potential salary.

            It can reveal the cities throughout the country that offer a higher salary for those that have an interest in relocating for work.

            6. Be Realistic

            If your goal is to move up into an executive position, it is time to be honest about where you are in your career.

            For example, if boardroom meetings, high-level discussions about financials or attending weekly networking events are boring, an executive role may not be right for you. If you are an introvert and working with people every day is nerve wrecking, you need to reconsider a job in sales.

            Ask yourself if you can work in this role for the next five years of your life. If other benefits that come with the role are enticing, other roles are fit that will make you happy.

            7. Volunteer First

            A person that wants to become a manager should take on volunteer opportunities to experience the reality of the position.

            Becoming a committee member to pursue a presidential opportunity can provide a perspective on leadership, maintaining a budget and public speaking.

            Volunteer in a role until you are certain that it is the right opportunity.

            8. Prepare Your Career Tools

            I recommend asking a boss, colleague or mentor for career tools. If you prefer professional assistance, you can seek out resume writing assistance. Here is a list of things to consider when preparing career tools:

            • Online search: Search your name online to see what shows up. I recommend searching images that are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other sites on a personal account. The last thing you want to realize is the job search is unsuccessful because there is unprofessional content you posted online.
            • Be LinkedIn ready: Recruiters conduct a LinkedIn search to see if the work experience is the same on a resume. Remember to change the wording on LinkedIn from the resume, or it will appear there was no effort put into creating the profile.
            • Portfolio: A portfolio of work is recommended for people that work in the arts, writing, graphic design and other fields. I recommend a portfolio online and one that is available in hand when attending job interviews or networking meetups.
            • Cover letter: A good cover writer will always impress your potential employers. Here’s how to write a killer cover letter that stands out from others.

            Bottom Line

            It takes time to move towards a new career. Pay attention to the physical and mental signs to maintain your health. You deserve to work in happiness and come home stress-free. If you avoid the common mistakes people make, you will find a job and discover the role in a career field that is the best fit with your skillsets.

            Master these action steps and changing career paths will be on your terms to make the best decision for your future.

            More About Career Change

            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

            Reference

            [1] Mental Health America: The State of Mental Health in America
            [2] MIT Global Education & Career Development: Make a Career Plan
            [3] Creately: Personal SWOT Analysis to Assess and Improve Yourself

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