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8 Ways to Turn Unemployment into a Positive Situation

8 Ways to Turn Unemployment into a Positive Situation

Unfortunately, unemployment is often associated with negative feelings of fear, unworthiness, and stress. After being unemployed for a while, many will feel that they have lost all purpose and control of life. However, if you find yourself without a 9-5 daily routine, you will soon realize the one advantage that you have over your behind-the-cubicle friends – TIME.

Being unemployed for some time before landing your next job is necessary as it gives you time to improve your knowledge and the skills needed for your future career. Put all your stress aside and follow with me to learn how you can take advantage of a negative situation and turn it into a wonderful experience that can help place you above your fellow job-hunters.

1. Get to Know Yourself.

Take advantage of being unemployed by making a list of your goals and skills.

    We are in a constant state of change, and it’s perfectly natural that some of our interests, skills, and weaknesses are evolving as the years go by, therefore a reassessment of our traits is critical if we wish to progress in our career. For that reason, take this time to evaluate yourself, everything from the skills you obtained at your previous employment to your failures and flaws. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses that will help guide you in addressing future interview questions. Below are some questions that you must ask yourself before considering the next step:

    • Is there something you need to improve or learn? Are you missing a license/certification?
    • What are your drawbacks?
    • What are your strengths? What were you praised for at your last job?
    • Do you enjoy working in a team environment or prefer solo projects?
    • Do you like travelling internationally for business meetings?

    This is also a great time to figure out exactly what you want in a career.

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    • Is your dream job really your dream job or just something that you’re fooled into believing by friends and family or even society?
    • Did you really like your past job and do you want to repeat the same daily tasks as before?

    Converse with yourself to figure out the perfect career that will make YOU happy even after the “honeymoon” stage during employment wears off.

    2.    Improve/Modernize a Skill.

    Improve and modernize a skill when you're unemployed

      A lot of the knowledge that we possess is no longer current due to the constant introduction and easy access to new information and research. A programmer who knows how to work with only code from the early 2000’s is not seen as a viable asset for the company. The purpose of this step is to upgrade a current skill and obtain new knowledge that can be considered very valuable in the eyes of the employer.

      It is simple as subscribing to blogs, downloading free guides, reading articles daily, or purchasing a paperback written by an industry leader. You can also join Google Hangouts that pertain to your industry and learn the new trends that can be imperative to your new employer.

      Take this time to search through an endless supply of free and paid online courses that can provide you with certification upon completion, such as Udemy. By adding new skills and courses on your resume, it is a great way to show your future employer your time-management skills and most of all, that you value your time. The best thing about this step – you can do this all from the comfort of your favourite arm chair!

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      3.    Perfect Your Presentation/Interview Skills.

      Perfect your presentation skills when you are unemployed

        Not all of us are born to be stadium-packing speakers, so if you lack such skills, it is crucial that you begin to practise your verbal and non-verbal behaviour as it can be the deciding point of whether you’ll get the job. Strong verbal communication skills are highly valued by most employers, as they are signs of educated and competent individuals. For this reason, learn new vocabulary to eliminate the ‘ummms’ and ‘yeaas’ when speaking to an interviewer. If you have a strong accent then practise pronunciation.

        Research the most commonly asked interview questions and formulate the perfect answer that depicts your interest and skills. Make sure to practise your non-verbal behaviour, such as hand movements, posture and even smiling, as this is vital in creating the best first impression. Studies of the employment process indicate that 65-70% of hiring decisions may be based on non-verbal communication. If you feel the need to walk around your home voicing your answers out loud like a crazy person, do it.

        4.    Take Time to Search for Your Dream Job.

        When unemployed, use different resources to find job ads to fit your requirements.

          Don’t start applying to the first job advertisement you see, rather take the time to figure out what classifies as your dream job and use a variety of tools to find the perfect employer. Use multiple job-hunting sites, such as GlassDoor, Monster, Indeed.com, CareerBuilder and LinkedIn Job Seeker Premium (by upgrading your account) to look for jobs based on your salary requirements, position, location and skill set. A lot of these sites now feature reviews, salaries, and information about the company culture so that you can learn everything you need to know before you apply to ensure that it is the best fit for you.

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          5.    Put Effort into Developing a Great Portfolio.

          Take your best work and make a portfolio that you can show to your interviewer.

            Many jobs require for the candidate to provide the employer with a portfolio showcasing their best and latest work; this can be a deal breaker if your portfolio lacks in presentation and quality. Take this opportunity to work on your portfolio by adding new content, purchasing a new binder, or creating title pages. Anything that would make you stand out from other candidates can significantly help your application during the evaluation process. Make sure that it is clean (no coffee stains!) and that the first page includes a hard copy of your resume. Divide your portfolio by sections and use sheet protectors to ensure that your work is safe from fingerprints and accidental dog drool.

            6.    Become a Freelancer.

            You don't have to sit without a job, become a freelancer to pay bills and learn new skills.

              Our office is now our computer with the Internet bringing work to the worker not the other way around. If you are a marketer, graphic designer, web developer, copywriter, artist or editor, this a great opportunity for you to work for international companies from the comfort of your home. A freelance job can help pay for your bills while you search for your dream job. Begin by searching for contract jobs on Freelancer, Guru, and Upwork. Additionally, if you land a great gig, you can add it to your work experience, further boosting your image in the employer’s eyes.

              7.    Pick Up a Hobby.

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              Do not despair when you're unemployed, go for a run!

                Everyone has at least one thing they love to do but never seem to have time for. Whether it’s going to the gym, knitting, biking, spending time with family and friends or learning to meditate, now is your chance to grow as an individual and experience all of the beautiful things that life has to offer. Let your creativity blossom and you will soon find happiness where there was fear.

                8.    Spend Time with Friends and Family.

                Enjoy being unemployed by spending time with people that matter to you

                  We often neglect the people that matter the most, especially when we are pulling 12-hour days or are on strict project deadlines. Call up a friend that you haven’t seen in a while, or a relative that you have ignored, and schedule a time to meet with them. Go for a walk, cook some lovely dish together, enjoy the experience and replace distance with closeness.

                  Conclusion

                  You may have found yourself without a job but there is no need to despair. By planning out your days and establishing a routine, you can turn unemployment into a positive situation that can help you transform your insecurities into advantages. Every negative situation will have something positive — even a dead clock shows the right time twice a day. After all, unemployment is temporary, though how you make the most of it is what counts.

                  Featured photo credit: Marsmettn Tallahassee via flickr.com

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                  Last Updated on March 31, 2020

                  How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

                  How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

                  Knowledge is essential to become successful in life, your career and your business. Without learning new concepts and becoming proficient in our craft, we cannot excel in our chosen careers or archive knowledge to pass down to the next generation.

                  But content comes in various forms, and because how we learn influences how much we know, we need to talk about learning styles. This article will focus on how to utilize visual learning to boost your career or business.

                  The Importance of Knowing Your Learning Style

                  Knowing your learning style enables you to process new information to the best of your ability. Not only does it reduce your learning curve, you’re able to communicate these same concepts to others effectively.

                  But it all starts when you’re able to first identify the best way you learn.

                  As a college student, I soon figured out that taking online courses without visual aids or having an instructor in front of me led to poor retention of concepts.

                  Sure, I got good grades and performed excellently in my online exams. However. I discovered that I couldn’t maintain this performance level because I forgot 80 percent of the course content by the end of the semester.

                  There are several types of learning styles known to mankind. To give an idea of how visual learning stacks up against other learning styles, here’s a brief mention of some of the different types of learning styles we have.

                  The four most popular types of learning styles are:

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                  • Visual learning style (what this article talks about).
                  • Aural or auditory learning style (learning by listening to information presented).
                  • Verbal or linguistic learning style (learning that involves speech and writing).
                  • Tactile learning style (learning by touching and doing)

                  But for the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on using visual learning to boost your career or business.

                  How to Know If You’re a Visual Learner?

                  When it comes to boosting your career, business (or education), a visual learner is one who would most definitely choose shapes, images, symbols, or reading over auditory messages.

                  I’m talking about preferring to read an actual map when navigating to a new place over listening to verbal directions. I’m talking about discovering that you actually have trouble remembering what your manager said at the meeting because there were no graphs or illustrations to support the points raised.

                  Most people who struggle with learning probably aren’t leveraging their best learning styles. The earlier you identify how your learning style can boost your success, the less struggle you will encounter with processing new information throughout your career.

                  However, visual learning in particular CAN 10x your career or business whether it is your preferred learning style or not. And here’s why:

                  Several studies have arrived at the conclusion that the brain retains more information with the help of visual aids. In other words, images are directly processed by our long-term memory which helps us store information for longer periods of time.[1]

                  While some lessons can be performed orally, several concepts can only make sense if you have an image with an explanation of sequences (i.e learning about the human DNA).

                  Visual learning does use a different part of the brain and visual cues are processed by the part of the brain known as the occipital lobe.

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                  By engaging more parts of the brain during learning, you’re able to have a fuller understanding of concepts and facilitate better interaction with your immediate environment.

                  How to Use Visual Learning for Success

                  Here’re 4 ways to use visual learning to boost your career or business:

                  1. Bring back the to-do list. Then add shapes and colors to boost productivity.

                  We live in an age where computers have taken over virtually every aspect of productivity and most human functions. But written lists are making a comeback, and with an endless number of important tasks to complete, having a to-do list of tasks in order of importance can improve your productivity.

                  While coming up with a list is initially challenging, adding colors and shapes to written lists that you personally write and manage gives you an extra layer of assurance and boosts aids recall so that you actually get stuff done.

                  I have tried this technique in my work as a registered nurse and discovered that adding shapes and colors to to-do lists helps me delegate tasks, recognize where more work is needed, and makes it easy to cross off completed tasks at the end of the day.

                  2. Add graphs, charts and symbols to your reports.

                  Yes, it seems like more work cut out for you. However, graphs enable you monitor the heartbeat of your business.

                  Graphs and charts help you trend your finances, budget, and pretty much any data overtime. With the help of free and premium software available on the market, it has become easier to take plain data and in a matter of seconds, have relevant information displayed in different shapes and images.

                  As an entrepreneur, you can make predictions and allocate funds wisely when you’re able to see whether your efforts are rewarded. You can use colors and charts to delegate actions to members of your team and track performance at the same time.

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                  And when broken down into monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual goals, graphs and charts communicate what ordinary text cannot.

                  3. Effectively brainstorm with mind-mapping.

                  Mind-mapping is not new but I don’t think it’s been talked about as often as we do to-do lists.

                  With mind mapping, you’re organizing information accurately and drawing relationships between concepts and pieces from a whole.

                  Think of a mind map as a tree with several branches. For example, the tree can symbolize healthcare while each branch stands for nursing, medicine, laboratory science, and so on. When you look at nursing, you can further branch out into types of nursing; pediatric, women’s health, critical care, and so on.

                  It’s an interesting relationship; the more ideas you’re able to come up with for your chosen subject, the deeper you get and the stronger the association.

                  Mind maps really show you relationships between subjects and topics, and simplifies processes that might seem complicated at first glance. In a way, it is like a graphical representation of facts presented in a simple, visual format.

                  Mind mapping isn’t only limited to career professionals; business owners can benefit from mind mapping by organizing their online learning activities and breaking down complex tasks into simple actions so that you can accurately measure productivity.

                  4. Add video streaming to meetings.

                  What if you could double the productivity of your team members by video streaming your meetings or adding flash animation to your presentation at the same time?

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                  When you offer video as an alternative method of processing information to colleagues, there is a greater chance of retaining information because we recreate these stories into images in our minds.

                  For organizations that hold virtual meetings, it can also be an effective way to enhance performance during if people can see their colleagues in addition to flash animation or whatever form of video is provided during the meeting.

                  Is Visual Learning Better Than Other Learning Styles?

                  No, that is not the point. The goal here is to supplement your existing dominant learning style with visual learning so that you can experience a significant boost in how you process and use everyday information.

                  You might discover that understanding scientific concepts are much easier after incorporating visual learning or that you’re able to understand your organization’s value when projected on a visual screen with charts and graphs.

                  The overall goal is to always be learning and to continue to leverage visual learning style in your career and business.

                  More About Learning Styles

                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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