Being unemployed is rarely a situation a job hunter chooses, but if you do find yourself aviation job hunting without the luxury of being in work while you search is it ever a good idea to publicise the fact?
In a culture where one of the first questions we tend to pose is “what do you do?”, being unemployed can feel like a real sore point. But it needn’t be that way. Facing this tough question socially is one thing, but facing up to how you deal with it on your CV and covering letter can leave even the strongest of candidates running for cover. So what can you do to overcome this anxiety?
Get your head round it
The first thing that’s worth remembering here is that (unless you’ve been sacked for some awful act), there’s no reason to be ashamed of being unemployed. Often, people who state that they are unemployed say so shrouded in a cloud of self-pity and awkwardness. If you feel ashamed, sad and uptight that you’re out of work, then that’s understandable, but at the same time in order to turn your situation into the positive result you’re hoping for you need to get your head around presenting it in a positive light. OK, you mightn’t see the positives in having no salary and feeling like the purpose has been ripped from your life brutally right now, but today’s the day to start to put a different slant on your situation.
Get words to describe it
‘Transitioning’ might be a step too far in terms of term, but that’s pretty much what you’re doing if you’re out of work and searching for your next opportunity. Moving from one situation to another is a period of transition. Even though you might be sore from the rejection you’ve faced by your previous employer, you simply must overcome that, brush yourself down and prepare for the road ahead. A great way to help is finding the right words to describe your situation. Those words need to suit you and to come from your lips persuasively.
Networking is one of the best things you can do when you’re looking for your next post. While you needn’t publicise the fact that you’re unemployed, you should clearly state that you’re on the lookout for your next opportunity. Stating that you’re ‘between jobs’ and describing the sort of role or type of organisation you left and the role you’re seeking will help make it clear where you’ve come from and what you’re hoping to achieve. Describing your talents in such a way that they are appealing to potential employers when you network will also help reduce the thrust of the U-word and make you seem like a much more positive person.
Volunteering is another great route to sorting out what to say if you’re out of work. While it’s rarely a good idea to give the impression that you quit a great job to volunteer, volunteering is a great way to show strength of character and determination. We recently published an article about volunteering your way to aviation success that you might find helpful if you fancy going this route. You can read it here. But in a nutshell, using the time you have on your hands to give something back isn’t just a great way to help others, it’s also an excellent way to develop or extend your skills at the same time as impressing prospective employers.
Enhance your skills
A third way to fill the time gap you’re looking at is by undertaking some training. If you’re short of any skills for your dream aviation job, a period of unemployment is a great time to plug that gap without having to consider the dilemma of how you’ll fit it into your schedule. Once again, having the motivation to improve your skills in the event of being ‘between jobs’ shows you as a motivated and determined candidate and reduces any potential negativity that might arise from being unemployed.
Set up your own online business
Finally, while not for everyone, but ideally suited to certain people; setting up your own online business or online presence, for example blogging about the job you want to go into, could help you bridge the U-gap. Working towards building a business that can be carried on on a part time basis once you’re employed again won’t only occupy your attention; it’ll challenge you and demonstrate your entrepreneurial strengths to the max.
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