When you are unemployed, time can pass as quickly as a summer storm or as slowly as fifth grade math class. Depends on the day, the hour, the minute. This market is not moving as fast as it once had, which means that there can be significant downtime between positions. That is not an excuse to kick back. In fact, remaining active in both your search and life will ensure that you won’t regret this time which will end at some point – I promise.
Here are a few suggestions regarding how to make the most of it:
- Consult. In a nutshell, this allows you to remain up to date with accounting, network with new co-workers and perhaps even add a technical system to your resume that you didn’t have the opportunity to learn before.
- Use networking as an excuse to eat at those restaurants you never have time to visit. Please do not underestimate the power of face to face time with former colleagues and friends. They are busy living their own lives and will only truly focus upon your search when they are sitting in front of you. Use the time to catch up in general and also pitch yourself and what you are looking for. Prepare in advance by researching their Linkedin connections to see if there is anyone in particular who might be of aid. People want to help and it is your job to be specific in your request as to how they can help you.
- Dust off your notebook and take a class. Excel, in particular. We are finding that many clients are requiring stellar excel skills at all candidate levels ranging from the most junior AP clerk to CFO’s. Brush up on vlookups, pivot tables and macros.
- Volunteer. Consider donating your accounting knowledge to a worthy cause in which you believe. Help them maintain their accounting records or write process/procedures, for which very few nonprofits have time. This will allow you to keep your skills sharp.
- Home projects. While I can not think of a way to tie this into your job search, you know they need to get done so just forge ahead. You’ll feel better that they are behind you when you do get that position and are back in the daily grind with only weekends to blow off steam.