Perhaps you quit or were downsized out of a job. Maybe your firm was bought out. Your contract may have ended and you don’t have a new one yet. You may have received a golden (or not so golden) handshake. There are many reasons you may find yourself between jobs or contracts.

Today, private and public employers seek alternatives to hiring full-time employees. It is not hard to understand this trend. We live in a fast changing world. Temporary and contract workers give employers more flexibility to adjust to fluctuating human resources needs. It frees them from the considerable long-term responsibility of employing permanent full-time employees.

Depending on your circumstances, you may or may not welcome some time off. In either case, it is a good idea to make the best use of your time between jobs or contracts. There are 10 things you can do to boost your career during this period. In this first of a two-part article, four are discussed:




Make a habit of affirming yourself

Self-help guru Louise Hay says: “If we really love ourselves, everything in our lives works.” Some of you may be thinking: “What’s with this airy-fairy stuff?”

I have no hesitation about putting self-love at the top of the list. Your ability to love yourself is your most crucial asset. Associate with those who increase your confidence and shun those who reduce it.

We must not let our self-love ride on the vagaries of the job market, or any other market for that matter. You need to know, deep inside, that you are a great man or woman, whether rich or poor, employed or unemployed, thriving or struggling.

Ms Hay advises people to say how much they love themselves daily. Make it your mantra, she urges. Hay notes she has personally seen hundreds of people transform their lives with this simple but powerful habit.

Her advice may sound extreme and impractical. It isn’t. Think of the thousands of negative thoughts we typically think each day, without being aware of them. I suggest you dedicate 10 minutes in the morning, upon awaking, and 10 minutes before bed, to telling yourself you love or appreciate yourself.




Refocus on your big vision

Have you lost sight of your big vision in your career? Has it changed? Your hiatus is an excellent opportunity to refocus on it. Ask yourself questions like:

•   What is your “Big Vision”?

•   Are you passionate about it? If not, what vision does make you passionate?

•   Where do you want to be in five years?

•   What is distracting you?

•   How can you eliminate or reduce distractions?

Build the habit of refocusing on your “Big Vision” regularly.




Update your resumé

Your resumé or promotional material can never be too strong. Update it regularly. Add new experiences, accomplishments, skills, references and qualifications.

Make it look more contemporary, appealing and stand out positively from those of your competitors. Proofread it repeatedly. Have others proofread it. They may catch errors and omissions you missed. Have it checked by one or more authorities in your field. They may have helpful suggestions to offer you.




Get a mentor and headhunter

It is hard to overstate the value of a good mentor. When people achieve quickly, in almost any field, it is largely due to mentoring from someone more experienced.

Approach someone in your field whom you admire and respectfully ask him or her to be your mentor. Offer them something valuable in return. Make it a win/win situation for both of you.

A good headhunter, specialising in your field, can also offer you much insight into career opportunities. You can only benefit from the expertise of such people.


Article by Ken A. Haberman. Article source: