If you have just lost your job, it may be comforting to know that there are many like you.

​On average, more than 54,500 people were fired or laid off every day in 2016, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Still, being unemployed can be a worrisome situation. Not only does it take away your steady source of income, it also puts your career on hold and creates doubts about your future.

​Instead of letting the situation undermine your confidence and ambition, you should take advantage of your free time during unemployment to map out a new and better career path.

​Here are some ways to help you stay productive while unemployed.

1. ​Come to Terms with Unemployment

​The first thing you need to do is let go of the feelings of rejection and frustration that result from losing your job. There is nothing you can do to change the situation now except move forward. If you are experiencing financial problems, you should look for ways to overcome them, such as getting a part-time job, taking out a loan, or applying for unemployment benefits.

​You may not be eligible for unemployment benefits if you resign from your job, but you have a better chance of qualifying if you were fired or laid off.

​2. Evaluate and Investigate Career Options 

Think about what you like or dislike about your previous job and create a theoretical job description based on the evaluation. This will serve as a description of your ideal job when you start searching for a new job. Then, search job listings in career websites and trade publications to find opportunities that match the description.

3. Send Out Applications 

In order to improve the quality of your job applications, you should take care not to apply for too many positions. Target jobs that suit your skills, experience, and passion, and spend more time and effort on each application to ensure that it is well-composed, clear, and concise. Avoid including too much information in your job applications.

​Prospective employers have to go through many applications, and they may lose interest in your applications if they are too time-consuming to read. Also, try to find out if your connections and former colleagues have some good leads for you.

 4. Improve Your Skills and Resume 

Some industries change rapidly, and they require their workers to keep their knowledge and skills relevant in changing times. Whether or not you are seeking employment in these industries, it is advisable that you learn some new skills to stay relevant while you are looking for a new job.

​There are many things that you can do to improve your skills and resume, including taking up a course, joining an internship program, and getting a part-time job. You may also want to consider doing some volunteer work. Volunteering is a great way to get a good reference, learn new skills, and establish new connections.

If you will make an effort to be productive while you are unemployed, you will make a good impression on your prospective employer. This can significantly boost your chances of getting hired.

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