Quick Tip: Fill The Gap With a Relevant Part-Time Job While Unemployed

by Rich DeMatteo on January 20, 2012 · 5 comments

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A friend from college sent me an interesting Facebook message the other day.  She wanted to fill me in on a cool strategy she used while unemployed to help fill the gap, but also make herself more valuable to her next employer.

Here’s a direct quote from my friend, Jana:

I had a temp position is advertising that ended in May. I wanted to switch fields but wasn’t sure where to go and my hubby was looking for jobs out-of-state, so I did not want to over commit to a new profession and then move. What I chose to do was take a retail job in sales, which i had never done until this time. So at 28, I learned that my experience in advertising and marketing made me a great sales woman.

Now that I have moved and am looking to get back into a professional field, there is no gap on my resume because I was doing something. I can now also add sales to my skill set.

Just thought this idea could be a refreshing way of looking at the advantages of taking a part-time job while you’re looking for a real job. I’ve found a lot of people who are doing the same thing.

What Jana did was find a part-time job that would be relevant to her career.  Filling the gap is easy, even though we sometimes make it harder.  There are a billion and one freelance, contract, and part-time gigs to fill up that empty space.  The difficult part is landing a position that is somewhat related and can be seen as valuable experience to the next employer.

Have you ever tried something like this while in a period of unemployment?  

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5 comments
Valerie
Valerie

Absolutely! I was waiting for a big trip I'd planned and needed to move home to save some money and not pay rent. So I got a summer job that ended at the exact time my trip was going to start. It taught me a lot and actually was a slightly managerial role so that was also great to put on my resume!

Harrison
Harrison

Making worthwhile connections or taking on special side projects can trump resume gaps. While traditional companies see gaps in the negative light, many more organizations are caring less about those gaps and more about what the candidate can offer. Yea, agree that taking a part-time job can be good, but there are very few that would align with majority of people's goals. Not saying one should do nothing during the gap time, but simply taking a job for the sake of filling a gap isn't good either.

Jobdiagnosis
Jobdiagnosis

Definitely, it's always important to make sure we don't create gaps in our employment or job history, even while not being employed full time. Taking up freelancing projects (which relates to your skills) is also a good idea to keep that gap from broadening. Thanks for discussing the important issue!

Vanessa Williams
Vanessa Williams

Filling in the gap while unemployed is a great idea. However, it's important to note that a part-time job is ideal, as a freelance or contract position is taking a big risk because by earning any money on your own you become ineligible for unemployment. That's fine if you can truly market yourself or have large savings, but I would venture a guess that most don't.