The Three Most Important Things you Should do if you are Unemployed

unemployed do these things

There are important things you should be doing if you find yourself out of work

Unemployment, whether you are a 21-year old college graduate anxious to start a career or a 40-year old high-riser who unceremoniously got kicked to the curb, stinks.

It lowers your self-esteem, can impact your long-term earning potential and according to the New York Times, can also affect your health and the prospects of your children. Of course, very little of this is in your control, you don’t want to be unemployed, rather it was thrust upon you, which again, stinks.

Now that we got all the negative out of the way, lets turn our attention to what you should be doing if the unfortunate turn in your career is towards the unemployment line.

The three most important things you should do if you are #unemployed Click To Tweet

Become a Guest Writer

If you don’t work to keep your name active in your industry it’s a fact, people will forget about you.

No matter what your career field is there is an industry blog, newsletter or trade group representing what you do and they are always looking for fresh perspectives to share with their audience.

The benefits of guest writing are clear:

  1. Exposure to an audience of your contemporaries
  2. Credibility – when people read what you have to say, if it’s good, they’ll trust you
  3. Networking – responding to comments, sharing in social media, meeting other bloggers.

    tips for the unemployed

    While writing with a calligraphy pen may look cool, it is not required for being a guest blogger.

So how do you actually do it? Let’s say you were an unemployed radio producer, first you have to find blogs in your niche looking for guest writer. Try these Google search queries:

  • radio + submit guest post
  • radio + write for us
  • radio + submit an article
  • radio + guest blogging

Now that you’ve identified a few targets, cruise their site and understand their communication style with the audience. To give yourself the best chance of being published, write in a manner that fits their tone. Also, most sites have guidelines for guest posting, check out ours and you can get an idea for what is required.

The bottom line is, keeping your name active in your industry by guest blogging can introduce you to new contacts who may be looking to hire, especially if they liked what you had to say on your posts.

Unemployed? Keep your name active in your industry by guest writing on blogs Click To Tweet

Join Trade Groups

Another way to keep your skills sharp and your name active in the industry is to join trade associations. All industries have professional groups and some even expand their reach into national, regional or state branches.

According to Kelly Cherwin of HigherEdJobs, the benefits of joining a professional association are broad:

  1. Enhance your network –  creating relationships with other professionals you can share ideas with is invaluable
  2. Take charge of your career – most associations have knowledge of job openings that are only available to members
  3. Broaden your skills and knowledge – learn best practices, new trends and get exposed to the latest research

A few Entertainment Professional Groups include:

Find Out What Skills Are Needed

One thing I notice is that people don’t use our job board to it’s full capacity.

Members tend to enter their current qualifications, or a job keyword, and a section of the country they want to live in and then apply for the jobs that come up in their results. This makes sense, and is actually what we suggest you do…but there is more you can use our site for.

Another approach is to research what hiring companies need, not just what you can currently do. Start by searching jobs that fit your desired role, and then really investigate the job descriptions. As yourself, what skills are they looking for and do I have them?

Do a self-audit by reading job descriptions - do you have the skills employers want? Click To Tweet

Let’s say you’ve been a video editor for 10 years and all you’ve ever worked on is Avid. If you really dig into the job descriptions you may find that employers today are only looking for people with experience with Final Cut Pro. Uh oh. You don’t have that experience.

Now you can craft a plan to obtain the knowledge necessary to be hired. Don’t just send out applications mindlessly, find out what companies need and then get those skills.

Don’t let the stress of being unemployed paralyze you, take action with these three ideas and the next dream job will surely come along.

About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the broadcast media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for &

Recently Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, you should.


  1. Thanks for the tips, Brian. They are helpful. However, as a full-time, professional writer I cannot encourage anyone to take “guest” positions that are unpaid. Too frequently it is assumed that professionals should be grateful for the exposure and opportunity, especially if they are unemployed.

    • Appreciate your response Thea – the idea is to keep your name out there and fresh, I often find people that are unemployed begin wallowing in self-pity rather than moving forward and gaining new forms of exposure. Professional writers should always charge for their writing, but for people that might not be pro writers, guest authoring is a great way for them to gain exposure with a new audience. Of course ideally everything you do would result in a paycheck, but when you are unemployed you have to see that there are long-term benefits to action. – Brian