Tips for traversing the time between jobs

Tips for traversing the time between jobs

February 16, 20242 min read

The gap between jobs is a time of not only financial woes but also an associated mental toll that can be just as difficult to manage. University of Delaware career expert Jill Gugino Panté offers tips for navigating the rough waters of unemployment.

Gugino Panté, director of the Lerner Career Services Center at UD, has years of experience in HR and helps folks from ages 18 to 80 find jobs and level up their careers. She provided the following advice that journalists can pull for stories about careers and the job market:

It's normal to feel hopeless and helpless. These are the two common words I constantly hear from job seekers. Searching for a job, especially when you don’t have a job, can be a black hole of nothing and everything. "Nothing" because you don’t hear back from applications you’ve submitted and the silence can diminish your confidence. And "everything" because of the range of emotions you feel on a daily basis.

Stay busy. Staying busy is not just applying to jobs, but it’s keeping your brain, body and mental health positively active. You can only apply to so many jobs on your computer. After that, most people sit and wait. NEVER SIT AND WAIT in a job search! Even the smallest thing will provide a sense of accomplishment.

  • Send out emails to arrange connection phone calls.
  • Attend local networking events, volunteer and give back.
  • Clean out your closet and donate clothes.
  • Organize your search in a spreadsheet, add reminders to your calendar.
  • Keep yourself moving and check off one thing on your list a day. 

Find support among peers. There are millions of groups out there on social media. Find a job seeking support group in your industry where you can get advice and even a pep talk if you need one. Friends and family are fine, but not everyone has this and sometimes friends and families don’t understand what you’re going through. Having multiple support groups can provide consistency.

Put your job search on blast. I have so many stories of people finding a job because they posted on social media or struck up a conversation with a stranger in a store. Unless you have a specific reason for keeping your job search a secret, shout it out to the world! Data shows that it’s the people on the periphery of your network (meaning 2nd and 3rd connections) who have the most effect on your professional development. So reaching out on LinkedIn, talking to a stranger, attending a networking event you wouldn’t otherwise go to can have a significant impact on your job search.

Members of the media interested in speaking with Gugino Panté can reach her directly – visit her profile and click the "contact button." Or, feel free to reach out to our media relations department.

Connect with:
  • Jill Panté
    Jill Panté Director, Lerner College Career Services Center

    Prof. Panté can comment on workplace issues such as hiring, professional etiquette, personal branding, interviewing, and job search.

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