There’s truth in saying that the more time you spend looking for work, the shorter your job search. With that in mind, you might want to avoid taking the weekend off each week while you wait for businesses to open Monday morning.
Fortunately, there are productive things you can do on the weekend to help land your next position sooner. Start with three strategies suitable for Saturdays and Sundays.
Networking on Weekends:
Networking is one of the most effective ways of looking for work. Online communications are helpful, but face-to-face interactions have more impact. Weekends provide opportunities to spend time with contacts who may be too busy to see you during the week.
1. Volunteer in your community. Donate time and talent to worthy causes. Gain valuable experience, and mingle with volunteers, staff, and supporters.
2. Get a side job. Do you want to earn income and make new friends—as well as potential job connections? Look into ridesharing, party planning, and similar gigs.
3. Work out. Gym memberships, exercise classes, and team sports help you bond with other fitness fans. Taking care of your physical and mental health helps you manage stress when you’re unemployed or dissatisfied with your current job.
4. Throw a party. Extend your hospitality. Help organize a block party or host your own barbecue. Job leads are only one benefit of getting to know your neighbors.
5. Practice small talk. Others may be eager to talk shop, or they might want to take a break from the office. Pay attention before you decide whether it’s appropriate to hand out business cards or stick to neutral subjects.
Skill Building on Weekends:
Lifelong learning is essential to your career. Learn what qualifications employers in your field want. Then, take advantage of free time to add those credentials to your resume.
1. Study online. Browse for courses and certifications to increase your capabilities. Arrange a dedicated study space to minimize interruptions. If possible, contact instructors to clarify expectations and find out how to ask for extra help if you need it.
2. Visit your library. Explore the career resources available at a local library. Many branches offer computer classes and business seminars. Ask a librarian to recommend books and materials that match your interests.
3. Teach others. You can learn a great deal by being an instructor. Offer an organic gardening class at a nearby community center. Tutor students who are learning to code. Share your skills.
Having Fun on Weekends:
Job hunting can leave you anxious and disappointed. Stay upbeat by scheduling time to play and relax. You’ll make a more positive impression on potential employers, and you never know who you’ll meet if you reach out and make friends too.
1. Share a laugh. Do something entertaining. Take friends or family to see a funny movie and play miniature golf or take a walk in a park. Invite a friend to join you for coffee at a cat cafe. If your city doesn’t have one yet, watch videos together on your phone. Think outside the box.
2. Enjoy nature. Green spaces are restful and uplifting. Go rock climbing or bicycle riding. Spend a day at the beach or in the mountains. Check the schedule of events at your local park and recreation department.
3. Appreciate art. Visit a museum or take an art class. Many institutions have free admission or economical annual membership fees so you can visit as often as you want. Art stores often have special art events to let people try new skills from painting, to photography, to glass-blowing.
Stand out from the competition. Instead of sleeping in or binge-watching TV over the weekend, use the weekend to expand your network, strengthen skills, and maintain emotional health during your job search. Perseverance and consistency make all job searches more successful.