It is clear the job market out there is not in a glowing state. Looking at relevant job ads, the vast majority are for short term contract work; more importantly, there aren't that many positions in the market. In other words, both quality and quantity are suffering.
From friends that are out there on the hunt and who are in touch with recruiters I have learnt that for each such position there are between 80 to 100 applicants. Getting that job interview in the first place is a tough competition on its own. Some of these friends have been out there looking for a job for several months now. And some of them are very good at what they do.
The potential for long periods of unemployment, or "spare" time between contracts, got me thinking more deeply into how I can use the this idle time to benefit my career. Specifically, what can I do to enhance my skills during this spare time I am going to be endowed with?
First, and most obviously, comes the conclusion that I should make myself attractive to potential employers looking after someone of my current profession. However, I would also like to expand my horizons; I would like to use online resources to go into areas that:
- I am interested in and would like to spend my time doing, regardless of pay.
- Are in demand.
- I have reason to believe I can make some money out of as an independent business.
Thus far the main idea I came up with is the implementation of simple websites for businesses in need of exactly such a tool as well as potentially looking after these websites on a regular basis. I have already done it before, in parts; I even have the tools such tasks would take. By improving some specific skills along the way, I can make something out of this.
Image by Kevin Lim, Creative Commons licence