In a perfect world, you’d jump seamlessly from one contract to the next, but most contractors find themselves with some time between jobs.
So what’s the best way to utilise that down time? Of course, there’s tweaking your CV for the thousandth time, scouring LinkedIn for new opportunities, and exhausting all available job boards.
However, there are other things you can do that make you more marketable and hone your skills between contracts.
(1) Take smaller freelance jobs
Set up an Odesk or Elance profile for side income. If you want more info on getting started with either, check out this article.
Not only will this give you some sort of income, it will broaden your network, keep your skills fresh, and give you something to show to future clients besides your (admittedly admirable) one-week power marathon of every Sopranos episode.
(2) Contribute to industry discussions on sites like Quora
Start a profile on Quora, StackOverflow, and other industry sites. Then, get busy answering questions and contributing to conversations. It’ll raise your profile and keep your mind and skills active.
(3) Take on side projects
Do a side project that allows you to explore a new area – bonus points for projects that are visible on the web. Maybe it’s a mobile app for a friend, or helping out a charity. Maybe it’s a proof of concept that never got off the ground in your last job.
Whatever it is, you’ll have a chance to broaden your skillset and round out your CV. Speaking of your CV…
(4) Polish your CV and LinkedIn profile
Even the best CVs can stand some tweaking. If you’ve stayed busy through your interim, you’ll also have new things to work into your CV.
Your LinkedIn profile is just as important, and fresh content keeps you looking as attractive as possible to prospective clients.
(5) Don’t neglect your other skills
You can always take an acting course, public speaking course, or a variety of other classes that make you a more well-rounded option. There are often free courses ran by the government or local universities, so take advantage.