As a job seeker, you bring value to an organization. For many, the time spent in job transition stretches from days to weeks to months, and in some cases, to years. As a part of your job search, use this time to increase the value you bring to an organization. Make yourself more attractive to potential employers.

For your preferred avocation, what are the key skills that are important and lacking in the work force? Spend time acquiring the knowledge, practicing the skill and sharpening your desire around mastering a few of those skills. Take a class, do some self-study, find a mentor to learn from. Add the language of these skills to your resume and cover letter with keywords and proper use of the skill vocabulary. Update your Linked In and other social media profiles to demonstrate your new found skills.

If you aren’t learning something new to the point where you can apply it to solve an employers problem, you are falling behind to every other competitor who is.  Demonstrating mastery over a new set of skills shows you are a self-starter. Demonstrating your initiative is demonstrating your interest in being a current, up-to-date problem solver and is a differentiating factor, one you can call out during phone screens and face-to-face interviews.

Learning something new or achieving a new level of proficiency in an existing skill set is in itself a reward. It keeps you mentally sharp and in the professional space you want to be in. Keep the professional part of your brain sharp, it will likely shorten your time in transition. It will definitely make you more valuable, and that is time well spent.