CAREER LEADERSHIP & DEVELOPMENT | Returning to the Workforce: Four Ways to Get a Step Ahead By Mary Davids | Legacy South Florida Education Issue –

The job market is unpredictable right now with low pay and competing job-seekers looking to re-enter the workforce. Many are concerned about the recent announcement ending the Federal supplemental $300/week unemployment benefit. 

Re-entering the workforce can be challenging. You may be wondering how it’s possible to build skill and stay relevant when you have no job. 

Here are a few things to do in the meantime:

1. Attend Networking Events. Since vaccinations are increasing, many organizations are holding small networking events that are free or cost little to attend. Make it a personal goal to attend at least two events per month, even the virtual ones. Check local listings or tag along with a friend to a work function as a plus one. Remember, networking isn’t limited to corporate events. It can happen at the grocery store, picking up the kids from school, or even a neighborhood barbeque. 

2. Stay Fit. Your health is important to keep in check, especially during unemployment. During the pandemic, many have gained a few unwelcomed pounds, but now is the time to bounce back. Get back into your balanced lifestyle of healthy nutrition and fitness to help you boost confidence. When you feel good about yourself, you are likely to go the extra mile or approach someone you would normally be intimidated to approach. Right now you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, so get to it. 

3. Volunteer. According to the “Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment” study conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service, volunteers have 27 percent higher odds of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers. Volunteering puts you in a better position where you become more marketable to potential employers. 

4. Keep Up to Date with Industry Hot Topics. Read your local newspaper or blogs on industry trends or hot topics. This will help you stay aware and knowledgeable about industry practices, and is beneficial when networking or even during an interview. Questioning an employer about how they are dealing with an industry concern could very well be the question that lands you the job. It proves that you are aware and interested in what is happening in the industry and it opens up the door to a conversation rather than an interviewer following a script. Remember, you have nothing to lose.  

Just because you are required to apply to a certain number of jobs per day/week to continue receiving unemployment benefits doesn’t mean you can’t skill build in the meantime. Your ambition is attractive. Employers want to hire self-motivated people. Hiring managers want to know what you have been up to during the pandemic and how you can add value because of it. 

Mary V. Davids is an executive career and leadership development coach and owner of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. For more career tips and advice visit or follow @MVDavids on Instagram and Twitter.

(Read The Full Legacy Miami Education Issue Below) 

Legacy Miami

Legacy South Florida

', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview');