So, you’ve gotten the news that you’re being let go from your employer for some reason. Regardless of whether the separation is due to actions within, or outside of your control, the fact of the matter is that you’re going to need a new job.
After the separation, you’re likely going to fall into the trap of identifying yourself as a job seeker. Although technically it’s not a derogatory phrase, the term “job seeker” is a putdown for many because it implies the individual isn’t doing much with their time other than sending out job applications and hoping people get back to them.
It’s not an image you want to give off in an interview, and it’s also not something you want to give off when you’re out at a networking event. So with all that in mind, the question then is, “how is an unemployed person supposed to refer to themselves.”
The answer is simpler than it seems. There are two primary ways to approach this. You can do either, or, depending on the situation. The first approach is to refer to yourself in the following format “I am a [job category] professional, who specializes in [professional specialty].”
The other is to refer to yourself as a consultant. That being said, for that, you actually need to be offering your skills and knowledge to others.
One of the biggest misconceptions people have when they hear the word “consultant” is that you need to own a formal business to earn the title. That’s far from true. In reality, all you need is expertise and the ability to successfully manage clients.
While you might not want to engage in consulting as a permanent profession, the thing is that when you’re seeking employment, you can’t rely on unemployment to pay the bills. Relying on government assistance, just puts you in a position of desperation, which often comes off in job interviews, leading to more rejections.
With consulting at least, you’re generating some income, plus you gain the ability to be more choosy about your employment prospects, so you can afford to turn down work that your gut says isn’t a good fit.
So overall, when you’re out of work, you have the option to take a passive approach to an employment search, and as such, to be a job seeker. On the other hand you can choose to take a proactive approach to finding employment. Through networking, and assisting others in a professional capacity.