Five Skill-enhancing Ideas for the Unemployed | Jobs In NJ

Five Skill-enhancing Ideas for the Unemployed

You network. You interview. You network. You interview. And still, you have yet to receive a job offer. So, your job search continues. Take this time to pause, reflect and think of ways you can add to your skill set, which will - in turn - boost your self-esteem. The following five skill-enhancing ideas can get you started.

1. Strategic Thinking

If you want to grow your strategic thinking abilities, volunteer to work with the economic development committee in your community. Listening to others while engaging in the planning and decision-making process will enhance your ability to think strategically and see the results of your efforts.

2. Project Planning

Start by taking a project planning course with a local adult education program or college. Volunteering at a non-profit to work on a project will assist you in the execution of the classroom skills you've learned.

3. Sales / Negotiation

Volunteering with a non-profit on their development or fundraising committee can enhance your ability to persuade, sell and negotiate. Websites like or can help you locate local non-profits in need of volunteers.

4. Written Communication

Write a blog about an area of interest. You can write about a hobby or an expertise that you have. Many blogs have resulted in income for people. Writing a blog keeps you connected and allows you to hone a skill that is important for any job.

5. Public Speaking

Offer to speak on a topic you are passionate about at a local chapter meeting. For instance, if you are passionate about photography, offer to speak at local photography gatherings about how you got started and tips on great photo shots. Many associations seek "topic experts" for their monthly or annual meetings.

During a time of transition, you may think that you are losing some of these skills. By volunteering, taking courses, writing a blog or speaking, you are exercising to keep these skills sharp, enhance what you have, and learn more.

Diane L. Dunton M.S., president of Potential Released Consulting Services since 1996, has over 25 years of business and HR experience. Diane has received specialized training with National Training Labs, the Gestalt Institute, Center for Creative Leadership, the University of Michigan's Organizational Career Development and the Center for Reengineering Leadership programs. She has developed programs for over 25,000 employees and leads more than 20 workshops annually offering executive coaching, professional individual coaching and programs on leadership and strategic planning. She has appeared before conferences of up to 9,000 participants and her work has appeared in both U.K. and U.S. management publications, including the Society for Training and Development's Team and Organizational Development Sourcebooks (2003-2006).Learn more about Diane at