The best thing about being between jobs for some people is using the free time as an opportunity to develop their skills and experience, perhaps doing something they wouldn’t normally get involved in for the sake of learning and applying their talents to new tasks. Volunteering and work experience programmes can be invaluable for learning about transferable skills and life in general, as well as offering a host of extra benefits.
For one thing, experiencing first-hand what it’s like to work in a particular business or industry can give you an insight into what it’s like for people as a career. You may decide to go into a whole new area after enjoying a work experience programme, or it may help you find out what your main skills are so you can find a better way to apply them elsewhere. Trying out a role on work experience relieves some of the pressure that you might feel as a new employee there, and you still have the support of your job centre.
Another great benefit of work experience is the ability to network with valuable contacts. Although you may not be employed and paid for this particular post, you are able to prove your worth to people who may be able to offer you a better position later or recommend you to other employers that are better suited to your skills. Developing your communication skills and teamwork abilities can help you maintain your connections in the long term as well as build up personal skills on your CV.
Not only that, but doing something constructive with your time certainly looks better than an unexplained gap in your work history. A volunteering position can add some depth to your character as it appears on your CV, demonstrating that you have an interest in something positive. This is especially true if you choose to devote your time to a charity or other good cause.