No one ever said side hustles or side projects were off-limits during your job search! If you're job hunting from 8 AM — 4 PM, make 5 PM — 12 AM, your side hustle time.
Remember that you've already highlighted your skills on your resume. Take one of your favorite skills, and use it to look for clients who will pay you for that specific skill!
For example, if you're a great copywriter, you might look for clients who need help writing newsletters, blog posts, or pitch emails to brands. The possibilities are endless when you think outside of the box. You can find potential clients in:
On the other hand, you can create fake clients! Tackle a common problem that happens in your desired industry. You can also pick one of your favorite existing companies, and work to create a solution to a current problem that they face.
After you're done, create a digital portfolio, using a free website builder, to showcase all of the work that you've just created! This will help you stand out even more during your job hunt because it shows that you've taken extra steps to improve your skills, and you have real-life examples of the type of work you can produce!
It's easy to get caught up in searching for the "perfect" role or landing at the "perfect" company. Remember that where you start or land, doesn't have to be where you stay forever! Be as grateful as possible during this time. Take what you can get while you're searching because jobs are more scarce when the economy is going through a rough patch. Remain positive throughout this journey. Being employed can signal positive attributes to other potential employers and you may very well develop some new skills along the way.