My daughter is now in her second stint of unemployment since graduating from law school two years ago. (Her commitment to public interest law leaves her at the mercy of soft funding.) During that time, I have often quoted her on her perspective regarding those gaps in her resume. As she advises, “These days, it’s not that you’re unemployed. It’s what you do during your unemployment.” In other words, are you using that time productively, volunteering or continuing your education, for example? Currently in a brief period between productive work – with many projects coming up and proposals waiting for approval – I can relate.
I can use this time shopping online. Or I can be productive. How would clients like to think my colleagues and I are using our time? It’s an interesting question that no client I know of has ever asked.
If I am that inquisitive client, here’s what I’d want the answer to be:
- Getting smarter about my business. That could mean improving general knowledge about the client, their competitors, target audiences, or industry trends.
- Learning more about a new strategy or methodology. As a research director, I know it’s nearly impossible to stay current on all the new products out there.
- Keeping up on professional reading. This could be the time to explore current knowledge outside the realm of research, such as the latest social media strategies.
Today, I’m using my time productively to write this blog post.