If you are currently unemployed or even underemployed, there is one thing you have plenty of: time. Use it to your advantage. There are literally dozens of educational websites offering free or very inexpensive career-focused training that can help you get your next job. Further, by improving your skills while looking for work, you might get an even better job.

Learning new, or improving existing skills, will show prospective employers a few essential facts about you that I guarantee they will like. First, this shows you are driven to excel. Employers want their employees to have the drive to be the best at what they do. Second, continuing education shows that you have the aptitude for learning new things. This may allow an employer to see you in a more advanced position than technically qualified. Third, taking the initiative to continue building relevant skills while unemployed shows employers that you are self-motivated. Having self-directed and self-motivated employees means an employer can pay less attention to you and more attention to other critical factors. Finally, working on improving your skills or learning new ones while unemployed is an indicator that you want to work and succeed. What employer doesn’t want that?

Never stop getting better at what you do. Even when you are unemployed. I have a whole additional post coming on free and low-cost employment training that you can take advantage of whether you are employed or not. Keep an eye out for that one.