3. Join or start a networking group.
Another good way to stay connected to the business community is to join a networking group. In most cities and towns there are local chambers of commerce and industry associations that are open to individuals. Before investing in a membership fee, attend one or two events to be sure that you feel comfortable and that you will make valuable connections. Consider all fees associated with each group.
In addition to associations, check for business groups on Meetup.com. If you can't find an existing group that interests you, why not start one? Ning.com allows you to create, customize, and share your social network for free.
4. Learn HTML (or another computer software program).
Now is the perfect time to learn HTML or another computer program. You can find out which programs you need for your industry by reading job postings. Libraries, local colleges, and adult education centers usually offer short-term computer classes. If you'd prefer to learn on your own, online learning is a convenient and inexpensive option. Lynda.com offers computer software tutorials in everything from HTML to Excel for a low monthly fee.
If there's an industry or particular job you've always been curious about, or if you want to gain work experience in a new field, consider becoming an apprentice. Do some research about local professionals in your chosen field and approach them about shadowing them or doing some volunteer work for them. Be sure that you and the company are on the same page in terms of any pay and length of stay before you start. This will give you a bird's-eye view into a job or career before making a big investment in time or additional training.
6. Job hunt.
While these are all great ways to keep busy and beef up your resume, don't forget to spend time job hunting for your next gig. With all of your new skills and connections, you'll be ahead of the pack in your search.