My position as a Benefits Manager and HR generalist was eliminated last year. When I’m on an interview, I need a better way to answer the question: What have you done in the last year? The caller then described some of the positions for which she had interviewed, yet did not convey enthusiasm for them.
My immediate gut reaction is it sounds as if you don’t want a job in this field. I get that you need money and it’s the path of least resistance. In a new field there might be an initial salary reduction but with growth potential. You might like to take a look at the life story exercise in Chapter 4 of Now What?®. Interpreting your life story will help you pick up on themes and generate ideas about future roles to explore.
In terms of how to respond to interviewers who ask what you’ve done since becoming unemployed, the most important thing is to show that you’ve been using the time prudently, whether that includes researching certain fields or learning something new. Focus on the positive and on how you’ve been productive with the time.