How to Survive When You’re Not Working

unemployment

Note: I started writing this post the morning I was hired for my new position. I went in for an interview and walked out with a job! Although I’m no longer unemployed, I still think the following post is important to read and reflect on. 

Oh, the unemployment life. As stressed as I am about money, not working is nice. I’m not that type of person to use up vacation time when working so when I’m not applying for jobs and biking around town for interviews, I’m at home chilling out. I’ve arranged my new home, caught up on “Empire,” planted a garden and finally memorized the lines for the play I was in. But let’s get real- no one can live a life like this. The money in your savings is bound to run out. And I don’t know about you, dear reader, but if I’m stuck inside for days on end, I start to get stir crazy.

Looking for a job is a job within itself. It takes a lot of work and patience. I know it can take months to find a decent position (still) in this economy. You can send out hundreds of resumes each week and never receive a bite back. So, how do you avoid the unemployed blues? Below are some things that keep me sane and motivated during the ever long job hunt.

1) First things first- Create a schedule. Streamlining your life will help you dive head first into the next chapter, plus it helps you feel like your unemployed time is spent productively. During the weekday, I tried to wake up and eat my daily meals at the same time daily, spend six hours dedicated to job hunting and then, spend the rest of the day reading or getting sunshine.

2) Keep current and get organized. That means cleaning up your resume- both the one on paper and LinkedIn (if you don’t have a LinkedIn account, create one now! It’s free!) Take advantage of numerous free resources online, including classes, tutorials, e-books, and how-to videos. Build an online presence and make to maintain it regularly.

3) Treat yourself. Unemployment can be trying and tiring, so don’t forget to treat yourself occasionally. Take a reasonable amount of time off from your weekly job hunt to recharge and rest up. Letting yourself rest will maximize your productivity during the hours you job search. Even if you don’t have extra money for entertainment, a walk or visit to the park can do wonders to help you go back and attack your job hunt.

4) Speaking of walking, make sure to exercise. Moving will give you endorphins (hello, happiness!) and keep you from feeling lazy especially when you spend a good chunk of your day in front of a computer.

5) Keeping busy is one thing but I’m using this time to volunteer. Not only does volunteer experience on your resume makes you look more marketable, it’s a good way to network and meet new people. People are always looking for help- Volunteermatch.org is a good spot to look for opportunities or visit your favorite non-profit (I like the ASPCA shelter and the local library).

Best of luck on your search!

 

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