Thursday, February 18, 2010

Six things to do while you're unemployed

Used with permission, Creative Commons: foreversouls

After 27 months of searching, and after responding to postings of almost 300 jobs, my unemployment ended yesterday.

The lessons I've learned during the time off may be varied in their practicality. But if you're out of work, I have some ideas for how you can fill up the time so you can avoid going stark raving mad.

  1. Spend time with your family

    My daughter is 39 months old. My son is just over 6 years old. I've been home with her for 2/3 of her life, and about 1/3 of his. I wouldn't trade that for anything. Including a stable income.

  2. Read a few good books

    Learning something expands our horizons. Fiction. Non-fiction. Cookbooks. Whatever. Learn something new and think in a more-developed and creative way.

  3. Pick up a new skill or hobby, or further develop an existing one

    You might not get a Grammy, but you can learn how to use some music software and put together a few jingles you can be proud of.

  4. Get some exercise

    Go to the gym. Get on the bike. Chase the dog through the mud. Play Wii tennis. Something!

  5. Don't lose heart

    It's hard being unemployed. Surround yourself with positive people, folks who know you and can remind you of what you do well. Use networking and social media for your job search AND for maintaining your mood. And offer the same to others.

  6. Blog

    Blogging lets you articulate what you do well, establishing you as a contributor and leader in your field. It develops an interactive community of like-minded folks for mutual support and development. And it lets you keep your sanity.

These might not help you get a job. You should be trying to do that too. But they are decent ways to maintain your identity in case the wait is long.

Questions: What are you doing to pass the time? How are you feeling while you search?