It’s never fun to find yourself unemployed, whether you were fired or had to quit for reasons entirely your own. In today’s economy, it’s slightly easier to find a job than in years prior, but it’s not uncommon to be between jobs for months while you find the right company – one that pays well, is close to home, and offers the benefits you deserve.
(Photo Credit: kate hiscock/Flickr)
If you can’t find a job, hang in there. I’ve found myself unemployed several times before, and even as a freelance writer there have been months I’ve had to dig into my savings (and even go into debt) until I find another batch of gigs that pay the bills. Here are a few ways to stay motivated between jobs or when your income isn’t quite what you need it to be:
1. Consider it “funemployment.”
Not everyone is so lucky enough to have savings that can get them through long stretches of unemployment, but with the help of unemployment benefits from the government and whatever savings you have, you can turn your unemployed frown upside down and enjoy these few months off. Consider using the time to check to-do items off around the house or your bucket list. Have you always wanted to spend a long weekend at the beach? Now is the perfect chance. What about a staycation in your own city with your spouse, saving funds while pretending to get away from it all?
If you find yourself unemployed this summer, consider it a time to relax and enjoy life. Between job interviews and editing your resume, there’s no harm in hosting barbeques, hiking, and lying by a pool. Your employed friends might actually be jealous of your increased happiness with your time off – and the wicked tan you’ll have by the end of the summer.
2. Donate your time.
If you can’t find a job, it’s easy to slip into a routine of sleeping until noon and doing not much of anything. A great way to substitute a job-like routine is by volunteering. If you’re part of a church, see how you can get involved in a significant way during your unemployment. Summer is an especially busy time for religious groups as they host camps, so you’ll be sure to stay busy if you want to offer your help here.
If that’s not up your alley, contact a local hospital or any non-profit and see how to get involved. If they only need help one day a week – and you really need to stay busy more often – don’t hesitate to volunteer with more than one group. Donating your time is a great way to feel productive and stay motivated when you can’t find a job. (Plus, it looks great on your resume!)
3. Learn something.
If you were just recently laid off or decided to quit your job, now is a great time to consider learning more about your industry while you look for a new job. This might mean intentionally staying unemployed longer while you earn a certificate (which can help you negotiate a higher salary at your next job) or just taking a few courses online to add a few more skills to your resume (which could help you land interviews faster.)
There are ample resources for those who want to beef up their industry knowledge, both online and off. Locally, you can turn towards your community college for certificates, or look at sites like Lynda.com or Coursera for quit classes.
Tell Us What You Think
If you’ve ever been unemployed, how have you stayed motivated? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.