Struggling to find steady employment or even to land a temporary gig? You’re definitely not the only one. When it comes to unemployment, getting hired isn’t the only hard part. It’s the whirlwind of emotions, uncertainty, and angst that comes with the unprecedented freedom and of course, the financial strain. But even though you don’t have control over your current employment status, you do have control over how you deal with being unemployed.
In essence, there are two options. You could either let a temporary situation get the best of you and throw you into a funk, OR you can get back into the driver’s seat to take full control over your life. Try to think of it this way… the word “unemployed” doesn’t necessarily just have to mean that you don’t have a job – that you’re lacking something. Instead, it could mean that you’re not tied down to a job at the moment but you’re actively seeking opportunities, and as an added bonus, you have an abundance of time to focus on developing yourself!
It’s called “funemployment” for a reason! Frankly, you’re at an advantage. You have all this time that the employed can only dream about. And time is valuable. When you’re not sending out job applications, use all the extra time that you have to accomplish all the things that everyone else doesn’t have time for!
Not exactly sure how to make the most out of being “funemployed?” Here are four steps to guide you through it!
1. Be Positive
Dealing with unemployment isn’t easy, but you should never let it define you. Regardless of whether or not you’ve got a job, your employment status really has nothing to do with your self-worth or your capabilities. Whatever your situation, try your absolute best to stay positive. When it comes down to it, it’s really your resilience and your ability to stay positive in the face of adversity that matters.
Ask yourself, are you truly doing everything that’s within your power to find a job? If the answer is yes, then give yourself some credit, acknowledge that you’re doing your best, and cut yourself some slack. Create a habit out of thinking positively because it will improve your quality of life immensely.
2. Establish a Healthy Routine
Having to go to school or work is usually what adds structure to our lives. In lack of these obligations, you’re free to do whatever you want to do with all of your time. As awesome as it sounds, it’s important to push yourself to establish some sort of routine. Because it’s easy to throw yourself into a vicious cycle of being unproductive and then feeling guilty about it.
So, the best thing to do is to figure out which habits you’d like to incorporate into your lifestyle and to create a routine out of it. Good habits, such as getting up earlier and waking up at the same time each day, making breakfast for yourself, or even getting an early workout session in, will keep you motivated!
3. Make a List of Goals
Giving yourself long-term and short-term goals are necessary in order to thrive in both your professional and personal life. Ultimately, having goals gives you a sense of direction which ensures that you’re moving forward. Regardless of your pace, there’s progress happening!
Being unemployed causes a great deal of stress for many people. Mainly because it comes with uncertainty of what’s in store for the future. And the unknown is always scary. Setting goals for yourself is a great way to gain control over your situation. It gives you the chance to harness your energy into actualizing whatever’s on your list of goals. The goals you set for yourself can be simple, from a fitness goal to reading one book per week.
That said, it’s actually more effective to take a more focused approach to your job search. It’s not about how many potential employers you’re reaching out to, or how many job applications you’re sending out by the hour. It’s about the quality of your application. Set aside a couple hours per day and devote that time – and that time only, to your job search.
Take the time to do your research and to put together a well thought out application only for the jobs that are a good match. This approach will improve your chances of being a top applicant, it’s less taxing on your soul, and you have the rest of your day to focus on achieving the goals on your list!
4. Meet More People
Expanding your social circle gets tough when you’re spending the majority of your time at work. As adults, a lot of the people you meet will probably be somehow work-related. When you’re unemployed, you do miss out on the opportunity to network with people in the workplace. However, it also means that you have more time than ever to meet new people, everywhere!
When you’re unemployed, the very last thing you should do is isolating yourself to spend all your time with your job applications. Making an effort to attend events, join clubs, or volunteer will expose you to all sorts of people and new ideas. It’s a win-win situation. Because you definitely will meet new people, but there’s an added bonus in potentially forging a few great friendships or making a connection that could help you with your job search!
The main takeaway? Aside from financial strain, being unemployed doesn’t have to be an entirely negative experience. By changing your outlook, you can make the most out of being unemployed by allowing yourself to see the abundance of opportunity within your circumstance and taking advantage of it!