Being unemployed isn’t fun. I know. I’ve been there and as I’m writing this, I’m there now.
It’s going to suck, especially if you didn’t choose to be unemployed due to a lay off or firing. That can really do a number on your mental health.
You’re likely feeling alone, scared, and probably stressed about how you’re going to pay for your life now.
I previously wrote about What to Do if You Find Yourself Unemployed, which goes into detail about what to do immediately after your find yourself in this situation. This post is going to explore what to do with your time while you’re searching for your next job.
What to Do While You’re Unemployed
So you’ve found yourself unemployed for one reason or another. This is going to be a tough time for you. I know it was tough back in 2013 when I was first unemployed and it’s definitely hard now, especially with everyone having to stay inside due to this stupid virus.
What do you do while you’re unemployed can really make or break you, but don’t think that you have to be productive and learning every single day. There are a few things you should keep in mind when you’re at this vulnerable stage in your life. You should obviously be trying to find jobs and spruce up your resume and cover letters, but you need to focus on your mind, your body, and your soul.
This should be your main focus while you’re unemployed. It’s the only way you’re going to get yourself out of this situation. You need to job search and network your heart out.
Personally, I prefer Indeed.com and LinkedIn for finding jobs near you. You can also use LinkedIn for networking. I know I might be biased in that I used to work for a recruiting company, but if you’re having trouble finding jobs that fit you, try reaching out to a recruiter and see if they can help you. There are tons of recruiting firms out there that specialize in various job types.
I would suggest you apply to any and all jobs you fit or kind of fit. A lot of the times job descriptions are for that golden candidate that won’t exist. You’re not going to fill every check box that the client wants. If you fit about half of what they’re looking for it’s worth a try in applying.
I especially recommend this if you are a women. For some reason men are more risky in which jobs they apply to and tend to apply to jobs they only sort of fit. This definitely plays a part in salary and other work perks. If you’re not applying there’s no way you’ll get that job.
Resume and Cover Letter
While both Indeed and LinkedIn offer “Easy Apply” or similar features where all you need to do is apply though the resume you have on file, there might be some jobs you come across that you have to apply on an outside website or on the company website itself.
This is where your resume and cover letter come it.
Your resume should be tailored to the jobs you apply for. If you’re applying to the same kinds of jobs, then theoretically your resume would be optimized for each job you apply to, but if you feel that isn’t the case, you can always edit your resume and upload a new one with each job you apply for.
I know that sounds exhausting, but it’s the only way you’re going to be 100% sure that you’ve submitted yourself in the best light for the job.
Take keywords from the job description and enter them into your resume. I mean this in a organic way, not just taking keywords and putting them at the bottom of the resume. Most of the time people are searching for these keywords are looking to see if they appear within the resume and not just at the bottom.
This also goes for your cover letter.
Personally, I hate cover letters. I feel they’re like just a mini interview on paper. But some places still ask for one. Unfortunately, I can’t give you much advice on that other than to try not to use first person that much, it’s apparently frowned upon.
Take Care of Your Mind
Now that you’ve gotten the technical aspects out of the way, you’re going to have to take care of yourself during this time. The first thing you should be taking care of is your mind.
This can mean taking courses online, finding new ways of learning, brushing up on some skills you have that are a bit rusty, or even just reading more than you did before.
If you let your mind go, it’s going to be hard to break out of that state once you have a job. Not to mention, it will keep your mind active. I know for me that not having anything to do is the biggest downfall for me right now.
I have no creative juices flowing, no real projects to do, and my mind is static. I’m just sleeping all day and occasionally watching videos online because I have no motivation or any real drive to do anything.
However, I had a little bit of inspiration to write this post and I honestly feel so much better, even if it’s just one post.
This is going to feed into the side of you that wants to be productive. There’s going to be this desire to be productive while you’re unemployed because you went from having things to do every day to nothing at all. So you’re going to want to keep that momentum going. By finding ways to teach yourself, to learn more, to read, you’re going to keep your mind active
Not to mention that if you take a few free courses during this time you can put them on your resume and you never know what might be the catalyst that causes the hiring manager to give you a call!
Take Care of Your Body
As someone who’s been surviving on snacks and junk food for the past week, I can tell you that taking care of your body is hugely important for keeping yourself sane during this unemployment break.
That means making sure you’re eating right, not snacking all the time (like me), and moving around a little bit so you’re not just in bed all the time.
I know how easy it is to just give in to the depression and just stay in bed all day. Believe me, I spent at least a week doing that and will probably do more of that between now and when I find a new job.
But you can’t let that be you.
Not only will this make your physical health decline, it will also effect your mental health as well.
Walks are a fantastic way to get yourself outside, moving, and get your brain moving again. A small walk once or twice a day is not that hard to add to your routine and it can help you in so many ways.
Take Care of Your Soul
What I mean by this is keeping your mental health and how you’re feeling in check. This is going to be hard because you’re going to be upset at your recent job loss, and depending on how long you take to heal, can still be feeling the effects of things days to weeks later.
But you can’t let yourself give in to the depression that comes with this situation.
Keeping your soul happy is doing things that you like to do.
This could be knitting, coloring, playing video games, talking with friends, or anything else. Whatever it is that makes you happy, do it!
This is where my mind and soul collide. I love blogging, but I’ve been having some mental blocks with writing lately. I haven’t been able to think about anything other than losing my job, the stress of not knowing when I’ll get unemployment, and having my rent due soon. I’ve let those things overrun my life and that hasn’t been doing me any good.
It even got to a point where I had no desire to do the things I loved to do, which for me is video games. I was bored of them and I don’t want to buy something new right now due to financial issues.
The other night I decided to start an email marketing course (a newsletter is something I’m planning on doing soon!) and it motivated me this morning to get my butt in gear and start writing before I lost the drive to. And now I’ve got a post that’s pretty damn packed!
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