Being productive during unemployment is crucial. Spend time networking, join a support group, use social media, check how many people have viewed your profile on LinkedIn, and tell people you’re looking for a new opportunities. Your current work is to find a job. Family members, friends, previous coworkers are great resources. Ask your network for help. Give them a copy of your resume. An updated copy of course! Get help with this if necessary. Make sure your resume stands out. Also, during this time, make sure you take time to care for yourself. Exercise and eat healthy. Avoid too much alcohol, smoking, substance abuse and overeating. Choosing to do certain things (rather than being required to do them) will help combat feelings of powerlessness due to unemployment.
Stay Motivated & Positive. I know it’s easier said than done. But try to maintain a positive attitude. It’s normal for us to feel down while out of work. But staying positive is key! Motivate yourself with positive quotes, thoughts and actions. I like to read and listen to inspirational materials myself. Try hanging out with positive people. Every day be deliberate about focusing on the positives in your life. Research has shown doing this can actually change your brain’s physiology and help you be more positive. Be aware of your emotions. But DON’T let your emotions control you! It’s okay to feel shame or upset. Feel your emotions and let them out and then move on. Don’t play the blame game and don’t carry resentment into your new place of employment. Try to laugh. In fact, laugh often! Watch and listen to comedy. They say “laughter is the best medicine.”
Volunteer. Working for nothing when you’re accustomed to getting paid may seem backwards, but volunteering has benefits you can’t quantify. Apart from the good feeling you get by helping an organization that you believe in, it’s also a chance to network, keep your skills active, and build a reputation that can lead to your next job. Volunteering makes you more marketable as you can put the name of the company down as place of work; and, naturally gives you an edge over other job applicants. Look at this way: If you were the employer and you were considering 2 applicants, one who does volunteer work and the other who has just remained unemployed and has done nothing, who would you be more inclined to hire?
Have a financial plan. Create a budget and stick to it! Apply for Benefits if eligible. Look into collecting unemployment or any unused vacation days. Concentrate on paying your essential expenses and save anything left over. Cut back if you can. Get rid of any extras. You don’t need all of those TV channels and you’ll probably be okay without On-Star for a few months. Cut subscriptions and DON’T use credit cards unless you have a REAL emergency. Optimism comes much easier when you know it’s grounded in reality.
Simplify Your Life. Spend time getting rid of clutter. Clean and organize your home office or finally tackle that cluttered garage. Let go of the old so the new can flow in!
Take stock & Add Value. You don’t lose your valuable skill sets when you lose your job! You’ll be surprised at how much you’ve accomplished, in terms of acquiring new skills, building a portfolio or boosting your company’s bottom line. Now is also a great time to take that class you wish you had. Learning a foreign language or taking an introductory coding class will give you an edge on your competition and boost your spirits. It will also give you something new to include as you update your resume.
Being unemployed is not an unusual situation and finding a job while unemployed is NOT “mission impossible.” You are not your job, as much as we tend to try and define ourselves that way. You are also not the car you drive, the clothes you wear, or the degree you have. Millions of people find jobs every month and a large portion of those millions of people are those with new jobs. Just know this too shall pass.
Meet our Author!
By Anthony Anderson | Anthony Anderson is a Rochester native. He studied Political Science at Bethune-Cookman College and Alabama State University. Passionate about people, policy and leadership, Anthony has a diverse background in recruiting, business operations, and public relations. Anthony has established an extensive network of business contacts over the years and is recognized as a trusted partner in the field of staffing and recruitment. Anthony is a member of SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) and has sourced and recruited top talent for companies such as Xerox, Disney, JP Morgan Chase, and the State of New York. In his free time, Anthony loves to run cross-country, golf, and watch Alabama football. Anthony is a Senior Sourcing Specialist directly supporting Sutherland’s Healthcare and Mortgage lines.