Being unemployed can be one of the worst or best situations ever, depends on how you look at it and how you spend your time while you’re going through it. I have been unemployed for 2 months since I got laid off from my post at an advertising agency. One of the most common questions I got from friends is, “how are you spending your time?” and here’s my post on how I cope with unemployment.
1. Start doing what you’ve always wanted to do and do it consistently.
For me this is blogging. I’ve always loved to blog but when I was working I kept getting distracted from blogging. Now that I have all the time, I make it a point to blog consistently as you can see from my “How To Survive Mid 20s Crisis” posts.
2. Read a lot of books, listen to sermons. Feed your mind.
Never let your mind go idle because it’s easy to be beaten when you have too much time to be unproductive. Always equip yourself with the necessary mind-food. It can be by reading newspaper or staying updated with the latest technology news, but be careful not too spend too much time on the internet. Internet can be a form of distraction. If you find yourself feeling bored or low when you’re not online, it might be a signal to spend more time on the real world.
3. Be discipline. Do things that you dread to do.
Laziness is an enemy. Sure, it’s nice to take a break, but give yourself a time frame and once it’s time to get back to doing the dull stuff, be sure to do it. Be discipline to do things that you dread to do now but you know it’ll be good for you in the long run. It could be sending hundreds of resumes daily or waking up early everyday, practice self-control and do them. Remember discipline is delayed gratification and that you’ll receive the pay off when you stick to it.
4. Show up at every opportunity.
I’m currently reading Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project and one of her resolutions is to simply show up. This is the best chance for you to show up at your friends’ events, connect with your family, and give your parents who is living faraway a visit. Or if you received a call for an interview at a company you’ve never heard of, just show up (after making sure it’s a credible company and not someone trying to set you up). You’ll never know what opportunity it will bring by showing up.
5. Take control of your finances.
One of the things I’ve learnt from this experience is to save for rainy days. Previously, I wasn’t very good at saving, as a result now I’m seeing how my bank account is fast depleting. Manage your finances at this time, do not overspend. It’s fine to indulge a little on something you like (gotta keep living!) but don’t spend on something that you don’t need or you can’t afford. Think before making a purchase. Buying that overpriced heels for an interview is not a good excuse.
6. Do more of what makes you happy. Real happy, not a cheap thrill.
Unemployment sucks but don’t let it gets you down. If running makes you happy then put on your sneakers and run. If helping people makes you happy, then volunteer for a cause. If you can’t think of what makes you happy, then think back what made you happy as a kid. I used to be so happy playing with my soft toys and narrating their stories, I don’t do so anymore because I’m happier to blog now.
That’s about how I cope with my unemployment. It’s not easy having people asking what I’m doing all the time and not having a precise answer to it but I realized being unemployed is a blessing in disguise because it saves me from purposeless life. This is like being given a second chance to think about my direction, see where my mistakes were and grow from there. If you’re a fellow unemployed, I may not know how your situation is, but stay hopeful and believe there’ll be light at the end of this tunnel!