I know it's strange to not have the responsibility of a job to get up and go to in the morning, but this is also a great time to get back to some of the things in your life that matter most. At the top of the list is YOU!
My advice for the unemployed:
- Sleep in for a change! Let your body catch up on all that sleep you've been missing out on. Your stress levels will go down, and you'll just FEEL better. So sleep in, guilt free!
- Keep a routine. It helps to have a set schedule. You had one at work, and you should do your best to maintain one even though you aren't workin' for the man right now. Having a schedule will help you stay organized and focused. For me, my schedule included house chores, taking on a project a day that I never had time for (cleaning out the closet, getting rid of all those shoes that I don't wear anymore, organizing the garage or storage room, etc...) You'll feel better and have a sense of accomplishment.
- Do things that make you happy! Take the time to go for a walk, cook your favorite meal, watch your favorite movie, read that book that you've been meaning to read. Do things that you never had time to do before. And ENJOY doing them :).
- Make it a goal to apply for at least 5 jobs a day. As long as you're doing something proactive to find new employment, you'll feel better about your situation. And through networking and staying up to date on the opportunities that are out there, you're more likely to find a job quicker.
- If you've been thinking of going back to school, do it! I did :) It was a way for me to take advantage of the new time I had on my hands, as well as improve and gain new skills that I could bring my future employer and job.
- Vent! Be sure to spend time with friends and family. They are going to be your biggest support system through this whole ordeal. You'll go stir crazy if you stay in the house all day thinking about your situation. Use this time to contact friends and family and express your feelings. Keeping everything bottled up isn't healthy. Use this time to catch up on life, and be sure these people know to keep their eyes and ears open for any opportunities that could change your current status.
- Exercise. I know, I know, I'm one to talk. But honestly, being unemployed can be a very stressful time and one healhty way to battle stress is exercise. Keeping your body healthy at a time like this will help keep your mind and outlook healthy and positive. Take care of yourself! Besides, you want to look your best when you land that interview.
- Say yes to every interview opportunity that comes your way. I can't tell you how many times I went to an interview I wasn't at all excited about, and once I was face to face with my potential employer and had the opportunity to talk about my skills and experiences, new opportunities presented themselves. Many times the person interviewing me would say "Wow, you're over qualified for this position, but I have something else that you'd be perfect for! Let me talk to so and so and set up an appointment." You never know where that big break is hiding so always be open.
- Take time to improve your resume. Make sure everything is up to date, spelled correctly, and truly expresses your skill sets and talents. That perfect resume is what is going to get your foot in the door of a perfect job.
- NETWORK! Tell everyone and anyone you know that you're looking for employment. Market yourself! Sign up for those online job newsletters, announce it on your blog, myspace, and facebook pages, and send out an email to all your contacts letting them know you're looking. Be open to jobs that are out of state also. The opportunity you've been looking for might require a move, but that just might be the best decision you've ever made, so don't limit your job search. Tell your friends and family living in and out of state you're looking and open to new possibilities. The more people who know you're looking for a job, the better your chances are of finding one.
I'm no job/unemployment expert, but I have had an abundant amount of time spent without a job. Graduating after 9/11 left me with a degree but no work for 6 months. And then the downturn of the economy dropped me on my rear more than once. I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that it's not your fault. Getting laid off is totally different than being fired. YOU weren't the problem... the company was. So don't get down on yourself because your attitude will shine through. Stay positive and believe in yourself. You will find something. I did... more than once :)
Good luck to all my close friends at Stampin' Up!. I know you are all a very talented group of people, and something perfect is waiting for you! Go find it :)
And good luck to everyone else out there looking for a job as well. For what it's worth, I hope my past experience being unemployed, and these tips help you find that job you're looking for.