Unemployment can be one of the most challenging life experiences anyone can go through. It may come as a surprise or maybe the situation has built up over time; but still, no one can exactly prepare for such an ordeal. People who find themselves in-between jobs cannot avoid that feeling of uncertainty – and that in itself is quite hard to cope with. In all honesty though, every day becomes a constant struggle to avoid falling into a state of hopelessness and depression.
There are, however, some things that can be done to keep a positive outlook while seeking future employment. And if ever you find yourself in this situation, here are seven ways that you can stay positive while hunting for your next job.
1. Set employment goals
There is a saying that a plan without a deadline is just a wish. And when you’re looking for work, you might want to set viable goals for yourself. For example, you can send your resume to three companies in the morning and make four calls in the afternoon. You can also add expanding your professional network by meeting one new person every week. Of, course, these goals have to be reasonable too. So, take your situation into great consideration and be realistic in your goal-setting.
2. Maintain a schedule
One of the biggest temptations during unemployment is to remove the structures that were once there during your work-life. When you’re unemployed, it’s hard to maintain a certain schedule. There is always that great temptation to play video games or watch television all night and sleep until noon – some of the things you weren’t able to do when you were working. Maintaining a schedule involves a lot of discipline and commitment, but the effort will definitely pay off once you reintegrate with the workforce.
3. Take this time-off to learn
Remember that time you swore to become a lifelong learner and learn new skills? There’s no other time to level-up your skills than now. Take free online courses. Watch instructional videos. Learn how to code. Enroll in free classes at your local career center. You have at least eight hours of free time daily to do whatever you want. Now, wouldn’t it be nice if you dedicate some of this time for self-improvement?
4. Improve your health
A common result of unemployment is weight gain and an unhealthy lifestyle. These, however, are all up to you. While a gym membership might be too much of a luxury at this point, always remember that it’s free to stay healthy and exercise. Take a walk for an hour. Jog for a few minutes. Do some push-ups.
5. Put up a side business
Unemployment is also a good time to find other sources of income. Who knows? Maybe these sideline businesses can become your full-time career. You can do freelance work online. You can rent out your seldom-used tools. You can even rentout your unused driveway as a parking spot on online community sharing sites!
6. Do volunteer work
Want to gain a different perspective? Do volunteer work. You get to get a better grasp of your own predicament by understanding how others are doing in their struggles too. Aside from learning experience, doing volunteer work also opens up your mind to see the world from other people’s perspectives. You might also get to find a cause that you are passionate about and dedicate yourself to.
7. Be realistic
Things may not look that bright as of the moment. Your income may have decreased or disappeared entirely. The future might look uncertain for you. However, don’t fret. Everything’s not over yet. You are not defined by your employment status. You just need to be more realistic about the timeframe for getting your next job. And just like in most things that are worth it, it does take some time. Just keep your head low and keep trying.
You can avoid the usual pitfalls that come with unemployment by following these seven tips. Just always remember to never be idle and use your time to work on yourself. And if things get too rough – which sometimes do happen – don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and family. And if you feel like you’re falling into serious mental issues like depression and addiction, there is no shame in seeking professional help. Unemployment can be such a challenging ordeal, but you don’t have to go through it alone.
Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, an online resource with information about businesses in the UK. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living.