Finding yourself unemployed can be incredibly hard, and spending two years unemployed myself, I know what it's like to try to find something to do to pass the time while you're unemployed to make yourself feel productive. Being without a job can take away your self esteem, and also be a burden financially, of course. Coming out of college with tons of debt and insecurity during the beginning of my unemployment was excruciating, but I learned many things along the way. I thought it would be nice to share some helpful things to do to pass the time while you're unemployed, since I know many other people deal with this issue too. If you've ever been without a job, feel free to share your advice with me!
1 Look for a Job
Obviously, one of the best ways to pass the time while you're unemployed is the best one to start with. Look for a job, and look for one everywhere, not just on your computer. Get out and apply at physical places, and don't be afraid to apply at places you might not normally consider. I had to work several jobs I didn't really want to, or that were below the skills I had after college graduation, but who cares? At least I had an income! Temp jobs are also fine, so apply for those too. You can also get on Craigslist, LinkedIn, and several other online sites that allow you to post resumes, pictures and look for jobs in special areas. These are a great place to start, but don't be afraid to get out physically and look for one too!
Another fabulous tip I have for you is also a pretty common one, but still important to mention. Networking is so important! If you're not familiar with this, then let me fill you in. All networking involves is utilizing who you to know. Spread the word to everyone you know that you're in the market for a new job. Tell people at your church, on your sport's team, even the people who work at your local pharmacy, doctor's office, favorite restaurant, etc. Then, wherever it is you do want to work, try to meet someone at the company, however you can. If it is a retail spot, introduce yourself to someone there and visit a few times before asking if they have any openings. Also, be sure to offer to help out anytime someone needs holiday help, etc. Networking is all about who you know! This is one of the best ways for you to find a job when you have no other abilities to. Just make sure to keep good relationships with people and be respectful and thankful.
3 Find a Hobby
If you don't already have a hobby, get one! It won't only help you pass the time at home, but could end up being a career. I used my passion for writing as my hobby too, and started a blog. This led me to eventually disciplining myself to write more, which helped me build a resume for a future job as a freelance writer. It also put me on the web, which exposed me to more opportunities to write for a career. Let's say you're into art. Well how about taking an art class or going to some expos? You might not only find something amazing you enjoy to pass the time, but also put yourself in the perfect place to find a job! Take a craft class, cooking class, join a book club, whatever it is you like. Yoga glass, dance class, anything! Just find a hobby and make sure it's one you like because you might be doing more of it than you planned during unemployment!
4 Be More Social
Being social doesn't have to be expensive, but it is important. Being social puts you in crowds that not only lift your spirits, but could lead to your next job. Get out and don't wait for a job to come knocking at your door. Have coffee with friends, go to a bookstore and browse, meet people at the grocery store, volunteer somewhere, or help out at church or sports events. Whatever it takes, just get out!
5 Find Free Things to do
While we're talking about getting out of the house, remember there are still free things to do in today's money-driven world. Parks and trails are free, bookstores are free to browse in, many college plays are free, church events, some sports events and even community gatherings are free. Find clubs to be in or anything it takes to find free things to do. Even just walking downtown can be a great way to meet people and get yourself out, keep yourself busy, and maybe even help you find your next job.
6 Learn to Cook at Home
Eating out is not cheap, as I'm sure you know. The dollar menu is not your wallet or waistline's friend, so even if it is simple, learn to cook at home more. It won't only entertain you, but make you healthier, teach you a few things, and also help you learn to clip coupons and cook inexpensive meals.
7 Have Yard Sales
I hope if you're unemployed that you've already reworked your budget and scaled down your means of living for a short time. Start with clipping coupons or shopping at farmers markets, cutting expenses to a minimum, even if it is a little extreme, and get rid of any unnecessary bills like advanced cable or elite internet services. All these can be so helpful during times of a financial drain and unemployment drought, but don't forget about the classic yard sale too! Sell things you don't need, even if you feel like someday you'll get around to using them. Right now, you need money to pay your bills and live life, so scale back, cut corners, and have a few yard sales. You'd be surprised what some people will buy and just how much money you might make.
If you've ever been unemployed, you'll know that all these things alone won't make everything perfect, but they sure can help. What's your best tip to pass the time while you're unemployed?