There aren’t too many upsides to being out of a job, but there are ways to take advantage of your newly-found daily freedom to do whatever you choose. Of course, you’d rather be working and earning a living, but as long as you find yourself with plenty of time on your hands, there are ways to turn the downside situation into something you can flip to upside.
1. Don’t stop your job search. When you’re not on a daily work schedule, it’s too easy to fall into the couch potato routine. Spend at least part of every day out looking and/or on your computer checking out employment leads.
2. Get a part-time or temp job. It can keep some much-needed income happening, and ease your unemployment blues a bit. You’ll also be experiencing new job fields and types of work that can help when you get back on your career track.
3. Use some of that free time to reconnect with family and friends. Get together for lunch or a concert, but also use the contact to ask for help and suggestions in getting a job.
4. Keep up exercise and diet routines. Don’t allow yourself to sit around idly and fall into the habit of snacking and eating too much. It’s too easy to use your frustration about unemployment to eat more than you should, especially if you’re not getting enough daily exercise.
5. Sign up for education. If it seems your unemployment time will last for a month or more, go to your local college or trade school and use the time to become better qualified for your next job. Also check for job-related education you can get online and take helpful courses.
6. Be a volunteer. With more time on your hands, put those hands to work to help someone else. You may be hurting from being unemployed, but there are plenty of people out there who are much worse off than you are. Help out in a homeless shelter, volunteer at the local hospital or become a coach for a kids’ sports league.
7. If you’re married, use that down time to reconnect with your kids. Realize that those little ones won’t be that young again, and will soon grow up to pursue their own lives. Use those precious days and nights to help with homework, plan picnics and hikes, and attend more school events.
When it first happens to you, there won’t seem to be any upside to being unemployed. However, if you use that time constructively, you may find it will bring you some unexpected satisfaction and enjoyment.