If you are like me, in her 30’s and has had her fair share of being in and out of the workforce, you would know that being unemployed – aside from not earning the money that will pay your bills, is not that bad at all. That is, if you use this fleeting space in your life wisely.
Think of it as your own personal space. When else are you able to accomplish things without a deadline, or where nobody is evaluating your performance or expecting that you do a task a certain time? In this time of job uncertainty, make the most of your time out of the workforce. Now is your time to make yourself a better you.
Find out what you really want.
Why did you leave your last job? Was it what you really wanted to do and what you were passionate about? Use this blank space in your career to evaluate yourself – passions, opportunities, strengths, and weaknesses. Now is your time to reflect. Use what you find out about yourself in choosing your next job opportunities.
Slack, but do work.
Yes, this is the right time to slack off. No need to be at work by 8:00 am. No boss to please and no more fitting in runs to the vet for your pet’s appointment in between meetings. Awesome. But this probably isn’t what you want your life to be like forever. What you should do is get up from bed and scan the job market. Research about the company that you have always wanted to work for. Send out resumes.
Do something you have always wanted to do.
Dye your hair purple. Take on that hike that you never got to do because your back was always aching (thanks to your office chair). This is the perfect time to make the story of your life more colorful.
Learn something new.
Attend a writing class. Get a canvas and start painting. Register for free online Excel classes. Learn to cook new dishes. Find a hobby that you can enjoy now, and that you can continue doing when you find your next job. All of these will contribute to an improved you.
Spend time with loved ones.
Go visit grandma and grandpa on their farm. Call your sister and ask if you can babysit her kids while she is out. Go to your parents’ house and watch a movie. Or ask them to come over. This jobless period in your life is fleeting, and so is life. So spend time with people closest to your heart.
Start being healthy.
Go use that rusting bike in the garage and make it a habit to bike at least three times a week. Or start using the old treadmill in the attic and start walking or jogging around your neighborhood. Then keep on the habit.
Be where you always wanted to be.
Go visit another town. Or state that you have always been fascinated about. This doesn’t only make you a well-travelled person but exposes you to a different environment where your next opportunity might be waiting.
Meet new people.
Remember those weekends when you were stuck running errands that you couldn’t do on weekends? They are gone for now. Use your new weekends to make time to have conversations with people that you cross paths with. Make a connection. Whether it is your next-door-neighbor that is mowing their lawn and you’ve never spoken to before, or a person in the grocery aisle looking at the same product as you.
Prepare yourself for a new you. Inhale. Brace yourself for a new you. Your next job could be standing really close to you. Be a better person for it. Savor the time where you don’t have to report to anyone but yourself. Let this time in your life turn you into a stronger and deeper person, and not the other way around. Chances like these don’t come around a lot, and when they do, make sure that you come out of it the most brilliant, well-rounded person than you have ever been before.