Everyone needs hints and tips on how to survive unemployment. Even the most confident among us at some point might find themselves online searching topics like this one. No matter the reason for leaving the job, the outcome (most of the time) is unemployment, which only rarely is fun. My unemployment was a personal choice. I knew it would be challenging and that it would take time to figure out next steps, open eyes and mind to new opportunities, and find another job. I have to admit that even though I knew what I was doing, it turned out to be harder than I had expected and I had to bring an A game to survive my unemployment period.
Put together a puzzle.
I did not think this activity in any way could help me survive unemployment, yet it did. Because I suddenly had an infinite amount of free time, I found a puzzle in the basement of my parents’ house, where I happened to be sniffing around for old goodies. I got so involved in putting together the puzzle that I started to look at it as bits and pieces of my life that needed to be glued together. I sat down and put together a small part, then got up and sent out CV’s. I sat down again to put a piece into the puzzle, got up to read some business articles, checked email, then went for an interview. The pattern was always the same: time for puzzle, time for productive activities. There was a thought in my mind- that by the time I was done with the puzzle I would have a plan for the near future, and I did.
Think (but not too much).
Think of an ideal scenario in which you are working in your dream company doing a dream job. Seems impossible? Not a problem, just move from there, what is the second best option? Third? Even if at the moment it seems there’s not even a small chance you could end up having an ideal job, you have to keep in mind that there are always baby steps towards your goal. Plus there are things you can do to raise your chances in the job market: read useful material, talk to experienced people, attend seminars and workshops.
Bother friends (but not too much).
If you have friends like the ones I have, consider yourself blessed. These intelligent, successful, positive people are there for me during both bright and dark times. They are all so different yet each one is my role model in one way or another. Our life paths took us in different directions, yet that is what binds us so strongly. We share our experiences and learn from each other. I knew they could listen to me for hours day or night. However, after a certain point I chose to reduce my talking level and focus on actions to do on my own.
Get to organizing and reorganizing.
For me this was a fun part of unemployment. I reorganized my closet, I threw away/sold/gave to charity clothes and shoes which I no longer needed. I got to reorganize my books, re-read a few and keep in mind useful bits. I did a big favor reorganizing my parents’ basement. It worked out well for everyone. I found things I could use and my parents found things they’d “lost”. To be honest, organizing is my anti-depressant. Decisions are made in the process of cleaning, organizing, and even shoveling snow. When I start any of these activities, all unnecessary thoughts go away because I focus on actions, my mind becomes raw, and decisions are made.