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20 Ways To Use Your Time If You’re Waiting For Your Next Job

20 Ways To Use Your Time If You’re Waiting For Your Next Job

I know it can be tough to live without a job. I recently moved to a new city and went through the dreaded “job search slash figuring out what to do with my free time slash not driving myself crazy not working or not attending school.”

While it may be tempting to wallow in self-pity and frustration (let’s face it, job hunting is not easy for anyone), there are some constructive things you can do with your time in between jobs. Getting busy will make the time pass more quickly, plus you might learn a few things about yourself in the process. Here’s our list of 20 ways to use your time if you’re waiting for your next job:

1. Volunteer.

Not only will you feel more productive and all around good for giving something to others, you never know what kinds of opportunities could come out of a volunteer experience. The organization you are working for might have a position open up, or the contacts you meet might be able to point you in the right direction.

2. Start a blog.

Chances are you have something to say, so why not share your thoughts with the world via the internet? I started a blog over three years ago and it was immensely helpful for getting my feelings out while I was unemployed. I was also comforted by the readers’ kind words on days when I was feeling lonely in a new city.

3. Make a bucket list.

Are you approaching any major birthdays? If so, you can always make a list of things you want to do before you are ‘X’ age. Planning on moving soon? List out things you want to do before you move to your new city or state! I am only planning on being in my new city a couple of years, so I am working on a list of things to do while I live here. Once you have your list, share it with family and friends and start checking items off!

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4. Begin a new exercise program.

Get some endorphins going to fight depression and boost energy in your time of unemployment.

5. Sign up for a race.

Nothing gets me motivated (or fills up more time in my life) than training for a race. This will help give you purpose and boost your confidence once you cross that finish line.

6. Spend time with family and friends.

It is easy to get too busy and forget to spend time with the ones you love. Take this opportunity to reconnect with people and build up relationships.

7. Start couponing.

This is something I have always wanted to try but could not imagine taking the time sitting out with papers and scissors … but when you are low on money and high on time, this is something you might want to consider.

8. Cook from scratch.

Something that will save you money, but takes a bit more time, is cooking from scratch. Google some fun recipes and learn something new in the kitchen!

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9. Get outdoors.

Exercise, fresh air and vitamin D all help fight the depression that may be looming over your head in your state of unemployment.

10. Read a book.

Perhaps you have a book or two that you have been meaning to read but never had the time. Now you do!

11. Take a class.

Most classes are held during the day, a time when most people are typically at work. Since you do not have to worry about that, find a class that will inspire you.

12. Travel.

If you have some savings, consider traveling during your time of unemployment. Seeing new things, meeting new people and overall widening your horizons will benefit you no matter what stage of life you are in.

13. Make a list of your strengths and passions.

Maybe you are not quite sure what your next employment venture should be. Making a list can help you focus on what you are good at and what you enjoy doing. Somewhere in those lists you should be able to find an occupation that would suit you.

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14. Set up practice interviews.

This can help you gain confidence in the interviews for jobs you actually want.

15. Learn to play an instrument.

There are many music stores that offer lessons and even used instruments that you can buy for a good price.

16. Play a video game.

They are actually a whole lot more beneficial than you think!

17. Build something.

My boyfriend said this is the first thing he would do if he were unemployed and I believe him. It does not have to be a large structure — maybe a bookcase you have been meaning to buy can instead be built in your free time.

18. Pick up a hobby.

Whether it be learning to shoot pool or how to crochet, make sure to keep your mind engaged during this period of unemployment.

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19. Relax.

Think of this time off in a positive light. You now have time to kick back and relax!

20. Lastly, do not give up your job search.

Set a goal of the number of jobs and/or interviews you want to do each week and try to stick to it. It is great and refreshing to take some time off from the working world; however, you should also remember the likely need of a job in your near future!

Try to be positive and productive in your time of unemployment. Use this period in your life to learn new things, think about your life and to build relationships. Something good will come of this time in between jobs!

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Amanda DeWitt

Writer. Photographer. Instagrammer. Future Educator.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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