How to Stay Sane During Unemployment

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If you’ve experienced a job loss, you might have been excited at first to have some time off from the daily grind. But, when the newness wears off, you realize that the effort of finding a new job takes some time. Finding your dream job, or even just your next job, can take more time than you bargained for. And while many well-meaning people will say that “finding a job is a full-time job”, there are only so many new jobs posted every day. There are only so many job applications you can submit each day. Only so many prospective leads you can chase in a week. The more experience you have in your field, the more selective you become with your search. You can’t just sit and stare at your computer all day, waiting for an email from a recruiter. You can’t just wait all day for your cell phone to ring with a phone call from your favorite company. That kind of waiting can be monotonous and never-ending.

During times of unemployment, there are some strategies you can use to help you stay patient. While some of these won’t apply to you, hopefully you will find at least one thing that may work for your unemployment situation. In this economy, it isn’t uncommon for people to lose a job through no fault of their own. So, even if you are gainfully employed today, it isn’t a bad idea to have a back-up plan too.

Going through a job loss can be a blessing in disguise for some people, enabling them to take on things they never otherwise would have done. But many others grieve it as a loss of finances, identity, and the chance to socialize with work friends. Here are some things that might help you in your unemployment, regardless of your position.

Temping

Signing up through a temp service could help you be contacted for opportunities or interviews. Temp agencies are middlemen that are paid for their ability to recruit new people. The benefit of this is that some agencies will allow you to take tests for various skills and see how you place. You can pick up assignments, and if you don’t care for the work, you can end the assignment without burning bridges. Because you’re working for the agency, your payment is from the agency, not the company where you’re working. These agencies often offer short-term assignments to fill the needs left by employees out on vacation or medical leave, so if you only need a week or a month of work, that could be an opportunity. It can also allow you to try a different type of work to see if you like it. If you’ve always done office work and you’d like to try manual labor (or vice versa), you can. If you don’t like it, nothing lost.

Seasonal Jobs

With Christmas coming, some stores will hire help just for the holidays. In the spring, other companies will need help just for tax season. In the summer, still others will need help due to the outdoor nature of their services. Seasonal jobs can be a great way to make some extra money without making a long-term commitment. These gigs are understood to be short-term and for people that just want to make a few extra bucks. Seasonal jobs have not only given me extra money but fun times, great experiences, and even good references for the skills I’ve been able to demonstrate on the job. Your mileage may vary depending on the industry you’re working in and the gig you land.

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Volunteering

If you’re so short on money you can barely afford to put gas in your car, this one won’t apply to you, but if you have enough savings, you may want to consider volunteering during unemployment. Experiencing a job loss can shake up your sense of identity if you tie your worth to what you do. Volunteering can provide you with a positive answer if you’re feeling a major confusion or distress around the question of “What am I going to do this week?” You are more than what you did or do for a living. We all have to remind ourselves that our dignity and our worth do not come from our occupations (or lack thereof). But if you need a reason to get up and get dressed in the morning, think about volunteering for a cause that you think is important. It could give you a sense of purpose, importance, and accomplishment. And, when you land your next interview, it can also give you something interesting to say when you’re asked what you’ve been doing since your last job ended.

Start a Side Hustle

If you’re still waiting on someone to hire you, why not hire yourself? I love the TV show Flea Market Flip. Contestants shop flea markets and pick up items that might otherwise be mistaken for trash. They take their own inspiration, work on the items, and add some updates to these items, to flip the items for a profit. The improvement is often stunning. So, if you have the same kind of ingenuity, why not create your own opportunity for yourself? You may not be crafty or good with a hammer, but perhaps you can create your own opportunity to make money while you’re waiting on a 9-5 gig.

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Want to Love Your Work?

Do you want to love your work, or at least enjoy it a little more?

So much of our waking lives is spent at work, but for many people, work is downright drudgery. Still others wish that they could move into a field that would align better with their interests and skills. The idea of work that they could love is just that… an idea.

CEO Robert Dickie wants you to love your work and has some ideas on how you can pivot into a career change. His new book Love Your Work recognizes:

“the Great Recession “refugees” who worked hard, followed instructions, and did everything they were told to do…only to wake up one morning… Instead of being passionate about what you were doing, maybe you found yourself just getting by. You noticed the world changing around you…” (page 5)

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To be clear, there is no microwave method for career change success. This book is best meant for those who have some time to calculate their next move, rather than those who are jobless with no time to consider what they want to do next. Dickie acknowledges this, advising that those who need a job fast will need to create a short-term plan first rather than a long-term one.

But for those looking at the long haul, Love Your Work has a lot of ideas. Dickie gives suggestions on how to acquire additional skills or certifications without racking up an enormous amount of debt. He also wants you to be aware of the changes surrounding technology and believes that these are going to be very influential in the work world; even if you don’t work in technology, he believes changes in the tech world are changes you need to be aware of and he gives links to news sources for the industry.

Love Your Work is unique in that it shows a Christian angle in some ways. For example, Dickie uses examples of Bible characters to show the importance of integrity, and he explains how the fruits of the Spirit relate to having emotional intelligence.

FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting and Running a Business: Turn Your Ideas Into Money!

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Have you ever thought about starting your own business, creating your own product, or making money off your own idea?

Steve Mariotti has, and he’s taught high school students how to do the same. He’s written a book which has been recently updated, and it’s entitled The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting and Running a Business: Turn Your Ideas Into Money!

The title is somewhat deceiving. While it geared towards younger people starting a business – it features entrepreneurs that are all currently under the age of 30, and often addresses the reader as if he or she is college-age or younger – the material is much more dense. It’s thick enough to be a college textbook, packed with definitions, formulas, and even a sample business plan. While the first chapter of the book was tough to progress through – the material there is very dry and adults are likely to know the very basic terms contained there – this guide is very comprehensive.

I recommend this book to anyone who is thinking of starting their own business. The guidance, advice and practical suggestions could save an individual much money and time. The profiles of successful entrepreneurs could be inspiring. Overall, this is a read that is very much worth the time for those interested in business and entrepreneurship.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.