Making the Most of Unemployment

So you’re unemployed? You’re not alone. There are millions of people without work, of which I am (was) one. We search, interview, track, follow up, follow back, get rejected, fill out forms, document search activities, become one of two finalists, get passed over, and so on. I get it. The market is ridiculous. The competition is fierce, but don’t lose hope. You will land on your feet again. You will find your right fit, but what are you doing when you’re not searching for a job like it’s your 9-5?

You’re unemployed. Maybe you’re even under-employed. I get it, and yes, you need a job, but have you cherished the moment – those quiet ones that whisper to your soul that all is well even though you may be without work. That whisper is there each time your throw your arms around your wife or husband, when you play the bear chasing your children on the living room floor, and it’s even in that cup of coffee at the café in conversation with a beloved friend you haven’t seen in ages. Why? Because you have moments of uncommon grace to buoy your heart during this treacherous job-search journey.

Have you gotten in more bear hugs and embraces, more intimate steal-aways with the one you love, more free time, more time with family and friends, more time to create, and dream, and just be? You have an unprecedented opportunity to be acutely present in your right-now life. Present … involved … aware … in the here-and-now. While living in the heavily pregnant pause, you can turn your current “disadvantage” to an advantage.

For in the waiting, you have been gifted “time.” How have you been using it? Yes you have the grind of the job search, and calling, and networking, and the and, and, and more ands. You can get so caught up in the ands, that you forget you have a life and people who matter –they’ve always mattered. If you don’t want to look back with regret on this time, then make the most of it. Invest in the people and things that matter most to you. It’ll be worth it! It doesn’t have to be forced or time consuming, just make the most of every chance.

Here’s what works for me, and some of it meant rearranging my time so that I could use it more effectively:

  1. Get a good night’s sleep. It matters. It makes a difference to feel rested and ready to take on the world when you get a good, restful sleep.
  2. Engage in your hobbies – yes, the ones you haven’t picked up on a long while. They’ll bring a smile to your face, and you’ll dig up old passions for your creative nature.
  3. Make room for serendipitous whimsy and fancy. Walk, run, relax, swim. Enjoy playtime with your children, nieces, nephews, and all those most dear to you. Your spirit will get lifted just from the giggles and joys alone.
  4. Get inspired. Stay inspired. Stroll your local art scene, museums, cafes, and other cultural hotspots. Maybe you’ll renew your passion for the arts. Write about it. Maybe even take up painting, sculpting, modeling – whatever intrigues you.
  5. Write a book – any book. You have a story within you that will resonate with another soul. No book? How about a blog? Write about what inspires you. Write about your career field or niche. Share you insight – it’s another way to get the edge in this wacky market. You just might find a common-bond community to spur you on.

This is not an exhaustive list of what I’ve done, but it’s what gets me through. Maybe you already have something that works for you. If so, that’s great! In all things, we need balance, and that includes the job search. You can’t live it 24/7; you’ll crash and burn fast. Learn to breathe deeper and see the good happening in your life now. We all have hidden treasures to bolster our faith and hope when life is topsy-turvy.

You’ll find your rhythm, and maybe in doing so you’ll find a wind of inspiration to propel you forward in making your soon-to-be-job a reality with skills, talents, and abilities you enjoy using!

4 thoughts on “Making the Most of Unemployment

  1. Finding a rhythm and trying new things is so very important. I really like your suggestions, Marvia! Are you unemployed again, or transitioning into the new job?

  2. Susan, I’m adjusting. I wrote this literally a week before I landed – how funny is that?!? I totally forgot to post it -oops. Life is full of transition and each bending curve reminds us who we really are and what we’re really made for.

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