You’re Unemployed. Now What?

You’ve resigned, or perhaps been fired, and you’re sitting there in bed thinking “What the bleep am I meant to do now?”

Don’t. Stay. In. Bed.

It’s tough to go from a 9-5 job to nothing at all, and if you don’t have a backup job, the next few weeks are going to be a bit daunting. Because what does the person who usually does everything do when they have nothing to do? There’s two ways this situation can go down: either you wake up at midday every day and laze about, depressed and cursing the world for putting you in this position, or you get off your butt and do something about it (all while making sure your butt stays the same size during this difficult time).

> Set a schedule: I set my alarm for 9:30am every day (it’s been just over a week for me without a job, so not too long yet). Yes, 9:30am is a lot later than my usual 7:30am wakeup, but I’m still getting over jetlag. Soon, it’ll be a 7:30am alarm for me! So, set an alarm, don’t hit the snooze button, and make sure you stay in the same sort of schedule you would usually be in. This means it won’t be such a rude surprise once you get a job and have to wake up early again. Plus, lying in bed sleeping until midday every day can lead to you being in a bit of a slump, so it’s good to get up at the same sort of time you would usually get up at for work!

> Eat breakfast: “But sleeeeeeep!” you may say, but too bad. Get up, and eat your goddamn breakfast. Gosh, you’re so lazy! Again, it’s good to stick to what you would usually do if you were working to get yourself in the right frame of mind for the day. Make sure it’s a really big breakfast, though, as you do have just a bit of time to possibly make eggs and toast instead of scoffing down a muesli bar and yoghurt before you head out the door!

> Exercise: “But sleeeeep!!” you may moan, but (again) too bad. You have so much time, and therefore no excuse not to exercise (unless you have a legitimate reason…”but sleep” is not a legitimate reason). Join a gym, go for a run, go for a walk, go to a class. Anything to keep moving and getting some endorphins (endolphins) going.

> Make a list: Wanted to learn a language? Perhaps check out an area of your city you’ve never seen before? Again, no excuses anymore! Write a list of things you hope to achieve and cross them off as you do them. A good idea is to join a Meetup group in your city, because you can go and listen to influential speakers, network, or learn something new. Keep your brain as active as your body. You’ll kinda sorta maybe need it for when you get back to work.

> Look for a job: Obviously. Send emails to companies asking if they are hiring, search any and every job board you know of, update your resume or cover letter, and figure out what your skills are. Don’t. Give. Up.

> Be picky: Don’t just apply for a job just for the sake of applying for a job. Go for it because you’re passionate about it. If you get offered an interview or a job you’re not interested in, it’ll be a waste of time for you and for them. Spend some time thinking about what you really want to do. Don’t just go for it because it’s there.

> Be nice to yourself: Don’t beat yourself up if it takes longer to find a job than you thought it would. Companies hire at different times, and it’s not fair to blame yourself if you don’t find a job within two seconds of you looking for one. You’re better than that.

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