5 Things to Do While You’re Unemployed

You’ve been looking for a job, but the offers aren’t coming in yet. You spend your days writing cover letters, tailoring your resume and following up on Simply Hired job alerts. What else can you do? Here are five more things to do during periods of unemployment. 

1. Explore New Opportunities


Don’t just search for the same job you did before. Many types of jobs might be a good fit for your transferable skills. Instead of searching for specific job titles, try doing a search on Simply Hired for the skills that you used in your last job. For example, running a search for the skills “detail-oriented, punctual” shows that someone with these skills has some of the qualifications to be a nanny, data entry clerk, sales associate, or project manager. 

2. Resist Isolation


Photo Courtesy of Hendrik Dacquin

Searching for a job can be a lonely process. Friends, family and former co-workers can help during this time by providing feedback, encouragement, referrals and much-needed breaks. Take the first step by scheduling lunch dates and coffee breaks with your contacts. You can economize and enjoy the summer weather by brown-bagging your lunch and eating in nearby parks or picnic areas.

3. Keep an Eye on Your Finances


Photo Courtesy of Alan Cleaver

When you don’t know when your next paycheck will come—and you haven’t received one in awhile—it’s important to save money. At the same time, you don’t want to be frugal at the expense of your health or emotional well-being. Enlist your friends to help you economize while maintaining your social life by planning “nights in” activities. Movie nights, game nights, potluck dinners, hiking, and camping are all reasonably inexpensive activities that will keep you social. 

4. Keep Your Skills Fresh


Photo Courtesy of Zach Stern

Some recruiters worry that people who have been unemployed for more than six months won’t have up-to-date skills necessary to do the job. Don’t give recruiters a reason to use this excuse. Keep your job skills current by looking for volunteer opportunities in your field. You also can look for contract or freelance assignments or work on relevant personal projects.

5. Be Productive


Photo Courtesy of Kirsty Mac

Humans are designed to work. You’ll feel better about your situation if you accomplish something during your time off. Make it your goal to finally clean out your basement, fix something around the house, learn something new, build something, teach your sibling, child, niece or nephew how to do something, travel, stop a bad habit, start a side business or take up a hobby.

While you’re exploring new opportunities, staying social, living frugally, keeping your skills sharp and remaining productive, you should also keep up your networking. Check out our article on Non-Obnoxious Ways to Keep Your Job Search on Your Network’s Radar.