6 ways to make the most of unemployment

Posted October 12

Don't look at unemployment as a setback, but an opportunity. (Deseret Photo)

Being unemployed can be terrifying as you cope without an obvious flow of cash coming in. But with the right approach, it can also be an opportunity to better yourself before you get back into the workforce.

Here are some tips on how to make the most of joblessness:

Reflect, but live in the now

Stay in the present and think about what you can do today to improve your employment lot, rather than focus on past mistakes or worries about the future, urges.

Find a rhythm that works for you

Finding a job is often a full-time job itself, so The Gospel Coalition advises structuring your day and week around that. But don’t neglect eating, exercise and spiritual needs, as well as opportunities to have fun.

Do something new

Do the things you would do if you didn’t have to work, such as acquiring a new hobby or spending time with your loved ones, recommends. And don’t feel guilty about it, as there’s only so much time you can devote to job-hunting.

Try for financial solubility

Don’t procrastinate on the budget changes you’ll need to make without money coming in, The Gospel Coalition advises. Avoid credit card and consumer debt.

And don’t just watch your savings dwindle, notes. Take up a part-time job, consult, freelance, sell homemade products. It will also help you feel in control of your situation.

The blog Moolanomy gives 40 suggestions for alternative income sources.

Build up your skill set and resume

Though you should cut back on spending, don’t be afraid to put some money toward making yourself more marketable through continuing education, says.

Take the time also to master the internet, building up a LinkedIn network, a personal website of skills and accomplishments or an online resume. But don’t while away the hours on social media unless it's for networking in your job search. If you’re spending more than an hour a day on social media for personal reasons, it’s too much.

Consider even starting a professional blog, as a way of getting people to see you as an expert in the field, while showcasing your passion for your work and career, Jacquelyn Smith writes for Forbes.

Go outside, meet people

Don’t just stay in the house. Getting out of the house allows you to take initiative and network personally with people, The Gospel Coalition notes. Consider joining a support group of job seekers, for encouragement and collaboration on job search ideas.

Consider volunteering as well. Forbes reports that 60 percent of hiring managers said volunteer work makes you more marketable. And the blog Healthy Place notes that volunteering can help build self-esteem from the sense of purpose and social interaction it gives you.

Email:, Twitter: @Sarahsonofander.


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