Many blogs, newspaper articles and internet sites have advice for the unemployed. However, those that are posting are not unemployed, in fact they are getting paid as they type. Being unemployed during this time of economic struggle is hard. There simply is no one size fits all method for gaining unemployment and reentering the work force. It boggles my mind to read some of the suggestions they offer as they sit back and type in their secure offices, comfy homes, with a steady stream of income. I read that I should start a business, join a gym, take up a dancing class and more. Many unemployed citizens are like me, living on unemployment checks and dreading the day that it runs out. We don't have disposable income to waste. If we could start a business we wouldn't spend all day on Careerbuilder, Hotjobs, Indeed and Monster. It's just not that simple. Yes, we have more free time to invest in our dreams but monetarily we don't have it. Here is my top 5 things to do when you are unemployed. I understand that my suggestions are not law, it might not work for everyone but it's not designed to help you gain employment, its designed to help you cope in the meantime, in the stressful time, in the here and now. And yes I am still unemployed and taking my own advice!
1) Go back to school. The government has financial aid programs that supports displaced workers. You can gain experience in a new trade or field. There are tons of sites on the internet that will give you more information and you can get the most valuable information at your local unemployment office
2) Volunteer. It doesn't cost anything to help someone in need. This is your time to give back and make a difference. Sometimes, helping people worse off than yourself, gives you a new found insight on the grand scheme of things. Try volunteering with a non-profit close to your heart once a month, I promise, you will feel better and more optimistic about your situation.
3) Work out. I'm not telling you to join a gym that cost but simply get out the house and get moving. If you have a family, it can be a family affair. You can have relay races to get that cardio going or simply jog around your neighborhood. Studies prove exercise relieve stress and if you're unemployed like me, your stress level is creeping up just a bit.
4) Write out a bucket list. Write out your goals and post them where you can see them daily. This will give you the courage and the strength to keep persevering. Maybe your list contains all the things you want to do when you get a job, your dream job or simply your goals in life. Either way, its not a bad idea to have a plan, even if it takes you a few years to accomplish. Even when I find a job, I probably won't be able to travel to Africa, Paris and Amsterdam but I will one day and I hold myself to that.
5) Repair your credit. What? I know that's what you're thinking. How can I repair my credit when I'm getting deeper in debt as the days go by? It cost nothing to order a free credit report and if you don't have internet access at home, you can go to your local library. However, knowledge is power. Know where you stand. Dispute old debt, which is also free of charge. Take care of the old things and when you find a job you can take care of the new things.