A couple of years ago, I was between jobs for about a month and a half. The experience of being unemployed is still fresh in my mind, and I know as well as anyone how disheartening and difficult it can be. One thing that I felt to be most important was staying productive every single day. I pushed myself to apply for a certain number of jobs each day, update resumes and cover letters for different industries, and look for freelance work to get me by temporarily. I also had more time to work on my blog, so I made sure to make some real progress there (and ended up opening my Etsy shop because of it). To be honest, I wasn’t able to stay motivated and productive the entire time. There were days I felt so down on myself and honestly didn’t accomplish anything productive. Toward the end, my positive attitude was slipping. But I still credit my productivity and motivation with being able to find a job. Here are some of my tips for how to stay productive between jobs, should you find yourself in this situation yourself!
Create a Workspace
I can’t even tell you how important this is! When I first entered unemployment, I immediately set up a desk and workspace for myself. It was clean, organized, and left me plenty of space to work. Sitting at a desk was so beneficial for me! I found myself staying focused longer and working harder. Toward the end, I got lazy and started working from the couch. And you know what? These are the days I felt tired and unproductive! Set up a workspace without distractions so you feel like you’re actually at work, and watching Netflix isn’t an option!
One of the first things I did on my first full day of unemployment was created goals for myself. I knew I wanted to apply for a certain number of jobs. I knew I wanted to set up my Etsy shop by a certain date. I knew there were certain people and businesses I wanted to contact. I started setting general goals, as well as daily goals for myself. That caused me to work harder earlier in the day with the goal of getting my entire to-do list done each day.
Shortly after leaving my job, I reached out to former colleagues in my industry and let them know I was on the job hunt. And this proved so beneficial! Many of these people reached out to me with job opportunities they knew of. While I ended up staying in the industry I had previously been in, I was also looking into other lines of work. So I also networked with a few people in those industries to get my foot in the door.
Turn a Hobby into a Business
I already had the goal of turning my blog into a business, so I took advantage of my month and a half off to further that dream! I made lots of progress on my blog, and was able to open the Etsy shop I had been talking about for months! If you’re a blogger, this time off is a great opportunity to start earning money from it. Throw some ads on your sidebar. Learn about affiliate links. Apply for sponsored posts you wouldn’t otherwise have time for. You can do this with other talents as well! Have a knack for writing or graphic design? Pick up some freelance work!
Tackle Home Projects
This wasn’t going to do anything to further my job prospects, but it would certainly make my life easier when I did go back to work. There were plenty of projects I had been talking about for awhile, and I was able to tackle those!
During unemployment, you might find yourself eating worse, getting, lazy, etc. You’ve got plenty of free time now, so put it to good use! Take advantage of that extra time to get in some long workouts each day. You could even try a new physical activity that you’ve been wanting to try but hadn’t before!
Do Something Fun
Unemployment isn’t fun. But sometimes it’s good to take a day and do something fun and totally unrelated to job hunting. Searching for a job can be exhausting, frustrating, and disheartening. Take a day for yourself to recharge and get back to it the next day. I took a couple of days to take a little road trip with my brother and visit my parents. I also did some pleasure reading just because!
If you’ve been between jobs, you know how difficult it can be. It’s so important to stay productive between jobs. These tips will really help you to do that. I hope they help you as much as they helped me!