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Activities to Stay Busy While Unemployed

Updated on July 17, 2014

Being unemployed can be tough. There is little to no money coming in. People can feel isolated. You can apply to dozens of jobs and not hear back from a single legitimate opportunity. There are several things that you can do to stay active while unemployed, many of which may help you land that next job.

Organize your life

Becoming unemployed can leave you feeling helpless. Becoming organized is the first step in gaining control of your life, and that organization starts at home.

Clean your house room by room; create piles of keep, donate, and trash. It is important to donate because your unneeded items could help someone else in your community. This will leave you with a sense of accomplishment and a clean house. These donations may also be tax deductible, so get receipts for anything donated.

Places to volunteer


Unemployment can leave some people feeling isolated, whether from embarrassment or lack of funds to do activities. Do not isolate yourself! Doing something as simple as writing a letter or email or having a short conversation with a friend, family member, or neighbor can help fight the blues.

Join a club. It doesn't have to be something that costs much, if any, money. Whether it is a book club from the local library, a knitting or quilting circle from a craft shop, a bike or motorcycle club, or a gardening club, clubs keep you active with people that have similar interests and may provide good networking to get you to your next job.

Volunteering can also keep you active, provide a purpose, and looks good on a resume. Find something near and dear to your heart like an animal shelter, a school, a library, or a youth organization and give them some of your time and effort. Sometimes that can be more valuable than your money!


Don't just sit around and watch television; do something to better yourself. Visit your local library and learn about something you enjoy or can help your career. Pick up a For Dummies book or something similar and learn about computers, Microsoft Office, business communication, or something else you might be able to use in life or for your career.

Take a class. Community colleges offer an inexpensive way to learn, and some colleges (Harvard, MIT, and Carnegie Melon) are offering free lectures and coursework online. You may not get credit or a certificate for completing with the free online courses, but you will have developed a skill or built a knowledge base for the next thing you want to do.


Along with keeping your mind sharp, you want to keep your body active. Especially if you are doing most of your job hunting online, you may find yourself growing sedentary. Some studies have shown that fit people tend to get more job offers than obese people. You don't have to have a gym membership to stay active (Although, for some people, it can help.). Find activities like walking around the neighborhood, taking a nature walk, walking the dog, mall walking, jumping rope, and climbing stairs. Play with your kids. Join a sports league through your park district. If organized workouts like Sweating to the Oldies or Buns of Steel are more your speed, there are plenty of videos on YouTube and apps for phones and tablets to get you going.

Get a hobby

Explore your talents, and indulge in a hobby. Read those books that you have been meaning to read or write the blog that you've had in the back of your mind. Just remember not to let your hobby take over your life. As an example, a little bit of video gaming is fine, but eight hours of video gaming doesn't qualify as a job. Tone it down, and find something else more meaningful to do with some of your time. Do crafts such as sewing, knitting or crocheting, or painting. This is a constructive outlet, and the end product can be sold or given as a gift.


Whether you find comfort in Jesus, God, Allah, Buddha, Isis, or Zeus, the excess time that unemployment provides is a great chance to get in touch with your spirituality. Religion is a great source of strength to guide you through to your next opportunity. Become active in your place of worship or find inspiration in your Holy Book.

How long have you been unemployed?

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    • brittpinkie profile image

      Brittany Brown-Doherty 3 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      This is such a great hub...I honestly wish I had read this when I was unemployed for six months after moving overseas. All I did during that time was watch TV and gain weight, which I'm still fighting to get off :(


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