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Staying Productive While Unemployed/Underemployed

Updated on July 6, 2013

Get Rid of Sensitive Paperwork

Shred unnecessary documents with sensitive information.
Shred unnecessary documents with sensitive information.

Making the Most of Unemployed/Underemployed Time

Unless you live in an isolation chamber you know that the employment picture in the States and elsewhere could use improvement, to put it mildly. I know many displaced and laid-off persons and have been there myself. I extend my condolences to you if for whatever reason your finances are tight.

On the bright side, you likely have extra time on your hands that you can use productively. If you have read my other hubs, you know I do not condone whining and other time-wasting activities. I recommend using your "vacation" if unemployed, or your unused brain cells if you are underemployed in ways that will benefit you later, say when you have landed that 60+ hour/week job and have no free time!

Seven Tips While Unemployed/Underemployed

Here are seven suggestions for things you can do or may have put off doing that can keep you busy now (and less likely to have a pity party):

  1. Organize your paperwork. Yes, all that stuff in a pile on your desk or those unorganized paper files. Shred documents with sensitive information and then pat yourself on the back for having made steps toward protecting yourself from identity theft.
  2. Plan your finances. Isn't it better to know what the balance sheet is rather than to merely fret and wring one's hands or bend the ear or anyone who will listen? Refinancing is better than get the idea.
  3. Find ways to reduce spending. Many credit cards and bank statements can give you a visual breakdown of your spending if you are unsure where all that money has been going. Make efforts to weatherproof your home to reduce utility spending. Clip coupons, etc. Make a game out of this to make it fun!
  4. Find ways to make extra money. Sell items cluttering your life that you don't need and put your talents and creativity to use in new ways. I have written three other hubs on short-term money making activities if you need some ideas.
  5. Check your credit ratings for errors. Most states require Equifax, Transunion and Experian to issue at least one free credit report per year to individuals. Make sure there are no errors which are hurting your credit which absolutelycan be a barrier in an employment search! (I plan to write a hub on just this item later, so please tune back in.)
  6. Learn some new skills. Funding has been made available for many by the government for formal education in these tight times. There are many freetraining programs on the Web and at local libraries and unemployment offices. Volunteering for a worthy cause can also improve your skill set and keep you too busy to mope.
  7. Network with others. It is true that many employment positions are found through friends and acquaintances, where you effectively have a "warm lead". Even if you associate with people in your similar unemployed/underemployed/frugal situation, you can give each other support and exchange ideas.

This is only a subset of all the things you can to to improve your situation and feelmore empowered to control what happens in your life. The list is potentially endless and please feel free to add ideas of your own in the comments section!


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    • Johanna Smith profile image

      Johanna Smith 8 years ago from Fort Collins, CO

      Volunteering can help you stay busy, too, and go on your resume.

    • profile image

      John Smith 8 years ago

      Good advice, thank you.