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Things to Do When You're Unemployed

Updated on November 25, 2022
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Nicholl McGuire has been providing useful content on websites since 2007. Learn more about her business Nicholl McGuire Media.

5 Things to Do When Unemployed

Most people look for a job while unemployed while others take a break. But whatever you do, be sure it is something to help keep you mentally sharp and physically strong. One day that unexpected call or email is going to come requesting you come in for an interview and the last thing you want to do is go in unprepared.

Brush up on skills.

Whether it is a computer software program you haven't used in awhile or a much-needed book that your particular industry follows, get some practice and re-read instructions. Find out if there are local classes you can attend to learn the latest tools employees are using at the workplace.

Watch your diet.

I mention this in another article in a link below. But it is so important! You don't want to pick up extra weight and then find yourself moving and thinking slower. As much as overweight people don't like comments about being lazy, the truth is extra weight makes inactive people lazy even if they don't think they are. It becomes a stress to walk stairs, bend over, walk etc. when you have extra body fat. No one wants their weight to become an issue on a new job, so be careful eating those generous portions of junk food, sodas, breads, sauces, and pastas.

Research developments in your industry.

What are the latest trends? What new tools are being introduced? What impact is your industry making on the world? What is the competition up to? These and other questions you should have an answer to especially when the day comes that an employer will want to interview you.

Attend meet and greet functions.

Whenever possible, go to events where you get an opportunity to network with others. So often unemployed workers will get jobs, because they met an employer at a certain event. Prepare calling cards in advance that simply have your name, phone, email, and list several of your best skills.


This was mentioned in a previous article on this hub, but it is important to mention it again. Everyone needs a positive distraction that will not only help with keeping your mind fresh, but give you a break from the stress that job searching can bring. Find something that will keep your interest while you wait.

What have you done while unemployed? Thanks for reading!


What are you doing to make the most use of your free time?

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When You Get that Job...Red Alert Signs Not Over Bad Experiences from Last Job

The time will come that you will return to the workplace and when you do, you may experience any or all of the following emotions. If you just got a job, beware of your emotions and know where they are coming from.

1. A sudden anger over something you saw someone do at your last job that you were blamed for and/or the incidents went on without disciplining the real guilty employee. You may have been told to just ignore or forget about it on your last job. Now you are rehashing past feelings from your last job at the new one and you don't trust anyone you are working with. You can manage your stress levels by changing your thought patterns about the past. Keep telling yourself, "This is not my old job, this is my new one and I am not working with those same people who hurt me. I must give those around me a chance. As soon as I notice a problem, I should report it." Take your co-workers up on offers to go to lunch sometimes so as to get to know them better. Lock up personal items.

2. You may find yourself "being difficult" about certain policies, actions and other things that occur at your present job. You might burden yourself with wanting to change the way things are before you even win the respect of boss and co-workers. You often compare your present job with the last one by saying, "That's not the way we did it at my former job..." Try hard to refrain from comparing your last job with the present one. Most bosses and co-workers are easily turned off when a new employee is often referring to his or her last place of employment. If it was so good, "Why didn't you stay?" they will think. If it was so bad, "How did you contribute to the chaos?" they might question.

3. You will experience feelings of guilt, fear, and even shame at the new job about past incidents at the last one when a task is asked of you that you aren't quite familiar. You may lie or cover up stories about your past experiences. You may be particularly sensitive in the way you are asked to do a task even if the person talking to you is not acting belittling. You may still be getting over the condescending way your last boss or co-worker talked to you. To deal with fear and past upset about performing a task, you will need to brush up on your skills. Practice performing them when no one is around. If you have a faith, pray more about the feelings you are experiencing on your new job and ask the Lord for peace, strength and wisdom.

4. You may often feel uptight when a boss or co-worker comes around you especially if you were micromanaged at your last job. The best way to combat this is to talk to your boss or co-worker outside of the workplace. Learn to feel comfortable around his or her presence. Make small talk when you aren't busy.

5. Feelings of "not doing my best" come and go. You may also feel nervous, forgetful and/or scared around management. If these feelings frequently occur, ask more questions, take more notes, and have someone go over tasks with you as much as possible until you feel comfortable doing them without assistance.

Finally, avoid the pressure to learn everything as fast as you can. You know yourself better than anyone. Keep in mind that all these emotions you may feel will not last always. Before you know it, you will be talking around the water-cooler like the rest of them and enjoying your new environment.

When the Vacation is Over...

When your days at your job came to a close, you were sad, but you also felt a sense of peace because the freedom whether unexpected or planned was finally available for you to do the following: relax, look for a better job, visit relatives and friends you once were too busy for, explore your neighborhood, and even take a trip. Yet, reality set in after days, weeks even months of not having a job. You feel anxious, angry and wonder if your ship will ever come rolling in! When will an employer call you? Well while you wait, you could be doing some things that are out of the norm to help you feel and look better!

First, collect names and addresses of local employers in a related industry you once worked--even if they aren't hiring ( that is if you haven't done this already) rather than the industry that you use to work (assuming you already did that.) This way you are broadening the scope of work you are able to perform and more eyes will pay attention to you. Discuss your skills in a brief cover letter, ask if they have any positions that may fit your skill level, then attach a resume and send the documents to different businesses in your local area everyday.

Next, take out advertising offering your service in the local newspaper. Post fliers wherever you can and register a table at a local flea market/swap meet. Most people assume that street vendor events are exclusively for selling merchandise, but there are many businesses recruiting people, providing free information, appointment setting--you name it! So why not, provide leaflets, free pens and business cards about who you are and what you do.

Lastly, make a list of everything you have already done to get your name out there via the Internet and offline. Each day pick one way you will market yourself and research additional ways you have yet to try. For instance, today you might post online classified ads listing your services. The next you could create blogs and social media pages promoting yourself. On another day, you might consider making phone calls to businesses who may need your talents. The sky is the limit on what you can do to find the kind of employment that not only pays the bills, but makes you feel good!

While you are creating, planning, walking, and talking, set aside at least one day a week to relax away from your workspace. Looking for a job is just like working a job. If  your daily tasks become too overwhelming, consider using a headhunter or temp agency.

Taking Up a Hobby

You may have quit a job by choice and now you are finding yourself a tad-bit bored.  Your great plan may not have worked and now you are wondering, "What else can I do besides look for yet another job?"  Well, you can start listing all the things you are good at and all the things you are not.  Then begin to cross off the things you already did that didn't bring any success.  Note why those things didn't work out and what you didn't like about them.  Could there be a diamond in the rough that just needs to be cleaned off?  Sometimes we know what it is that we want to do, but we have trouble getting there, because oftentimes we are distracted, disgruntled, or disputing with oneself on our haves and have nots.

What would you be willing to try that you have yet to do?  What hobby did you once love, but abandoned?  What might you have to do to reignite your passion?  Sometimes we just want to try something different--nothing wrong with that especially if it doesn't put a burden on the household finances. 

Consider talking to people who are quite content with what they do although they get little money for it.  You may be thinking of a few people right now who you admire their talents.  Put a date on the calendar that you will do something about that hobby or interest that has been nagging you lately.  There are plenty of professional videos offered for affordable rates, audio and more related to hobbies.  There are sites where others will hold you accountable for making good on your promise to yourself that you will take up a hobby.  Just search sites related to your interest and add words like "forums" and "blogs".

Here's wishing you much fun participating in your hobby!

All Things Work Together for Good

All things work together for good to them that love God to them who are called according to His purpose, according to Romans 8:28.  So was it a good thing when you or someone else decided that you will no longer with XYZ company?

What have you done so far to heal from the past and move on toward the future?  Are you still grieving over a job loss months after you left maybe even years?  If so, have you considered counseling?

There are support groups out there for those of us who have been through some trying times in our lives, you just have to know where to look.  There are social service agencies in the local yellow pages and nonprofit groups with lists.  There is also the local church that can direct you to some help. 

Sometimes we opt out of getting help, because pride gets in the way.  We reason that we will "get over it."  But we don't always. We may get a new job and still be upset about the last one.  A clear indication that we aren't yet over the past is when an employer asks a question during the interview like, "So why did you leave?"  Then we answer with something like, "I didn't like...I couldn't get along with...I grew tired of..." while deep down inside we know that we are messing up a perfectly good interview, because our negativity is manifesting all over the place such as in our eyes, sweaty palms, nervous twitches, and foot shuffling.  Who is going to hire us when we keep the blame game going?  Even if we aren't at fault, no one cares to hear about what the other man or woman did, all the person who is listening to our story cares about is what did we do?

We must find our peace of mind now in order to move ahead in the future.  Will your spirit be at peace if you talk with a former boss?  Will you be okay if you get some counseling?  Do you think trading your old industry for a new one will help?  Whatever you decide to do, just remember that you have the power to make all things work together for good if you believe in such a statement and in the God who said it in his word.

Work from Home

Seeking an additional way to make money using your computer and other resources? If so, there are many ways to begin your quest you just have to know what are you willing to do and if you have the time to dedicate long hours doing it online.

Those of us who work from home know how boring and at times overwhelming it can be making money using our computers. From the children crying in the next room to equipment failure, you name it everything happens sometimes periodically, everyday or all at once! There have been some people who didn't have any marital problems until they started working long hours on the computer. There are others who found that spending time with their children were put on the back-burner for weeks at a time, because they wear all hats when working their home-based business.

Work at Home Scams

Personal Experience Searching for Jobs Online

After looking through many classified ad sites in search of a job utilizing my administrative skills, I decided to post my resume on one of those sites that allowed members to upload their resume or fill out an online internal form where you could opt out of listing your name and phone number when joining their database. The employer would then see your resume and contact you about potential employment.

Little did I know, that not only would my resume be seen by legitimate employers, but scammers would also be reading. I started received emails about positions available in offline sales like insurance, others I came across requested I take a look at various multi-level businesses. But one prospective employer's email (so I thought) that stood out was nothing more than an attempt to get me to deliver more information such as my mailing address and phone number, both of which I opted out of listing on my resume. They hadn't been clear as to what they could use me for other than to offer me an opportunity to be seen by more people.

So I caution you to not give out your personal email address; rather select another that would be exclusively for your job search. I also recommend you don't include your phone, address or name on any resume you will be blindly uploading to an unfamiliar site. Although employers claim equal opportunity, it is almost too easy to find out personal information on people and use that as a determining factor whether they will even bother calling you in for an interview. Also, scammers have a field day with personal information using it for things like identity theft.

Be careful.

Too Good to be True Jobs

I came across many ads that were requesting people do simple things like type from home, list items on eBay, and market for businesses.  It all seemed so simple.  I decided to consider one ad requesting such services only to be sent to another website hosting a similar ad.  On that ad, the prospective employer (who was out of state) stated he needed a U.S. seller who had an eBay account.  He wanted the individual to list items on the site for him.

After much thought, I didn't answer the ad because I knew that if I took a chance with this person and used my eBay account to market his goods, there was a good chance that he would make off with the money and the buyer would never get his merchandise.  Meanwhile, my account would be suspended or possibly I could end up facing jail time for something I assumed was legit.

Whew, close call.

So if you should choose to do work for anyone such as helping a private seller running a home-based business with administrative tasks, connect with someone within your local area or city.  This way you know where they live and if something should happen that is illegal, you can contact authorities in their jurisdiction.  When you meet with the potential employer, be sure to see proof he or she is in business and find out what are their affiliations and check up on them too.  Perform research on the individual's name and business name as well as any other information you are able to collect from them and include words like "fraud," "scam," "complaints."  Also, check with the Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce in their area if the individual claims to be listed with either. 

Job Loss

What did you learn having gone through your experience?

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Being Unemployed Doesn't Have to Be a Bad Thing

Someone giving you a hard time about being unemployed? How do you react?

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