Skip to Main Content
by Siobhan Green | March 10, 2009


So you got laid off, the severance ran out, and those thousands of resumes that you sent out go unanswered? Getting to know daytime TV really well?

There's no doubt - unemployment is no fun (most of the time) - and it's easy to get off track. Here are some tips to make the most of your jobless time - without spending your days watching soap operas and curling tournaments.

1.Create a schedule. Schedules bring structure. When you have actual places to go and people to see, you're more likely to get dressed and get out the door - and feel that you're in control of your life.

2.Find activities to fill the schedule. Yes, you should schedule standard activities, like job-hunting, freelance work, and running errands. But use the time on your hands to create new activities for my days, things like visiting museums on their free entry days, publishing some old family letters on the web, and taking a (cheap) vacation by staying with friends. And now's your chance to clean out the closets or try your hand at freelance writing. Volunteering is also a great way to pack your day, as is learning a new skill or hobby. Accomplishments like these help you keep a positive attitude.

3.Schedule people time. Going from an office full of people to being home alone every day can be tough. Even if you have a family, you shouldn't depend on them for your sole connection to the outside world. Schedule lunches, coffee breaks and cultural activities with friends both employed and unemployed. And I recommend finding another unemployed person as your errand buddy ? makes grocery trips more entertaining if someone else is there as well.

4.Avoid TV. I once had a job that didn?t start until 5 p.m. Instead of taking advantage of free time during the day, I would sleep very late, turn on the TV for ?company? - and find myself struggling to get to work on time after whiling away the day.

Force yourself to keep the TV off, and try to keep your entertainment-related Web surfing to a minimum. That goes double for online games or your trusty Nintendo.

5.Acknowledge that it's OK to feel sad, frustrated, resentful, guilty, vulnerable - the whole gamut of less-than-desirable emotions. At the same time, don't let those emotions control you or become escapist. If you spend days in a funk or playing solitaire on your computer to get your mind off your situations - well, those are days that could be spent on networking or looking for a job.

6. Recognize the upside. You may never have such a block of time to yourself again. Make the most of the extra time you can spend with your family and the chance you have to work on your hobbies. You'll be back at work soon enough!


Filed Under: Job Search

Want to be found by top employers? Upload Your Resume

Join Gold to Unlock Company Reviews