Sure, you didn’t plan on a permanent vacation, a.k.a. being unemployed, but here you are. Believe it or not, this can be a blessing in disguise. No, I’m not joking! In fact, this may be the perfect time to learn how to stay productive.
Your time off from the normal 9-to-5 grind could be a way to reignite your purpose and uncover new passions.
Here’s how you can stay productive between jobs:
1. Reach Out to Colleagues
Don’t be ashamed about being in between jobs. It’s the nature of the game and your colleagues who know your work ethic and the industry are bound to understand. Email or call to let them know that you are on the hunt for another job. You’ll be surprised to find out that as opposed to prying into why you’re out of work, more often than not friends will want to help. Your network can be your best advocates and support system.
2. Read or Write for Pleasure
A Netflix binge is trendy, but a good book will keep you motivated or inspire you. Dust off your reading list (try these awesome picks) and spend some time reading for leisure. This break is also a great time to start a blog to help keep your writing skills up to par. My favorites? 20-Something, 20-Everything: A Quarter-life Woman’s Guide to Balance and Direction by Christine Hassler and Basic Black: The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life) by Cathie Black.
3. Volunteer at an Upcoming Industry Conference
Research any associations in your industry that might have an upcoming luncheon, conference, or networking event. Reach out to the coordinators to see if you could use your expertise at their next event. This allows you to position yourself to be in a room full of power players and network your way into a new position.
4. Organize and Makeover Your Home
Sometimes a little home makeover can change your mental space and help you stay productive. Paint an accent wall in a vibrant color, change the theme of your bathroom, purge your closet, and donate to Goodwill. From fresh flowers to a new photo collage on your side table, give yourself something new to look at while searching for your next great job.
5. Stay Sharp
Exercise your mind with crossword puzzles and brain games. SharpBrains lists 50 brainteasers to start your day with, and if you love a good crossword, try WordCrunch. If games aren’t your thing, BrainHQ suggests going to a museum, exercising, and memorizing a song as additional brain fitness tips. In other words, resist the urge to veg-out on the couch Bridget Jones style. Setting a daily schedule and list of to-dos can be a great boon for your mental well-being.
6. Turn Your Hobby into Income
Find ways to monetize your passion for photography, knowledge of Final Cut Pro, or even your car (hello Lyft!) to create income during your break. Develop a business plan and sell your product or services. From Etsy to Craiglist, the online resources are endless. Besides, with a side hustle your rent will not be a big worry.
7. Do Something You’ve Never Done Before
Ever thought about training for a 10K? Maybe you always wanted to be vegan for 30 days like Beyoncé? Due to your unexpected time off, this is the perfect time to challenge yourself to try something new.
With unemployment comes a new set of challenges. But the point is to do something productive as often as you can. So work toward a new goal. Give yourself a sense of accomplishment and success. Plus, when you do go back to work, you’ll have plenty of interesting stories to share with your new co-workers.
So whatever you choose to do, stay calm, stay focused, and stay productive. After all, the future is just around the corner.
For this post, we’d like to thank our friends at Levo.