The Upside of Unemployment, Part Two

Even unemployment can have a silver lining. The benefit is the time you have to use as you wish. Here are some additional ways to use your time well through this season of life.

Avoid the Time Suckers
You start out scanning job sites for new openings but hop on over to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and blog posts. Suddenly it’s 4:00 and you’ve sat at the computer all day. Be sure to be strategic with your time, even though it seems like you have plenty of it. Give yourself a daily schedule and stick to it. Stay away from time suckers like Candy Crush, YouTube and Star Trek marathons.

Keep Yourself Physically Healthy
Use this time to move and improve your physical health. The endorphins you produce after working out will help to regulate your mental state and keep depression at bay. Build some regular physical activity into that daily schedule we talked about. Get yourself outdoors and enjoy the peace and beauty of a nearby park or bike path. Always wanted to complete a half-marathon? This may be the perfect time to train for it.

Connect with Your Network of Casual Acquaintances
A Harvard study found that most people found jobs not by connecting with total strangers or good friends but instead through casual acquaintances (The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, pp.222-226). Think about it, your network of casual acquaintances casts a wider net and knows of more opportunities. Don’t be scared to connect with casual acquaintances over coffee or at social events. Let folks know you’re looking. It’s amazing how many opportunities present themselves through those brief encounters.

You may not reflect back on your time of unemployment as your glory days, but they can have good benefits if you are strategic about the time and use it effectively.