It’s been a few months now of my fruitless job search. I was hoping for extension of my contract, but it didn’t happen, the Universe decided to do it in her own way. Well, not for the first time, I should say… So here I am, sending resume daily, going to the interviews and patiently waiting for the positive outcome.
The most important point in all this is that after applying to dozens of job openings, visiting handful of interviews, being very close to job offer but not getting one, I started to feel little depressed some days. Thoughts about the need of money for my family and my studying haven’t helped at all. At some point I’ve realized I don’t want to feel that way. I don’t want my emotional state be dependent on presence or absence of work, presence or absence of money. I want to be happy no matter what!
After thinking a bit I came up with the list that helps me and hopefully will help you to avoid unemployment depression and stay positive. Remember, you are the master of your life. And you are capable of reaching any goals. It may take time for them to become true, but if you put efforts and continue believing in them, everything is possible.
Yes, that’s an important part of your job search. I don’t know what I would do without my fitness club membership! Exercise helps to boost your hormone of happiness – serotonin. My nutritionist told that something warm works the same way – warm bath, blanket, cup of tea make us feel happier. And I don’t think it’s a good idea to sit all day at the computer, sending packs of resume and waiting for the response. Honestly speaking, you actually need only one successful resume and one lucky interview to get the job. In my case it took some hiring managers around two weeks to contact me after I submitted resume. Why would I sit at the computer, waiting for the response? I’d rather do my favorite Zumba, go running outside, see some people and get more serotonin.
If you have friends who are also at home (students, moms with kids, for example), it’s a perfect time to catch up on each other updates. I find communication is important, especially during such a change in scenery – from busy office with various people to the quiet home. You can invite each friend separately. That way you can fill up weeks of tea time with each of your friends instead of just one day with all of them. Also, this will give an opportunity to discuss some private stuff. Don’t be ashamed and let your friends know you are in the job search, and what kind of positions you are looking for. This is also networking. Who knows, maybe the word of mouth will help you to find your dream job! (Well, my friend Jen got one this way). Or maybe your friend will share his/her startup business idea, and you’ll start working on it as a team and as future entrepreneurs!
Plan your day
This is a big thing for me. I need to stay organized otherwise some TV show on YouTube can eat up half of my day in a blink. I try to write down my achievable tasks for the day, and to follow my plan. It helps me to have a feeling I am doing something valuable, that my day was not wasted. I also find that associating tasks to the certain time frame of the day helps to stay focused. I usually set alarm clock 5 mins before the end of my time for the task, so I can stop, make break, and get ready for the next one. I find it’s difficult for me to stop, and I can continue searching for the job for hours, abandoning my other tasks for the day… Don’t put too many tasks for one day though, and don’t put some complicated things that can’t be resolved during one day. This can work in the opposite way – you may get frustrated that the goal was not achieved, making it harder to avoid unemployment depression. We don’t want adding more stress to our lives, right?
Find a hobby
Now is the perfect time to get a new hobby or get busy with your existent ones, finish your unfinished projects or de-clutter the house. I find crocheting and cleaning is soothing for me. When else would you have time for knitting those socks if you’d work full-time? While staying at home, I’ve concentrated on my other hobby – travel blog. It all started with the idea of sharing my travel experience with people, helping them to see new places. I’ve added my experience of the WordPress website set up and run, Social Media and blog posts to my resume. I think that’s a valuable experience worth mentioning. Then I’ve learned it’s possible to earn money from your blog. Of course, it takes time, dedication, patience, but everything is possible. So you can always turn your hobby into your source of income. That’s the perfect scenario, right?
Have a back-up plan
It’s always nice to have some extra source of income for different situations. I have a small gig in kids entertainment business. I’ve started it after successful execution of my daughter’s birthday party. I was not able to find entertainers for her party, so I’ve learned how to do animal balloons. Yes, with the help of YouTube you can learn a lot of things… I’ve added more services now, set up website in WordPress, printed business cards, etc. I love what I do even if it’s only one birthday party a month! Those cute smiles of happy little customers is the best reward! If you know you are good at something, have some great skills, think about starting your own business, even from something small. I had only Facebook page at the very beginning of my business, and free ad in local online directory. I know some moms do cakes, sell cosmetics, or organize something larger – swimming classes in their swimming pool with hired certified instructor. Even if you don’t get full-time income, it will show your capability to have some earnings and run a business, will increase your self-esteem and help you to avoid unemployment depression. Another option is to find some part-time job and continue looking for the full-time job at the same time. It will bring you some cash and experience. Get support from your family and friends, and start making changes today.
Work on your development
I have an Accounting background, but always was captivated by Marketing. After I’ve learned and set up WordPress website for my small business, I’ve decided it would be nice to get education in this field. This is how I’ve started working on my certificate in Digital Marketing Management at University. After getting valuable knowledge and confidence, I was able to offer Social Media and SEO strategy and execution services to the small company I knew earlier (I’ve done animal balloons for their anniversary party). Even if it’s only 3 hours a week for now, I’ve gained valuable experience for my resume and for the future career. Who knows, maybe I’ll get more clients tomorrow and there will be no need for the full-time job? Consider taking some classes, maybe even free ones, that will bring value to your profile. Were you thinking about switching careers? Does it look like the best time to do it? It’s never late.
Another important aspect that helps me to avoid unemployment depression is self development. Doing meditation on a regular basis, reading spiritual books, practicing qi gong, tai chi or yoga helps to clean your chakras and bring balance to your life, get some fresh thoughts and understand the reason of your situation better. I say there is always some reason for this or that situation, but we may not see the purpose of it right away. While we are more balanced, we make choices of better quality. We hear clearer that internal voice that helps guiding us through various challenges and situations. Even if I am sitting for 5 minutes in the morning during meditation, my mind calms down a little and I get such useful thoughts I could never get while running around. And the feeling of love you get at the end of your meditation is priceless!
Spend more time outside
Nature has amazing energy effect on us. I feel relaxed and calm after a walk and communicating with the nature. If it’s a nice weather outside, go out and check that awesome sky that never is the same. See how beautiful are trees with green leaves, how pretty the songs of birds. There are so many interesting things around us we don’t notice during the everyday hectic life… Again, while you are relaxed and smiling, you may get some new ideas and thoughts in your mind about your job search.
That’s a great and powerful technique – visualizing something that we would like to have. You need to sit in a quiet place, relax, and then attempt to visualize all the details about your future job. What would be the location of your future company, what would the office look like? Where would be your desk – near the window, the hallway? What would be your responsibilities? You need to draw the picture of your job like you already have one, but just visiting, checking. Do it regularly and enjoy the results.
I wish you all the best in your job search, avoiding unemployment depression and in staying happy no matter what.
What helped you to save your sanity during this time? Please share in the comments. Your experience may be valuable for others as well.
Yours in Health and Happiness,