Post-Uni Lifestyle

5 Things to Do While You’re Out of Work

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Photo by Kaushal Moradiya from Pexels

So as you may or may not know, I don’t have a full-time job, but I work as a freelance transcriptionist. I am currently on the search for a job that suits me / I have the experience for / is in an industry I like / is something to pay the bills. As you can tell from that last sentence, I have trouble focusing my energy into one dream. I like having options and hate the idea of being trapped into doing the same thing over and over with no variety.

Now I’m not opposed to repetition if it’s part of an activity I like, but I want to put my energy into something great, and not having a full-time position makes that a bit difficult. Here are 5 things that you can do while you’re out of work to entertain yourself and build yourself up for employers.

1. Find a hobby

This is just a good shout in general, even if you are in work. Having a hobby means that you have something outside of your work life or daily life to dedicate yourself to. It shows that you are more than your routine and you have actual interests. Congrats, you aren’t a boring plank of wood!

My main hobby at the moment is blogging on this site and maintaining it each week. It gives me a sense of structure to my week and affords me an outlet for my job hunting woes. Being able to share my experiences with the world, or at least the people who choose to read this is quite cathartic. Find something that suits your personality and then you can add it to your CV to give an employer a sense of your character. Try searching for local clubs/events or online resources and forums to become a hobbyist.

2. Learn something new / Go on a course

This can be linked to having a hobby but can be thought of as a separate activity. Learning something new won’t hurt your chances of getting into work, so go for it. Learn a skill that is needed in your chosen industry, learn how to craft something like a model car or learn about a subject you have interest in or know absolutely nothing about. The possibilities are endless!

There are a variety of free courses online and there may be some available within your local community. You can learn anything pretty much, even some useful techniques for job searching. Whatever tickles your fancy, there will be something out there for you, you just need to do a bit of research. If all else fails, YouTube is a hell of a thing!

Now regardless of the mundane examples I gave you, there is so much out there for you to learn about! I believe in this so much that I have another blog set up all about learning new things called Guaranteed Failure. Granted, I haven’t posted an update on it in a while and that’s because I’ve been focusing on this blog for now, along with drafting applications for a variety of jobs. Either way, have you even read the slogan for my website? You should have known what you were in for! You should be happy that I am posting anything at all! It’s a Christmas Miracle!

3. Do a bit of spring cleaning, no matter the season

If you’re like me and live in a constant state of confusion, you may not have the tidiest of dwellings. I like a clean environment but that doesn’t mean everything around me is organised. Taking some time to go through your wardrobe, organise your books and DVDs, or set up some new decor in your home might be a nice way to unwind from a stressful assessment centre or to take a break from the hardest application form you have ever laid eyes on. You might even find things that you thought you lost, or unused items that could be donated to charity or sold on eBay for a bit of extra cash.

4. Explore your local area

If you recently moved to a new area like me, or you don’t leave the house often (also me), this is your chance to explore your surroundings, get some fresh air and a bit of exercise, without spending any money. Find a local park and go for a walk, find new routes to get to the same place or a familiar location, or just find out where on earth that road at the end of your street goes. You might end up in another dimension or find a cute local café you never knew about. You’ll never know until you try it!

Check out geocaching for a fun way to explore the world around you.

5. Hang out with your friends or make new ones

Being unemployed makes it hard to socialise. Whether it’s because of your financial situation, your confidence or your mood, having no job can quickly turn into having no one to hang out with. Fear not my dudes, for I have a solution; hang out with your friends! What, not the answer you expected? Let me explain.

Surrounding yourself with people you like is a good way to stay positive during this difficult period in your life. If you start to drift away from your friends, your mood will only get worse and it’ll make it harder for you to do anything at all, even just going down to the shops. Keep in touch with your buddies and set up free or affordable activities to do together so you can still have fun and not let the job hunting process get to you. No matter how hard it gets, true friends will still be there to support you and show you that they care. You can thank them by finally getting that job you always dreamed of. Show them that their belief in you and their advice helped you to get where you wanted to be. And don’t forget to support them if they ever go through the same thing.

Need new friends? Referring back to the courses run by your local community or finding free things to do after you do a bit of research, remember to talk to people when you get there. It can be very daunting to talk to strangers, but it can only help your communication skills to network with others. You may find some good professional connections, build a support network or a brand new friend with a shared interest!

Bonus: Enjoy Unemployment!

I know it’s an odd thing to say, but you should appreciate the amount of time you have on your hands. I know that looking for a job can be as stressful as being in work. You have to be on point with everything you do, be your best self every day and perform for interviewers/employers like a circus act. It’s actually crazy how debilitating the process can be. I never thought job searching could be this way, but here we are!

Ignoring the negatives can drastically change your outlook on your situation. You have time to write beautiful, well-constructed applications, cover letters and CVs. You have time to relax. You have time to sleep. You have time to have fun. It’s all about how you manage it.

Personally, I have trouble seeing it this way, but I do spend a large chunk of my time worrying about things. Allocating half of my “worry time” to other projects and efforts should make my days so much more productive. I propose that we become a bit more conscious of how we spend our time, no matter what we do. I might keep a diary for the next week to see what my days look like and understand where all my time goes. It sometimes feels like the day is only a few hours long. Maybe I will find a way to increase my activity on this site and become more of a “go-getter”, instead of a “sit-at-home-and-wait-till-it-gets-better”.

Thanks for reading my post on 5 things to do while you’re out of work. I hope you got some use out of it. I should follow my own advice and worry less. It’ll be better for me in the long run.

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Consider sharing this post with others using the links below. For now, this is Ade signing off. I hope you have a great week.

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By Ade

An aspiring creator in way too many areas, Ade loves to try something new, as long as it doesn't interfere with the balance of the universe too much. Trying to take each day as it comes, Ade edits videos for YouTube, occasionally records podcasts, and writes with strange mannerisms to entertain the world.