If you’re currently searching for a job, you already know that a big part of your routine is waiting around. Maybe you’ve let everyone from your old boss to your hairdresser know that you’re interested in a new opportunity. Maybe you’ve been attending job fairs, and you’ve even landed a few promising interviews.
Now, you need something constructive you can do while you’re waiting for the phone to ring.
In fact, given that some aspects of finding employment tend to feel like they’re beyond your control, engaging in meaningful activities could boost your mood and make you a more attractive job candidate.
Run down this checklist for things you can do for yourself and your career.
Things to Do for Yourself:
1. Work out regularly. If you have free time on your hands, spend it at the gym. As you shape up your body, you’ll also find that exercise is a safe way to deal with the stress that comes with being unemployed.
2. Connect with family and friends. Take advantage of opportunities to hang out with those you love. Plan a weekend outing with your family to visit parks and free museums. Invite a friend to join you on your morning run.
3. Appreciate nature. Enjoying the great outdoors can lift your spirits and boost your energy levels. Do some yard work. Take a nature hike on your own or bring your children along.
4. Read more. When is the last time you read a book for pleasure? Expand your mind by catching up on fiction and nonfiction titles. Visit the library to borrow the latest bestsellers or classics that you loved as a child.
5. Clean house. Neat and orderly surroundings help to fight anxiety. Clear away the clutter that’s been building up in your closets and garage. Scrub your bathroom floor and air out your mattresses.
6. Review your budget. Take a close look at your finances. Look for ways to cut costs on entertainment or utilities. Try using your hobby to earn some money by becoming a Russian tutor or a part-time caterer.
7. Practice your faith. Find comfort and strength in your spiritual practice. It can help you to deal with the emotional and economic consequences of being jobless. Browse online for churches and meditation centers in your neighborhood or build a shrine at home.
Things to Do for Your Career:
1. Take a course. See what kinds of classes are available at your local community college or online universities. You could study coding or basic accounting.
2. Build your portfolio. What would make your resume stand out? Interview a thought leader in your field, and publish your work online or in an industry publication. Produce an educational video and post it on YouTube.
3. Volunteer your services. Giving back to your community can increase your self-esteem and make you more attractive to potential employers. Participate in fun runs and food drives. Contact a charity that interests you and discuss how you could help upgrade their database or write a quarterly newsletter.
4. Polish your online presence. Do you wish your LinkedIn profile attracted more traffic? Makeover your digital identity by updating your accomplishments and taking down any unflattering photos.
5. Explore your options. Maybe you want to continue in your field or maybe you’re interested in taking another route. Review your experience and contacts with an eye as to how they could help you transition your career.
While you want to stay on top of any activities that will bring you closer to your next position, there are many ways to find fulfillment while you’re waiting for that job offer. Use the time you spend unemployed to keep learning and growing in your personal and professional life.