Last week, I started this series with a discussion about Unemployment Benefits and information about being eligible to receive benefits. This week, I’d like to continue the discussion by talking about some of the benefits of being unemployed. Although unemployment is an unfortunate occurrence, there are quite a few things that you can do to be constructive and productive during those times when you are out of work. While seeking and obtaining unemployment benefits and looking for another job may be your number one and number two top priorities, why not use some of your time and energy to do things for the benefit of your mind and wellbeing?
What is one of the most important benefits of being unemployed? Time.
Relatively speaking, it may not seem very beneficial to have all of this extra time thrust upon you. Only you can decide how you will spend your time. While much of your time may be spent finding a new job, including answering job postings, networking and cold-calling potential employers for work, you should still take some downtime for yourself that doesn’t focus on being unemployed.
Completing some of the idle projects that you may have sitting unfinished may work to boost morale with a sense of progress – a sense of moving forward during periods of employment stagnation. Idle projects might include house projects such as cleaning out the garage or basement, painting the extra bedroom, hanging the family pictures in the living room or [insert your unfinished house project here].
A fitness routine is good for your body and your mind. If you have got some extra time on your hands, why not take the opportunity to start an exercise routine. You don’t need a gym membership to get into shape. You can take a walk or a run outside to clear your mind and work your cardio fitness. You can also exercise at home with stretching and repetitive exercises to work out different muscles groups. Overall, your physical fitness will go along way to also maintain your mental fitness and wellbeing.
Back to School
Another way to boost your morale might be going back to school to earn a degree or other credentials that would make you more marketable in the workplace. Many Americans have been returning to school under programs funded by the federal government for retraining and reentry into the workforce. Some receive booster training for skills that will move them up through the ranks of their existing career path. Still others seek a drastic change in their career, obtaining entirely new skill sets altogether. You can contact your state university or local college about these and other federally funded education programs.
Start a Business
Maybe you have had some great business ideas for quite a long time, or maybe you have a talent or skill that, if marketed, could lead to alternative income sources. Now that you have the time on your hands, why not go into business for yourself? Sometimes all you need is a computer and the Internet. If start-up funding is required, you may use some of your time to research and write a business plan to present to potential investors.
Helping others in your own time of need takes a special kind of character. Sometimes such an unselfish act is its own reward… and sometimes it can place you in the right place at the right time to take advantage of an employment opportunity with the possibility of killing two birds with one stone.
In my opinion, employing any of the foregoing activities during unemployment is better than doing nothing at all. In addition to putting forth the effort to find another job, you will have pushed yourself into constructive and productive behavior. At the end of the day, it may be disheartening to think only about your employment situation. Being able to say I accomplished ‘X’ today can offset some of the negative thinking you may be having.
If you have any additional suggestions for staying productive during unemployment, please share your comments in the comment section below.
MAKE MONEY MONDAYS is usually a forum to discuss ways in which you can create additional sources of income. In light of the current employment environment, however, I am using this forum to write a series of posts focusing on unemployment issues. If you have any questions or would like to make a contribution, please share your comments in the comments section.