My season of unemployment will soon be coming to an end. On Tuesday, I was offered a part time position at a company which is known for their job security and internal advancement opportunities. I am not going to share where it is until I know what their policies are, but I am very excited. I am just waiting for them to send me a contract and I should start on July 15th.
This has definitely been an interesting experience, and if I am being completely honest, I do have mixed feelings about it ending. After all, there are some perks to being unemployed. Namely, the sleeping in, plus the time you have to spend with all those hobbies, interests, people and pets that tend to be at least slightly neglected when you get sucked into the daily grind. On the other hand, being stuck in the house every day, and turning in application after application without seeing any results can get a person down after a while. I am definitely ready to get out in public again and am looking forward to meeting new people and learning new skills.
I know there are many people out there still struggling through unemployment, so I thought I would share some of the things that I learned during my experience.
- Be prepared, filing for unemployment is a pain in the ass. Everyone told me that it would be easy; I was that one lucky person to have issues with both the phone number and the website. It took me a week to apply. Try to stay calm, don’t freak out and throw your phone against a wall. You may regret it.
- When sending in resumes, take the time to write individual cover letters for each job even if you are not asked for one. Use the items listed in the qualifications section of the job posting to create the body of the letter. This will take a lot more time (which you have plenty of now), but it will increase your chances of getting an interview sooner.
- Even on the rainiest, most depressing day of your experience, get up and get dressed. Getting ready for the day, even if you are not going anywhere, really helps you get motivated to do something; whether it’s searching for a job, doing the laundry or walking the dog. Staying in your jammies encourages you to lounge and nap all day, which can lead to feeling more depressed and hopeless.
- Find a project. Something to keep you busy that isn’t related to trying to finding a job. This will also help you stay motivated and busy during your time off. It is also a fun outlet for when you get job search burnout. You will get job search burnout.
- Open yourself up to new experiences. Apply for jobs you would love to have, not just the ones you know you can do. Yes, you do need some experience, but in an interview an excited candidate will get more points than the one that is just there because they need the job. Everyone needs a job, get a new shtick.
So that’s my advice for surviving unemployment. I had some big plans when I first started this adventure, not one of them has been seen through to the end. What I have learned most from my experience though, is that you cannot let your job get in the way of your other goals or ambitions. I am determined to keep making headway on all those wonderful plans I had in April.