I was once unemployed for 99 weeks during The Great Recession, where I maxed out literally ALL of the additional weeks of benefit Obama gave to people. So, I know something about unemployment, if nothing else. So, here goes some UNEMPLOYMENT tips, which is different from work at home tips.
1 – Pick a hobby. I played A LOT of tennis back when I was unemployed, and I played TONS of board games, which allowed me to waste a grip of time and make myself feel productive.
2 – Pick a project and work on it a little bit each day. Something you want to do. Something that will help your career, or the career you want. I wrote a ton of scripts and made a lot of comics during that time, and those comics are still paying off today. Ichabod was made during that time. I wrote my first book during that time. It was important for me to move forward on something good every day, even if all I could do was write one page, or look for one artist.
3 – Apply for three jobs a week. Even if you hate every job you see, apply for three jobs a week. Then at least you’ll feel like you did something to help yourself. I would apply for WAY more than that, but at least spend a couple of hours on sites once a week trying to find something, even if it’s something you think you’ll hate, because you might not.
4 – Don’t get discouraged when you don’t hear back from crappy jobs. I applied to EVERY job I could find during The Great Recession and couldn’t even get a callback from Target. It was awful. I ended up eventually working for AFLAC just so I could do something, and they paid straight commission.
5 – There’s always opportunity in the world blowing up. People are always looking for something, and if you can find out what that is and give it to them, even if it’s just hope, then you might be able to start your own business. I didn’t during my unemployment, but I definitely laid the foundation for Wannabe Press back then.
6 – Every bit is a building block. Even though I didn’t have a job for a long time, I ended up with a lot of skills, and that crappy job at AFLAC ended up leading to a job at Sprint, which got me my own Verizon dealership and taught me sales.
7 – Learn things. The library has millions of books. Coursera has tons of courses. I have taken now 62 Masterclass courses this year. Binge some Youtube how-tos every morning. I still try to wake up in the morning and pop on a course so that I can keep myself learning. Even if you aren’t going to do courses, listen to new music, or watch new movies. Do something to expand your brain.
8 – Come out the other end a different person. Look, if you love everything about you, then wonderful, but most of us hate at least one aspect of ourselves, or wish we were different in some way, so this is the time to make that change. Start small. Maybe try a different haircut.
9 – Find a tribe of other people going through what you are going through. I live in Los Angeles, so there are ALWAYS people unemployed and I had a little group of unemployed people to do things with when things got down. We would meet up for lunch, or for games, or for something. I still try to connect with at least ONE new person a week, and at least ONE person I know every day. All of the connecting and networking I do now is borne from that time when all I had was a group of people going through the suck with me.
10 – It’s okay to let the demons in, just don’t let them stay. I won’t lie and say every day is going to be roses. It’s not. Most days are going to suck, and it’s okay to acknowledge the suck, but there is an opportunity here to take this forced opportunity to make a change for the better.
Most importantly, keep your sanity, because it will end eventually. It might take 99 weeks, but it will end eventually, and if you do it right, you can come out of it better than when you went in, but that, of course, is up to you.
I write cool things, filled with monsters, humor, action, adventure, and generally awesomeness. Then, I sell those things to humans. I am pretty good at it.