Courtesy of Free Images/Marco Ojeda
Alberta was hit hard by the bottom of the barrel oil prices that rolled out six months ago. Home prices dropped, unemployment spiked and the economy remains sluggish. My husband became one of those unemployment casualties after receiving his walking papers from his oil and gas company job.
While this has been challenging for us, we have learned that there’s still stuff that can be done when the job offers are few and far between. Here are five things to do when you’re unemployed:
Balance your budget:
You’re going to have some financial realities to wrap your head around so going through your budget is an important step to understanding your situation. You’ll want to prioritize your expenses.
Even if you’re cash-strapped, you’ll want to keep things like your home and auto insurance in case there’s an emergency. That 6 gig data plan on your cell phone? Maybe not so much.
Do some volunteer work:
If your job search is going on for a long time, it can start to wear on you after a while. Getting out of the house and giving back to your community can give you structure, meaning and direction when everything else feels a little out of control.
Start a side business:
There is more than one road to Rome and the same is true for making money. One of the things I’ve learned is that passions and hobbies can easily translate into profit when applied the right way.
Maybe you know how to play the guitar – set yourself up as a guitar teacher while you’re waiting for the day-job market to change. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a new career path while you’re at it.
Take a class:
Sixty-one percent of hiring managers recommend that people take a class if they are between jobs. Showing that you have an interest in professional development or a passion outside of work is a great inroad with potential employers.
Doing coursework will also help you stay engaged in your life. It’s easy to start letting things slide when you’re unemployed, day time television can start to look really good after five or six months of no call backs and rejection letters. Taking a class can keep you interested and interesting.
Go to a Meet-up Group:
Meetup is an online forum for local groups of any size, shape, or colour out there. If there’s an interest, chances are pretty good there is a meetup group for it. This is a great way to stay busy and do some networking while you’re at it. Do like the super cute dog and baby bird picture above and make new friends. Even if it doesn’t always end with a job offer, at least you’ll have a wider circle of people to call on.
Most meetups offer affordable options for getting together with like-minded individuals. Anything from business, to bowling, to bird-watching can be found on Meetup. If you’re feeling ambitious, start your own and list it on your resume if it’s relevant experience.
No matter what you do, keep in mind that you will find a job. This is not forever. More importantly, try to remember that being jobless does not mean being useless. You are more than your career!