5 Productive Ways To Spend Your Time When You're Unemployed

5 Productive Ways To Spend Your Time When You're Unemployed

By: Michelle Rodriguez -

“When unemployed, what should you do?” This question will come to mind when looking for a job, but don’t worry if you don’t know how to spend your time productively. Give these ideas a try.


The uncertainty that can wash over when you're unemployed can be overwhelming, paralyzing, and confusing, whether these newly found status was by choice or not. Embrace this fleeting space to carry out those things that you have been putting off since this is a great time to get prepared for that next phase in your life. As great as lying around on the couch in your pjs watching Netflix can be, time flies. Don't let days turn into months wasting away. Here are some great ideas to make the most of this time: 

1. Mental Health

If you’re really looking forward to enjoying this forced, extended vacation (which might not be that long, seeing that the unemployment rate is at a healthy 3.7%), then one of the best things you can do for yourself is to TAKE CARE of yourself. The art of doing absolutely nothing could be exactly what your body and mind need. You might have just come out of a decade of constant homework assignments, essays, or grueling deadlines and endless meetings that have left you drained of "ME" time. As cliché as it might sound, take time to smell the flowers, pick up that book you've been wanting to read for the longest, but most importantly, give your body and mind that much needed rest and indulge it with fresh food and exercise. 

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2. Travel (on a budget) 

Most likely, you’ll be joining the blue or white collar force in the near future, and in that case, you’ll only have about 1 week of vacation per year. With that being said, travel! Traveling doesn’t necessarily have to drain your bank account. This could be a great opportunity to build a habit of planning out your expenses and practicing your spreadsheet skills. Take into account that your biggest expenses will be accommodation and transportation; nowadays, there are many resources out there that our parents wish they had, such as ride-sharing apps, hostels, and hospitality exchange services that cost next to nothing. 

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3. Get Organized (physically and mentally) 

Take advantage of your downtime and get on top of those things you have been putting off. Clean out your closet and sell all those clothes and shoes that have been gathering dust there. You could make some extra cash by organizing a garage sale. Update or start writing your bucket list; life is too short to not go on that adventure or experience that adrenaline-filled activity. Take the time to get some perspective on where you see yourself in 5 or 10 years. Do you want to climb the corporate ladder or do you want to embark on an entrepreneurial path?  Don’t just declutter your closet, organize your thoughts and ideas. 

4. Hone your skills 

You can never stop learning, and the more prepared you are, the higher the chances you will land the job you want. There’s literally hundreds of libraries of educational courses you can take online for free! Keep your brain sharp by taking a course that will make your resumé stand out from the rest. 

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5. Keep Your Eye On The Target 

If you want to embark on the entrepreneurial path, research everything: from the costs of licenses, supplies, and the market. Owning your own business takes a lot of work, but if you have a proper business model, then you have done half the work. If you’re going back to the labor market, then research the companies you aspire to work for. What are their annual sales? Who is their strongest competition? What are their strengths and weaknesses?  You may be able to share some of this information in your interview, which will surely impress the recruiter.

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Think of this time in your life as your own personal space and also as a very rare moment. Let this phase of your life turn you into a stronger and deeper person, and not the other way around. Create, reflect, and act. Figure out where you'd like to be, what you would like to be doing, and then figure out what you need to do to get there. Prepare yourself for a new you in the next chapter of your life. 


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