How To Maximize Your Unemployment Time



I’ve heard this scenario too many times. It goes a little something like this:


“I’ve submitted my résumé ____ times today. Nobody has called me back.”
“_________ has just been sitting around the house moping around. He/She has lost their spark."

“Nobody’s hiring."


Sound familiar? Before you get down & out, get up and in!


It is time to maximize your Unemployment Time!


I’ve been there and know how this feeling can be. Unemployment is no fun. The longer you don’t have a job, the tougher is seems to get one. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.


If you’re out of work, you can spend your time building upon the foundation you laid when you built your first résumé. You can hone your interview skills. You can do some key & essential activities that can move you closer to getting hired.


Here’s a list of things you can do to maximize your unemployment time:


• Set regular hours for your job search. Get up and do the things you’d normally do if you were already working; workout, eat breakfast, shower, get dressed, and then get to work on the job hunt.

• Spend some time expanding your network of people. I call this the 3/3/3 Plan! Set a goal of joining 3 professional network groups (i.e. LinkedIn Groups related to your dream job), meet 3 people face-to-face at 3 companies you might wish to work for.

• Get out of the house! Go connect with people in a professional manner. Places like the VFW, Veterans Administration, any civic organization, or the local Chamber of Commerce. You want to connect with people and places that have their finger on the pulse of what’s happening job-wise in your community.

• Attend as many job fairs as possible – even if the list of Employers seems like it’s not the right place for you to work. “But I don’t want to work Fast Food!” You shout. Sounds weird, right? Unless you truly know all that goes behind the scenes at a company, you might miss out on an unpublished, unknown opportunity. For example, did you know that most every Fast Food company has some sort of real estate involvement? How do you think they’re able to identify and purchase the busiest corners on the busiest streets? Do you know what jobs and careers fall into this particular aspect of Fast Food? Think about it!

• Explore the possibility of starting your own business. Do you need to come up with a new concept or a new idea? Or, can you find a specific type of business and provide better Customer Service than whatever currently exists? Check out various types of businesses. Read the reviews on websites such as Angie’s List, Home Advisor, or Yelp to see what positive or negative experiences Customers had – then go build something that’s better or competes with what’s already out there.

• Stay positive.Surround yourself with like-minded people whose goal is to get hired.


If you maximize your Unemployment Time, you will learn more about opportunities and expand your network. Staying active and busy and on a regular schedule will help you remain ready-to-hire. When your phone finally rings and the call is for an interview, you’ll be ready to go.The words out of your mouth will be positive and you’ll sound like you’re prepared to work now.


Make the most of your Unemployment Time and use this time to continue to prepare yourself for the eventuality of long-term employment.


How have you maximized your unemployment time?


Occasional Contributor

I have been unemployed a few times in the past three years. Once when I was retired medically and once when I left a position that was a horrible fit and affectly my health too negatively to remain there any longer. Both times I became more engaged in volunteer work and continued my education.


Volunteering is great for so many different reasons. Number one, it gives you perspective. There are always people/animals/situations far worse or worse of than you. It is also a great way to explore a field of interest in which you may not have a lot of experience - great way to learn something new or explore new opportunities. It is also a fabulous means of networking and helping others.


With regard to continuing education, even if you feel as though you're "maxed out" in formal education, there are always ways to upgrade your skills and there are so many seminars and courses available; many are free on line or available at community college free or for a low fee. Some may have grants available through your unemployment office.  Continuing your professional development demonstrates to potential employers that you are adaptable, flexible, willing to learn and teachable. It also demonstrates that you are making the most of the time available to you. And if you don't have a certificate or a degree and you're unemployed there is no reason in the world not to be pursuing some form of higher education.


Best wishes!


Community Manager
Community Manager
CB_8411: Thank You for sharing! Your perspective and wise words can be most helpful to anyone looking to make the best of all available opportunities and resources. And yes, finding the right fit is an important part of the equation. Thanks again for joining and continuing the conversation!
Community Manager
Community Manager

Thank You for reading this article and feel free to share your experiences!


Thank you for your advice!


I especially like your suggestion about starting your own business.  For many people, this probably seems like a daunting task. 


Unfortunately, it was not until I was 33 years old that I learned about opportunities to start your own business right away.  I found one that required less than $100!  This opportunity is also available to anyone, with no resume and no interview!





Community Manager
Community Manager

Thank You for the kind words jwp! Looks like you found an economical way to get started, congrats!