Ever since I turned 16 and began working my first job at Premier Services Group, a catering company, I have never before been unemployed until now. I did have a brief period transitioning between jobs between Premier and the cannery, but I never considered myself among the millions of unemployed Americans. Even with the terrible hours and unstable employment from Premier, I always knew that there was going to be another event. If I spent my money carefully, I could make it last until next time because there was always a tomorrow. So even if I didn’t make as much money as I had hoped for or if I needed more, I always knew that I had tomorrow. One of the best things about working there was that it worked perfectly with my student schedule since most of the events where during nights and weekends. Plus, there was ALWAYS free food, which if you’ve ever been a college student you will understand how critical that part is. Free catering food is way better than having to eat quesadillas and cup noodles.
Unemployment isn’t always a negative thing. It can be positive too. It depends on how you look at it. The glass of water is whatever you make it to be. To me, the glass will always be half full, but that’s because I’m an optimistic or at least that what I like to think. Think about it. Now that you don’t have to get up at certain time and rush to work to beat the morning traffic, there are so many things you can do. Embrace it, you unemployed citizen, and follow these tips (or not).
1. Television/ Netflix as Your Best Friend
It’s time to watch all those daytime soap operas that only your mom has time for now. If you don’t have Netflix, then you’re missing out. It is one of the best investments any unemployed person can make. Start a new series and forget the outside world until you finish it. If you can’t afford that then find a good pirated website, you little felon.
2. Going back to Your Once Scholarly Ways
Remember that book you always wanted to write? Congratulations, you have the time now. Get that pencil and paper or start up that computer. Now would be a great time to finally read that book that your grandma gave you and you lied about reading. Grandma is not as oblivious as you think. She is going to catch up on of these days so get to it. At least keep up with local news so you can interact with people.
3. Embracing Your Inner Night Owl.
Now that you are unemployed, staying up till all hours of the night is a given. With all your Netflix series you’re watching and Facebook stalking you’re doing (just admit it) it’s no surprise your internal clock isn’t as it used to be. At this rate, if you get up before noon it’s an accomplishment!
4. Relax. Find a hobby/Take a Class/ Volunteer
With all this free time, it’s time to start a new project. Maybe you want to give back to your community and help out. You could volunteer at the library or a resource center. Not only is it fulfilling but also it enhances your resume. Take that Salsa class that you’ve always wanted to take but couldn’t because of conflicting schedules. Pick up a new instrument and learn how to play it or learn how to juggle and street preform your way through clowning school. Really, the possibilities are endless. Just get out there and do it.
5. Get in Shape
This one is probably the easiest one to start since you’ll be riding you bike everywhere now. $5 a gallon? Yeah right, you can’t afford that, but don’t feel bad because many employed people can’t either. Hell, you were just one of them. Isn’t it amazing how you’re not a headless drone polluting our streets. You’ll have those nice, tone legs and rock hard abs before you know it.
6. Sparkle, Sparkle, Mother, mother
That is exactly how your apartment/house is going to look like now. Since you’re the only one not contributing to the household, you’ll be expected to become America’s Next Top Maid. You’ll have to clean the house and keep it looking pretty and scented. It’s time to take pride in that patch of weeds that you call a garden. Cook your housemates a nice meal. It’s a great way to show gratitude and to remind them the importance of your presence. (It’ll keep them off your back.)
7. Living On a Budget
So you’re not the next Bill Gates which means you won’t be able to go out every night or eat out every day. Find inexpensive ways to have fun with friends like going to the park and going to Cinebarre Tuesdays, where it’s only $6 to see new movie releases. Unless you want to eat off McDonald’s dollar menu every day, learn how to coupon shop and do yourself a favor by printing off easy to prepare recipes. Try to limit going out to expensive restaurants, nightclubs, and bars. A perfect alternative is to have a potluck and have your friends contribute. Have someone bring you your precious alcohol, you alcoholic.
8. Maintain Your Optimism
If there’s anything to take away from this is that the future is uncertain, and it may take a while for you to get back on your feet. Regardless, of the obstacles, you shouldn’t get discourage. There is no right way on how to get through this. The only advice I can give is that there is always tomorrow, and embrace life for what it is. The important thing is to not stress out and enjoy yourself while looking for another job.