Vintage GMW: 3 Ways to Make the Best of Unemployment

This week we have another round of Vintage GMW. These are the 2011 posts that survived a website crash back in December and made GMW what it is today. Check back periodically as I will be posting the best of the best.

3 Ways to Make the Best of Unemployment

Many of us are finding ourselves graduating from college and learning first hand why the call it The Real World. Gen Y unemployment is still pretty high which is making it difficult for us to pay our debts, get our finances in order and become the independent individuals we were told we were supposed to become upon graduation.

This can be an incredibly frustrating time in our lives. Believe me, I know – I was unemployed for six months after graduating from college. The fact that I was even able to eventually find work is a miracle considering I live in a city with one of the worst unemployment rates in the country.

During those six months I felt hopeless, anxious and above all confused. I had done everything I was told to do -  I went to college, got decent grades and received my degree only to be slapped in the face by abysmal unemployment numbers upon graduation.

I wasn’t really ready for it and found myself in a deep state of depression for a while. I thought that a job would fix my problems and then I would be on the right track.

But what if there is no work to be had? What if, through no fault of your own, the economy doesn’t get any better?

That’s when you have to get up, look life square in the eye and say “I’m taking matters into my own hands now.”

Thats what I did and it led to some great decisions – starting a freelance writing business and beginning a yoga practice just to name a couple.

The truth is that there are several advantages to being unemployed after college, some of which I briefly touched upon in a post I wrote for Brazen Careerist entitled Why You Might Be Better Off Without a Job After College. This isn’t a glass half full approach or meant to only make you feel better temporarily – I have fervently come to believe that if it hadn’t been for my time of unemployment that I would have missed out on a lot of opportunities.

Making the best of unemployment doesn’t have to be difficult. It is at this time that you should be concerned with taking advantage of the time you now have. This doesn’t mean forget about looking for a job – it just means that there are several things you can do to make this time better.

1. Start your own low-cost business.

There are several low cost businesses out there that you can start – such as freelance writing or social media management. The simple fact that is if you’ve got a computer and an internet connection you can start your own fully functioning business from your living room.

2. Start getting healthy.

Now would be a good time to start putting your health first. You worked hard throughout college and probably didn’t take very good care of yourself (playing beer pong is not considered a bicep exercise) and there’s no time like the present to start treating your body right.

Take advantage of the free time, look up some YouTube videos and start exercising!

3. Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to spend your time as an unemployed individual. Not only are you helping your community you’re also acquiring some skills you can later put on that resume.

Although unemployment can be frustrating try to remember that life is what you make of it. There’s a big difference between sitting at home moping over not having a job actively using your time wisely.





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One Response to Vintage GMW: 3 Ways to Make the Best of Unemployment

  1. Dave from Unemployed Loans September 12, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    As some one that was made redundant about a year ago, I can definitely appreciate this list you have put together. I totally agree with point number 1 as that is what I have done, setting up a low cost business that is based online is a great way to turn your situation around, all it takes is a bit of determination and creativity!

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