The Unconventional Guide: What to Do While Unemployed

Being unemployed can feel challenging if you are used to working full time. You might have been let go, left your job because it wasn’t a good fit for you or any other reason for becoming unemployed. Whatever the case is for you, there are a number of things to consider while you aren’t working.

Firstly, you will want to find ways to fill your time, so you don’t end up just watching Netflix all day. You also might need to think about your finances and how to manage them. And finally, you will be considering your next job and how to get your desired role.

Below, we will look at these topics in more detail. Think about what applies to your own personal situation and what your next steps might be.

How to spend your time when you don’t have a full-time job

Do what you love

So you suddenly have an awful lot of time on your hands. How to fill it? Well, if you have always wished you had more time for your hobbies, this is your opportunity! Whether you like to play music, draw, bake, or any other hobby, now is the time. Doing things you love will help you feel productive and give you a bit of a purpose during this time. It can also help boost your mood, which may have depleted a little.

Make the most of your free time and give yourself something fun to do! However, just be mindful not to spend all of your time doing these activities. There are probably some tasks you need to complete in relation to your job search, so don’t let the fun time become too distracting.

Read everything

Reading is a great way to keep your brain active and engaged. Read the daily news to stay up to date with current events. This can also be helpful in a job interview or when networking, as it demonstrates an awareness of world issues.

Similarly, read journals or articles related to your preferred field. This will help you stay up to date with any developments in this area. Again, this will show prospective employers that you are committed to your field of work.

You can also just spend time reading fiction that is completed unrelated to work. This is a good way to manage stress or low mood, as it can be a distraction from real life. Plus, it is just an enjoyable activity.


This free time you now have could be the perfect opportunity to go on that trip you’ve always dreamed of! Maybe you could take a road trip with friends to a fun camping spot, or take your partner on a romantic weekend away. Or even, if you can afford it, visit that country you’ve always wanted to see.

Adventures and trips away can be a nice break from the real world and can help to boost your mood. Then when you return home, you will feel refreshed and ready to be productive again! Just be sure to budget wisely and not go over the top with your plans.


Volunteering could be a great way to keep you in a productive work mode while you look for your next job. Find something you are passionate about and offer your time. This could give you a feeling of great reward and keep you busy.

You could also try to find a way to volunteer for a company in your preferred field. Assist someone who has your dream job and learn from them. This will look great on your CV and give you some much-needed experience.

Alternatively, volunteer in a completely new field of work. This could give you the inspiration to switch careers entirely. Plus you will make plenty of connections in this field which will benefit you with your job search.

The only downside is that you obviously won’t get paid, so consider this when you plan your monthly budget.

Look after your physical health

Don’t let unemployment be a reason to get lazy. Now is the time to focus on your physical health. Cook yourself healthy meals and go out for walks or do some exercise. It can be very easy to become sedentary during this unemployment time.

So, try to motivate yourself to do something for your health. Even just some light exercise every day can improve your physical health. This will also have huge benefits for your mental health as it can contribute to a much brighter mood.

How to survive being unemployed


While you don’t have an income, it is very important to manage your finances carefully. If you are lucky enough to have some savings, then you can incorporate some of this into your monthly budget.

Write a list of everything you need each month, such as food and toiletries, as well as any outgoing bills. Work out how much you can afford to spend each month and how much you will have left after these necessities. Now you have a monthly budget to spend on things you enjoy.

Make a plan

Without a reason to get up in the morning, it can be very easy to start sleeping in late, sitting in front of the tv, and wondering where your life is going. Give yourself a bit of a routine to avoid this from happening.

Maybe you could plan to wake up at the same time each day and go for a walk. You could allocate three hours per day to work-related tasks. For example, updating your CV or applying for jobs. Compile a list of tasks you want to achieve during the week and aim to complete them all. This can help with productivity and give you a boost in mood as you accomplish things.

Try freelance work

This could be a good way to get some income. Look for freelance work in your field or even try something new. It is a good way to keep busy and earn some extra pocket money for treats!

It is also something to add to your CV so you can avoid a gap in work. You might gain some valuable experience or a new skill that you can apply to your future job.

Look after your mental well-being

Unemployment can be a frustrating and worrying time. Try not to let these feelings overwhelm you or impact your self-esteem. Talk to a friend or family member and arrange activities with them.

Your loved ones may also have career advice to help with your job search or ideas for things to keep you busy. Good mental health is vital for staying productive, so look for ways to avoid feeling alone or hopeless.

How to stop being unemployed

Take a class

A good way to occupy your time is to take an online course. You could look for something completely new and learn new skills. Alternatively, look at job postings online and see what requirements they mention. Then, take online courses that will improve skills in these areas.

Taking this initiative is a fantastic way to look like an attractive candidate to a potential employer. It can also be a good way to make new connections with like-minded individuals.


While you are wondering what your new job will be, give your future self a helping hand by attending networking events. You could meet hiring managers who can give you advice about exactly what they are looking for in job candidates.

Even if the networking event isn’t related to your field of work it could still help you make important connections. Be sure to have some business cards printed that you can hand out to potential employers. Going to these events might present you with various job opportunities and could even help you get a job faster.

Keep up the job search

Try to allocate at least a couple of hours per day to job searching. Upload your CV to job sites and fill in as many job applications as you can. It is a numbers game, so the more job applications you complete, the more chance you have of finding a job. It is also good practice and can help you perfect your cover letter.

Prepare for job interviews

Before you even receive a job offer, practice your interview skills. You can even ask friends to pretend to interview you so you can really brush up on these skills. Then when you get invited to interview you will feel confident in your abilities and can easily impress prospective employers.

Stay positive and productive and your perfect career will be just around the corner!