Job Seeking Spare Time

A reader writes:

Hi Anita,

I have been unemployed for 2 months and try as I may, I still am having trouble finding employment. I am starting to get extremely bored and the excess hours of the day are beginning to get to me. With the large amount of free time on my hands, what can I do to during the day that will have a positive impact on my job search and my day-to-day life?

Dear, Stuck With Too Much Spare Time,

Job HuntingBeing unemployed and having nothing to do are not as much fun as many people make it out to be. I bet for the first week or two, it feels like a nice vacation full of sleeping in, leisurely breakfasts, watching television all day, and kicking up your feet. But after a short while, those things you wished you could do while you were working are becoming unbearable and boring. If you are starting to feel down about yourself or feeling like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, I ask you to turn that frown upside down. It is time to start being proactive and getting your life back on track.

The first thing you need to do is set a schedule out for yourself. No more sleeping in until noon and watching television until the wee hours of the morning. Most people who are employed are up and out the door in time to be at work by 8 a.m. Now that you do not have a job, what do you think your full-time position is? You guessed it, JOB HUNTING! Immediately, go see my friends at Select Staffing and fill out an application. Chances are they will be able to enter you in their database and offer you advice on how to proceed with your search. You must dedicate at least 6 hours a day to searching for a job. That doesn’t mean just scouring the Internet; get out there and sell yourself. For tips and tricks on becoming a very successful networker, check out my post Networking Know-How.

Try to find a class in your area that will build your résumé and your skills. If you work in a warehouse, look into getting your certification in forklift driving. If you are in administrative or executive support, brush up your grammar and proofreading skills. Do something that will benefit you in the long run and help keep your brain from turning to mush.

Build your résumé while doing something good for others. Locate a charity whose cause is near and dear to your heart and start volunteering. This will give you satisfaction and look great to potential employers. Here you can gain Community Serviceprofessional and life skills, meet people that could help introduce you to new job openings, and also earn a great recommendation from your supervisor that can only shed a better light on your unemployment. I once volunteered at a local charity and after a few months of dedicated service, I was offered a paid position in their Career Center.

Surround yourself with positive EMPLOYED people. This is a very important piece of advice to follow. Typically, people who are unemployed will not be happy with their situations and will inevitably bring you down. They will be more likely to engage you in activities that do not mesh well with job hunting activities. People with jobs will be able to share advice and connect with other professionals, possibly resulting in your next job lead.

Cut out the junk food and take some time to get your body moving. Exercise is a great way to spend an hour of your day. Getting your blood pumping will increase your energy level and spread those happy endorphins through your body. It is proven to relieve stress and ward off depression. Healthy foods will give you more energy and make you feel much better, both physically and mentally. Remember if you put good in, you will get good out.

As tempting as it maybe, try to avoid reading the bad news about the job market and the economy; it will only bring you down. Switch over to reading uplifting books and inspiring stories to keep you in a chipper mood. Go by yourself to see movies that bring a smile to your face. It actually gives you a greater sense of independence. I definitely suggest you give it a try.

Set GoalsSet daily and weekly goals for yourself. These do not need to be huge or intricate. Day one can be as simple as waking up at 8 a.m. and apply to 3 viable jobs. If you do that every day for a week, you have 15 job applications and résumés out in the world. Now that is an accomplishment! As you achieve more, you will begin to feel better and more confident in your abilities. Just remember you won’t get anywhere without putting one foot in front of the other.

Now that I have given a few tips, I want to hear from my readers what they find to be the most important advice for keeping your sanity while seeking employment. What things did you do while you were searching for a job?

Take care until next time,


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Noel Simwawa
    Mar 01, 2013 @ 15:35:54




  2. Jo
    Feb 26, 2013 @ 13:59:22

    I have recently found a job after looking for over a year. It is a two month assignment. I really enjoy the job and the person I am working for but I do not usually get 40 hours. This is only week number two and I am trying to complete the assignment so it will look good to the temp service as I like to finish what I start. I have since been called two times for first shift positions but I have not returned the calls because I don’t just want to quit a job. It is just getting aggravating every week knowing I am working a assignment that is not permanent and still not getting in 40 hours. Please advise if I am right in finishing what I started and not passing up great opportunities.



    • anitaclew
      Mar 01, 2013 @ 08:13:50

      Hi, Jo:

      Thank you for the question. I think it is great that you have been able to find such a demand for your skills. I know it can be hard not to finish what you start but in your case, I think you need to weigh your options. I would first start by returning the calls of the people who have contacted you. By ignoring them, they will be less likely to call you if a need arises in the future. Listen to the opportunity and even set up an interview. You could then start making a list of pros and cons for each scenario and see what you come up with. I would also set up an appointment with your personnel supervisor to discuss what the future holds with the agency.

      I hope this helps and if you have more questions or need advice, please give me a shout!




      • Deep Blue Vibrance
        Mar 03, 2013 @ 22:44:59

        Thanks Anita! I just posted your great article on LinkedIn in the Job Seekers’ Group discussion! I loved reading it!



  3. David McMahon
    Feb 26, 2013 @ 09:50:57

    I have been looking for employment for the past 3 1/2 years, I spoke to a local staffing agency who told me I needed to have worked in the past 6 months to qualify for their services, quite a let down to be denied services from a staffing agency when you are looking for a job.



    • Mark
      Jan 14, 2014 @ 21:42:18

      Hello David,
      I myself have been out of work, it will be 3 years coming up this year in May of 2014, I signed up for quite a few staffing agencies & yes it did take a while to get things going for them to call me for me where ever they wanted me to go to, I pretty much went to even though the pay varied from Job assignment to job assignment

      but I pretty much took them all assignments & even accepted the pay even if it was less than what I was making at my last full time Job.
      I was able to land a seasonal job at a retail store which was totally different for me.
      it was a really good learning experience for me.

      I also have been driving out there to look for different employers & asking to talk to the managers & they tell me that I need to apply online & which I do & I try to follow
      up on them.
      Good Luck\



  4. Denise Imsland
    Feb 26, 2013 @ 09:46:58

    Reading your blog sounds exactly like me. Been unemployed since end of October and you start to doubt yourself & just can’t get motivated.



  5. Mac Léinn
    Feb 26, 2013 @ 08:38:05

    Great advice! Exercise definitely works for me – I can’t underline enough the influence it has had in keeping me going through those boring, gloomy days.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
%d bloggers like this: