Being out of work might quickly turn into a dull routine, perhaps tinged with worry about your financial situation. In the same way that feeling challenged and invigorated at your job can have a positive impact on your mood and your productivity, developing a positive mentality and a healthy routine can also help while you’re at home looking for a new position. It’s also a good time to do a little soul-searching as well.

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Don’t Sleep the Day Away

It may be tempting to turn off your alarm and spend most of your time in pajamas, but you’ll probably feel better if you wake up at a decent hour and put on clothes. That will help put you in the right mindset to accomplish daily tasks, including your job search.

Treat the job hunt as you would your most important work project — the amount of time you spend on it may vary from day to day, but it should still be a significant chunk of your time. Keep a spreadsheet where you’ll track each job you apply for, with details of the outcome. Did you get a return email or phone call? Did you get an interview? What are the names of the people you contacted? Did you send “thank you” emails? And so on.

Dedicate a portion of the day to exercise — it’s easy to get too sedentary when you’re in the house alone. Get an audiobook or your favorite podcast onto your phone or player and go for a daily jog, run, or walk. Keep your eyes on the scenery and notice things in your neighborhood that you’ve never noticed before. Let this time refresh you and build you up.

Stay Busy and Stay Solvent

This could be a good time to tackle organization projects you’ve put off. For example, clean up the garage, rid your gutter of leaves, or go through your wardrobe and get rid of what you never wear. It can be invigorating to have a clean environment around you.

If you need extra money to tide you over, there might be short-term opportunities available for people with your skills. Upwork and other sites post freelance opportunities in a number of categories, and there are also sites such as Fiverr that specialize in a more narrow range of jobs.

Rideshare and delivery services are almost always seeking drivers who have a reliable vehicle, even if you can only work a few hours a week. You may need to have your car inspected first, as well as making sure your auto insurance is up to date.

You may even be able to turn your hobbies into some extra income. Do you make pottery, jewelry, or embroidery? You may be able to market those on Etsy. If you’re into photography, you may be able to sell your shots to sites like Stocksy.

Take Time to Learn and Grow

Keep your brain sharp and allow yourself to see this time as a time of growth. Dedicate some time to learning, whether it’s formal online classes or just instructional YouTube videos.

This could also be an opportunity to pause and reflect on your career goals and direction. Are you doing what you like to do in life? Is there something that inspires you, something you’re passionate about, that you’d rather be pursuing? Honestly assess your strengths and weaknesses, and take advantage of online career tools that are available to you.

Whether you do change to a new career, or wind up in a new position along your existing career path, we hope that these tips may help you find some unexpected happiness during otherwise trying times.


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