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A smart list of things to do while unemployed.


1. Update your resume (and write a short cover letter for each job you apply for).

2. Organize your desk and home workspace.

3. Practice mock interviews.

4. Check out local listings at craigslist or in your local newspaper.

5. Set a new budget.

6. File for unemployment benefits.

7. Follow the news. This will provide you with fuel for conversation.

8. Consider further education. Take college courses or pursue a Masters or PhD.

9. Ask family, friends, and past employers for possible job openings.

10. Walk outside and see which local businesses are hiring.

11. Get a makeover. Sometimes nicer clothes or a new haircut can help leave a better impression in your interviews.

12. Find some odd-and-end jobs around town (mowing lawns, cleaning houses, walking dogs, baby sitting, having a bake sale, etc.)

13. Have a garage sale or sell stuff you don’t need on Ebay or Amazon.

14. Consider a career change.

15. Make a blog as a stepping stone or portfolio for your work.

16. If you can afford it, go on vacation.

17. Consider moving to a place where there are more jobs.

18. Volunteering. You can put it on your resume and it shows character.

19. Upload your resume to Monster.com, SnagAJob.com, or CareerBuilder.

20. Consider starting your own business, but be prepared to put in the time and work.

21. Exercise more. It’ll make you feel better and more confident.

22. Learn a new language. Being bilingual is helpful in most economies.

23. Get a non-paid internship to gain more experience.

24. Rent out a room in your apartment/house for extra cash.

25. Cut out coupons for groceries and clothes.

26. Review your insurance bills and see if you can switch to cheaper companies.

27. Shop at discount stores.

28. Cook for yourself. It’s cheaper.

29. Pursue new hobbies and interests.

30. Read about topics you enjoy.

31. Maintain a positive attitude and a healthy self-esteem.

32. Check out your local food banks.

33. Have your children look for employment if they are old enough (to help out).

34. Look for local job fairs.

35. Take a workshop and learn a new skill.

36. Go to your local library. According to The Economist, 70% help you with filling out applications, writing resumes, and finding jobs.

37. See doctors and dentists before your health insurance runs out.

38. Network with people on Facebook or LinkedIn.

39. Limit time watching TV or playing video games.

40. Look for cheaper alternatives for your phone bill, cable, gas.

41. Spend more time with your family. It won’t lead to a job, but it is one of the more quality ways to spend your off-time.

42. Become your own manager or agent. Saying that you are the agent for so-and-so (during phone conversations) will give you a professional edge in some industries.

43. Pursue an art. This adds diversity to character and improves creativity.

44. Put yourself in the employer’s shoes. Ask “How can I add value to this company?”

45. Quit smoking. It improves your hygiene, it makes your teeth whiter, and you will smell better.

46. Find entry level jobs and aim to work your way up.

47. Maintain a healthy sleep schedule of 7-10 hours a night.

48. Donate plasma. Some plasma banks offer $35 a pint, and you can donate twice a week.

49. Cancel your internet and leech on public places with free wi-fi (Starbucks, public libraries, etc.)

50. Grow a fruit and vegetable garden to cut down on food expenses.

Bonus: When all else fails, find a wealthy boyfriend/girlfriend (who you love…not to be a gold digger, of course).


Check out The Science of Self Improvement to learn valuable tools and techniques to help improve yourself on a daily basis.

The Science of Self Improvement

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