Whether you’re just starting college or have had a steady stable job for a while, if you’re in your 20s, you will probably be unemployed at some point in your life. Not trying to be a pessimist, but it is true for the most part.
I was recently unemployed, and although I was having a difficult time adjusting to life without the 9 to 5, the feeling of freedom, and that burden lifting off your chest is so much more captivating and invigorating than I could have ever imagined.
It is a time of self-defiance and endless opportunity. Although you may currently be dismayed about your job stability and stresses of everyday important issues (rent, bills), always keep this advice in mind.
Maybe, just maybe, you’ll find something about yourself that you would have never known if you had kept your 9-to-5 job.
#1 No one is looking over your back constantly.
That feeling you get when you’re bored at work and sitting at your desk either Facebook stalking your friends and coworkers, playing computer games, or for some of you rebels out there, maybe watching porn… and all of a sudden, your boss walks by.
Um, heart attack, much?
This feeling of not having someone over your shoulder constantly is something to rejoice in because you are free to do what you wish in your spare time.
#2 Your family and friends will always support you.
This may not hold true to some people, but throughout life, if you find yourself in a rut by being unemployed and stressed about what to do next, don’t fret.
You will always find kindhearted souls who will help you in your time of need, whether you want to believe it or not. It is just knowing where to find those people who really matter the most.
#3 You have the chance to travel.
If you saved enough to have the funds to travel, do it. I promise you, the last time I was unemployed I went off on an epic Asian and European adventure, traveling from one country to another meeting people, learning and immersing myself in new cultures.
It was an experience of a lifetime, and that experience helped define who I was and what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
If you do not have the money for a globetrotting adventure, then explore your own town or city. There is always something new to learn in the place you live. Go for a walk, take a bike ride through a different path in the forest or get a coffee at a new café. Travel is everywhere, even in your own backyard.
Traveling will start to define you, and being unemployed is the first step to a new adventure.
#4 Update your skills, update your résumé and find a new hobby.
Maybe you were laid off from your job because you weren’t qualified for that certain position. Maybe you quit your job because you were overqualified for the position and not rewarded enough for your accomplishments. Whatever it may be, this is the time to update your skills.
Something I had forgotten while I was working was my love for new projects. In the past, I always tried to find a project that would intrigue me enough to challenge myself.
These challenges created many different skills that companies find interesting in an employee. Try taking up a new course or joining an organization; it will make you feel good about yourself as well as look good on your résumé.
#5 Catch up with people.
Most of us lose contact with people from our past. Some of those people should be kept in the past (exes, dramatic friends, etc). But for those who impact your life in a good way, now would be the best time to catch up with them.
Send them an email with a hello and ask about their lives. Many people appreciate the fact that you are thinking of them. Also, it is interesting and fun to look back and laugh at stories from your past. You may be upset about your unemployment, but you can always find time to smile with an old pal.
Are you starting to get the trend here? Being unemployed isn’t necessarily the end of the world; you will keep living and redefining yourself. It’s simply a bump in the road to a much bigger and brighter future if you can make the most of your time.
Written by Ehryl O’Rourke. Originally published on Elite Daily.