Blogging & Writing · Career · Inspiration · Productivity · Underemployment

Staying on Task While You’re Unemployed

Lately I’ve started participating in the occasional live twitter chat related to job seeking (my favorite so far being #Internpro from Youtern, which is every Monday at 9 EST).

One of the cool things I have learned from these live chats is that there are more opinions on all things unemployment and recent grad related than I ever could have imagined. But no matter how varied people are in their opinion of how you should divide your time between applying to jobs, volunteering, and networking, everyone believes that you need to keep yourself motivated and inspired while you do it.

So how can you keep yourself on track while you’re stuck for hours on end without any real structure?

It’s hard to get work done when you’re unemployed – start by adding some structure and routine back into your day

Maintaining a schedule is a huge help to me. I typically start my day off at the same time, write myself a to-do list and then read the newspaper over breakfast. I then proceed to my desk to check out job boards, write applications, and whatever tasks I’ve assigned myself for the day.

One of my tricks for making sure that I accomplish the tasks that I set out to do is to set deadlines for myself. For example, I originally had a hard time completing job applications. Creating appropriate deadlines has provided me with enough structure to motivate myself to tie up those loose ends without wasting time.

Finally, daily communication with people who will help keep you motivated is key. For me that means spending time text messaging and chatting online, since a lot of my friends and past classmates are now thousands of miles away. Keeping in contact with people who are in a similar situation, no matter if it’s in person or online, is a great motivator. This is a two way street, however. You have to be prepared to lend a sympathetic ear!

My final word of wisdom: don’t turn on that television! Honestly, daytime TV is a huge time-suck. Don’t get sucked into endless repeats of CSI or the next episode of General Hospital. You might be unemployed, but your time is still valuable!

How do you motivate yourself and keep on task while unemployed?


4 thoughts on “Staying on Task While You’re Unemployed

  1. Great tips, Elle! I was also really overwhelmed when I first entered the Twitter-verse and got advice (from everyone and their brother, it seems) about job hunting. Seems you’ve captured the important basics, which will help you go far. We’re very excited to hear that you like InternPro, and have enjoyed your involvement in the chats! “See” you Monday! : )

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