Finding things to do while unemployed (without spending money) can be difficult. You are in a whirlwind of trying to figure things out. Time is moving fast and slow at the same time, and money is getting tighter and tighter. Forbes shares that learning something is a great way to use unemployment wisely. Networking is also a suggestion. But with limited funds while unemployed, how do you re-invest in yourself without spending money?
There are lists upon lists of reasons why volunteering can benefit you while unemployed. My favorite of those is the opportunity to network. Research has shown that more working people volunteer than unemployed workers. When you decide to pick up a hammer on a Habitat for Humanity build or distribute food at your local food bank, chances are you are working right along side other working professionals. These working professionals may be the lead to your next opportunity.
Unemployment can sometimes lead to detachment from society. Volunteering at a lunch club for the elderly will allow you to talk to people who may be seriously lonely and allows you to understand their situation. This is true for a variety of different volunteering opportunities which allow you to see life from someone else’s point of view. The new perspectives you learn can build your character, but more importantly, some of the skills can also be resume fillers while you are unemployed.
Acing the job interview can be difficult anytime. But gaps of any kind on a resume can be especially uncomfortable to explain. With volunteering, you can add these new experiences to your resume. Now, you also have a great talking point about the skills utilized or learned on a volunteer project. Click here to download this free resume template when you're ready to add your volunteer work.
Go to School
Learning a new skill is one of the best things you can do while unemployed. This is an opportunity to grow yourself. I have heard so many people who were unemployed tell me, "This isn't a loss, this is an opportunity!"
The free resources online are abundant, but can become overwhelming. Think about going down the YouTube rabbit hole, trying to find something you are passionate about, jumping from one video to the next, unsure if what you are learning could be applied anywhere. Focusing your learning on a specific career path is the best way to capitalize on your time while unemployed. Career training is a different type of classroom environment than what you may be used to. Click here to read more about how career training is different than traditional school.
The best kept secret in unemployment is local community workforce centers that specialize in finding the best path of training to get you back to work. In addition, there are many grants available depending on your location that can pay for the career training program that is best for you.
If you or someone you know is a dislocated or unemployed worker you may qualify for WIOA funding. The Workforce Investment Opportunity Act (WIOA) provides job training benefits to help gain skills necessary to obtain and maintain employment. To qualify, you must be approved by your local workforce development agency. Watch this video to learn about government funding WIOA.
Working out can help keep routines while unemployed which is critical to staying focused on getting back to work. Business Insider lists this as the very first thing you should do when planning your day while unemployed. That's how important it is. In addition, research has shown how exercise can help boost your energy levels. This is due to increased endorphin levels, sharper focus, and better heart health.
There is also way more to exercise than losing weight or physical fitness. The mental health benefits are enormous, and I can’t stress enough how much more confident I feel after a workout. You will have moments when you wish you had just lounged around, but there are other moments when you push yourself to the max and rise to the challenge. This is what working a meaningful and challenging job does, and this is what habits working out can help you implement.
This is one of the areas where YouTube videos are GREAT! The benefits of working out during unemployment are to keep rhythms, boost energy, and build confidence. Free online workouts using items around the house can save you money on a gym membership, expensive equipment, and time spent worrying about if you are doing it right. Unless your career goals demand any specific physical requirements, the workout you choose is perfect.
As you consider your professional goals while unemployed, now is the time to ask yourself important questions about your motivations, aims, and talents to make the most of your career. Everyone wants to get back to work, but making the decision to advance your career and actually taking the positive steps necessary to move up the ladder are two different things.
Certification allows your current or prospective employer to verify your skillset, offering you a wider range of career choices and additional mobility and flexibility. With the right training and certification, you can unlock countless benefits in fields that are both exciting and profitable. Before you make any decisions, ask yourself these questions to best prepare.