Get a good night’s rest, every night. Sleep in, because you can. Sleep in until you can sleep no longer. Then get up for a few hours until you feel you need a rest. Then take a nap. Also, don’t stay up too late.
There’s nothing like starting the day fresh. Usually, after breakfast, I try to remember the last time I took a shower. Sometimes it was the night before, and other times it was four days ago. Regardless of the timing, there is no better way to feel productive than to touch your body all over and scour yourself with soap and get a clean shave. Take your time during this step. No need to rush. Beauty takes time.
I prefer my showers particularly steamy. If I wasn’t too afraid of disease, I might even consider going to a bath house for this step. As it stands, I have to make my own steam room by locking myself in the bathroom with the windows closed and water on at least 106 degrees F.
Also, there is no better time to multi-task/brainstorm than when one is in the shower. Think about your day, think about your future. Think about all of those sex dreams you had last night and how real they seemed.
Repeat this step as necessary throughout the day. You can’t be too clean- that’s a myth.
After your shower, get dressed. Act like you are going out for a night with friends, or even to the local mall. Think about going to the smallest mall you’ve ever been to, and dress as if you are better than everyone else who goes to that mall. And what about emergencies? If you run out of coffee, for instance, you will need to get more as soon as possibly possible. You’re going to want to be dressed for that. Safety first.
It doesn’t matter how unproductive your day has been, or what hour it is. Brew enough coffee for at LEAST 10 cups/servings. Drink what you can, refrigerate the rest. You will want to have it on hand in case INSPIRATION hits. Maybe you decide it’s time to leave the house. YOU WILL NEED COFFEE. Or perhaps you’ve been procrastinating cleaning your room, cutting your nails, washing the dishes. Likewise, have it on hand.
Also you made something today. Hand-crafted. Your creation. PLUS, the better you get at making coffee, the better your chances of being hired! It is a great skill to put on your resume.
Coffee is your friend. I used to be afraid of being “addicted” (another myth), and then I realized: I have time in my life for addiction. Recovery time, the ups and downs, etc. And besides, there will never be a withdrawal period because I will never stop drinking it. NEVER.
At some point during the day you will realize that you’ve done nothing that aids your unemployment status. In these instances, do the following:
Google: “Am I qualified for Unemployment Benefits?” or “U.S. Unemployment” or whatever you see fit to get your due money from the government. Even if the search results aren’t clear, you can use the day to sort through them and learn about unemployment. You might even read stories of people worse off than you! And then you will pat yourself on the back for feeling so positive.
Google: “job + _____ (insert ideal job, both realistic and unrealistic)” For example, I might search: ”acting gig, no experience required, NY, blonde, small, gay” and see what comes up.
Maybe you have a favorite site that you regularly check for jobs/entertainment/otherwise, such as Autostraddle.com, Craigslist.org or Jezebel.com. Do this as often as possible. Give the rest of your money to them. Even if you don’t end up applying to anything, at least you know what’s out there. Tell yourself you can do better, then go take a nap.
Feel free to share some tips/tricks to dealing with unemployment in the comments!
I love this post.
Set up a tumblr with a creative name and spend DAYS there.
Go to stores but don’t actually buy anything.
Call up friends and delight in the fact that you get to be in your peejays at noon while they have to sit at a desk somewhere.
Or do this: http://www.nanowrimo.org/
One of my friends is doing it and I am so jealous.
Tumblr is currently the biggest HINDRANCE to my NaNo…
I go to H&M basically every other day and try stuff on and sometimes I buy stuff and then other times I return it.
I’m just waiting for the day the employees yell at for being weird.
I tried doing NaNo while unemployed and I just didn’t have the motivation. I have completed it (before and since) while employed. I dunno.
Take a new hobby that is either free or extremely cheap. Like juggling, new housecleaning techniques, cooking, or just developing knowledge of skills that you will never use.
Find places in your area to get free food or entertainment. Art galleries, club events, museums, libraries, etc.
I wish I were unemployed just to do all of this.
Wait… I already do all of this! It’s called procrastination =)
This WOULD be the post of the morning when I come home from the unemployment office. Touche, Kelsey.
I went to the unemployment office for the first time today too! Exciting stuff!
I actually find better jobs quicker without going to the office, but it’s like, a rule for me that I have to go. Found out today that they’re shutting the office down permanently, so it looks like I have all the time in the world to do everything on this list.
I’m not unemployed, but more of employed but with an erratic schedule. find myself doing #1 and #2 a lot (without excessively hot water).
Doing that thing John Cusack does in High Fidelity helps too. Breaking down your day into chunks of 30 minute “units”.
i’m pretty sure that was actually hugh grant’s character in about a boy.
righ right! you’re right! (i was just watching both on my laptop before bed as people with a ton of free time are wont to do, and mixed it up!)
My favorite thing to do when I have downtime is go on YouTube and search for old Rosie O’Donnell Show interviews.
For example, Britney Spears from 1999 on Rosie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZZox6jfWUk
OR, there’s always this old chestnut… Ellen DeGeneres on Rosie from 1996, before either came out publicly. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk9K25iE0To
Riese, can I have a segment on Autostraddle where I introduce old Rosie O’Donnell show clips?
If I want a quick pick-me-up, I search for videos in which Elizabeth Hasselbeck gets thoroughly owned by everyone else on The View. Good times.
Yes. I have actually done that exact thing, I think I’ve seen that clip twice. YouTube in general is good for periods of unemployment. You can find TV shows, original shows, music videos…
What. Kelsey. You are so cute.
Also. I am a very good maker of coffee. Who’s hiring?
This post is good for my self-esteem.
I have been unemployed for like…decades, and so I started painting my apartment a million different shades of blue. I just started work on my kitchen cabinets yesterday. It’s pretty fantastic.
now i wanna do this really bad
Maybe it is passé and old media now, but don’t forget about daytime TV.
When my Dad was unemployed for a couple of years, he wisely used the time to watch Countdown (best daytime quiz show in the world) every afternoon, and he realised he was great at it, applied to be on and got on.
That meant that I got to go and be in the audience when they filmed his shows, and got to meet Susie Dent, celebrity lexicographer, generally perfect goddess, and my all-time #1 idol and crush.
Consequently, I associate long-term unemployment with incidental wish-fulfilment. So maybe all you jobless could try getting on TV to see if you can make some young lesbian’s dream come true too.
And, of course, watching Countdown can later help with job assessment tests! So, it’s all good (as long as your Dad didn’t watch Loose Women).
I’m a park ranger, which means that I work like a fucking person who works a whole lot from like April to October, but I don’t work for the rest of the year (and get paid – please don’t throw rocks at me).
I like to come up with weird little projects. Like the other day I spent 8 hours making a cape.
I learn random skills. I researched roofing techniques and then I put a roof on this barn thing with a friend and got under-the-table money / I hope the IRS doesn’t read AS.
I pick themes for the day. Yesterday was face paint day. It was awesome.
I go hiking.
I make soup.
I have impromptu dance parties! (sometimes alone)
Basically, I try to mirror children’s television shows. But with the adult twist of alcohol and sex toys.
You have perhaps the best job ever.
i want to live this life…
this makes me want to marry you kinda
Only kinda? Upset.
Your brain and words and face make me want to marry you.
this. rachel is so great.
can we wear capes instead of wedding bands
can i be invited to this wedding?
If they say no, you can crash it with me, I hear they have good booze at these wedding things
can i wear a cape anyways? even without a wedding?
Rachel – Yes, yes,yes. I’ll get started tomorrow.
E – Well of course! You’re my maid of honor.
yes yes YES
warning: i may get drunk and make an inappropriate toast and make out with someone’s mom . just so you know…
I’m there too, invite or not.
That bouquet is mine, bitches.
fuck the bouquet, i want the garter!
Garters are so fucking hot. There’s a little love puddle under me just thinking about our wonderful Rachel all garter belted up.
Are you sure you want to get married, or do you just have a wedding attire fetish?
Don’t even get me started about veils, duh
did someone request a wedding planner? matthew mccongahey not included.
Tell how to get this job.
Please tell me how you become a park ranger. That sounds like heaven.
Guys, I’m a graduate student. It’s like being unemployed, but without all the free time and slightly more pay.
Fun and free for the unemployed: If you live near a large university you could totally sneak into large lecture halls and stimulate your brain for free. Just consult the schedule of classes.
I was unemployed for over a year before I sold my sold to work at a bank call center (It’s called a check register guys!).
My sister works at Mount Holyoke College so at her suggestion I started attending talks by special speakers all the time. Not only did it make me well-rounded, I meant a lot of interesting people and can really hold my own in an adult conversation now.
I’m lucky because within in 15 minutes of each other there is Mt. Holyoke, Smith, UMasss Amherst, Amherst College and Hampshire College. It’s like a lesbian incubator.
I’m typing fast so excuse the mistakes.
Mount Holyoke!!!! I go there! eeeek!
LOL on #1. Its so weird how tiring sleeping can be.
Make lists of things to do. Include safety goals like “laundry” and “journal” in addition to reach goals like “get a job” and “write a book.” Always include “make a list of things to do” so you can quickly feel the accomplishment of checking it off.
Start a blog. Then start another blog. Then start another blog. Obviously, one of the three will become wildly popular and you will live off the ad revenue for years.
Practice yoga. Learn to meditate without anxiously waiting for the end so you can feel enlightened already. Seriously, it’s not like you have somewhere else to be. Just breathe.
Paint your nails colors that weren’t appropriately ‘professional’ for your last job. Call your friends who still work there and tell them that you just slept until 10, painted your nails neon green, and are going to update your blog later, if you have time. Check “call working friends” off your list.
Kalinflynn is right: don’t take neon nails for granted! I have a job where they told me No sparkles. No glitter. No black. No midnight blue shimmer. No lilac. No seafoam green. No heather grey. Just effing matte or metallic pink all day everyday.
I just painted my nails fire engine red and that’s really pushing it. I envy unemployed nails…I think that makes me weird.
I had a gig once where you weren’t allowed to speak in contractions. It was like hostessing for Dostoyevsky’s republic.
My friend worked at a hotel and they made her change her name. CHANGE HER NAME. Apparently there already was another Mariana, and no employee could have the same name so guests wouldn’t be confused.
I’m not unemployed,however I did just paint my fingers neon green yesterday and then got reprimanded. Touche on color choice!
Get a subscription to netflix, so you can stream tv shows and movies- and then try to watch all of the x-files! See if you can finally understand Kate Mckinnon’s obsession with Dana Scully, there are seriously so many seasons of the x-files. There are also some lesbian movies, just saying.
I am also a grad student, but sadly I do not get paid, therefore postgraduate studies = unemployment
I like to knit. Then I can feel as if I have accomplished something.
And I make a kickass pot of coffee with my french press.
HEY! Your parents took my name! Do you find it awkward explaining to people that you spell your name with a period at the end? Any chance you’re my doppelganger?
I have a job but like wasteunit I have tons of free time and I highly recommend: skipping, playing in the rain, making your neighbor cookies, giving handpicked flowers to your local coffee shop (when you get a job I suggest buying your local coffee shop girl coffee from the cafe down the street – more than once cause the more you do it the funnier it gets), reading, making collages, playing guitar, sending handmade postcards to random people in the telephone book, taking lots of pictures, and hiking!
I am aboooout to be laid off. Next things on the list are find new job and then maybe get drunk
I got back from vacation to find out I had been temporarily laid off, I’m freaking the fuck out and having an existential crisis over it.
Not having to get dressed is one of the best parts about being unemployed! Veronica Mars reruns don’t care what I look like.
Learn to speak a new language so that when you get back to the job market you have a little something extra for your resume.
Not that I think Icelandic is actually helping me in my job hunt…
Knitting helps. I knit a lot.
I knit while watching Netflix/Hulu. Somehow, by doing two inane activities at the same time,I feel doubly productive.
can someone knit me a scarf? that would be rad.
i will knit you a scarf. i’m serious
i’m not unemployed but i may as well be
live in nanny=hang out with a baby all day/maybe in pajamas/eat all their food
that would be really cool. im serious as well. do i get to pick the colors?
yes. i have enough yarn sitting around this room i probably have whatever you want, unless i don’t, which is entirely possible
that is so fuckin sweet! im gonna go with…um…orange. and blue. and maybe some green?
it won’t let me reply like i want. but you should email me at marmamook at gmail dot com :)
“I knit while watching Netflix/Hulu. Somehow, by doing two inane activities at the same time,I feel doubly productive.”
this may or may not be how i spent my entire thesis writing period
You guys, Rachel knits like a motherfucker. Don’t ask how I know that – remember, I am Nancy Drew.
rachel if you don’t already have “knits like a motherfucker” on your resume, then i see the problem
it’s actually the only thing on my resume?
I work in tv, so I’m unemployed in between every episode (pretty much every 3 months.) The first week is always fun but after that it’s hard to feel like a person. I love this list and am totally going to employ it next time I’m funemployed (COMING SOON!)
I like having cleaning projects with no deadline. If all you managed to do between Monday and Friday is mop the kitchen, at least that week you mopped the kitchen! Employed people NEVER have time for mopping!
I’ve also done stop motion films because they take an incredibly long time and feel like real accomplishments and everyone will marvel about how wonderfully creative you are.
I love the idea of projects. Easily completable projects, like knitting or cleaning or painting or letter writing. Having a to do list keeps the unemployment depression a little further away.
Also, most of your friends are unemployed as well, so that’s a great reason to leave your house.
LEAVE THE HOUSE! Go do your internetting somewhere else.
Ride you bike! I spent hours riding my bike around my city this summer. I rode slowly down streets I’d never been on before. I rode uphill when I wanted a challenge. I rode like a manic after watching “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and deciding I needed to be as muscular as her. I rode to errands and didn’t feel like I’d wasted time/gas money when I didn’t find what I needed.
Except that winter’s coming which means take a Vitamin D suppliment, lie in your window to stave off scurvy, wrap really pretty Christmas presents in old magazines you have lying around, and learn how to use lay and lie correctly.
Nooo, you can ride your bike in winter, too, mostly! All the positive accomplishing-important-things and being-a-superhero feelings you get from doing errands by bike in good weather? Multiply those by like 100 when it’s below freezing and there’s some snow on the ground. Good warm gloves and socks/boots are important, but otherwise you stay pretty warm as long as temps are still in the double digits.
im normally lost in limbo between steps one & two
wake up around noon, get coffee, get online, play eve til the evening, sit on the porch with your roommate and drink copious amounts of alcohol. con the employed roommate into driving you to that mexican resturant down the street (because youve been drinking) when the bill comes, conviently state that you lost your wallet and that youll pay back employed roommate when you get the chance. go home, finish alcohol, get back online. repeat. you can substitute eve with WoW, or videogames in general, and mexican place with pizza/chinese/ryans/other. also, its nice to fit in a shower and brushing your teeth amidst the days events. when i did finally get a job, i really did pay back employed roommate…just sayin.
That post is me right now. I just spent the day catching up with tv shows, still in my pjs, and also watched 3 films(including KickAss, that was epic awesomeness).
My body is screaming stop it, move your ass and get out, yet my mind is in a blur :D It’s evening now so I can go back to sleep again LOL.
Aaah freelancing with no guarantees, joy.
It goes against the never-leave-the-house-because-I-don’t-have-to rhetoric but going to the gym is one of the best strategies. You can take your time, scope out hotties and work on becoming one of them. Solid strategy.
NYC-ers: apply to Strand Books! It’s FULL TIME and awesome. After an anxiety-ridden four months of post-grad unemployment, I got hired here. Cute women and rare books — what could be better? Do it.
my friends chris chris and arthur work there! one of the chrises is awful and one is wonderful. arthur is alternatingly awful and wonderful. HI to you!
-take free classes at the mac store
-read books in book stores
-make crafts (and maybe try to sell them)
-browse free craigslist for things to sell
-browse the book section of craigslist for books worth money
-a fun activity i like to call “poverty food test kitchen”
Ha! “Poverty Test Kitchen”.
I know well of what you speak. If you ever need my recipe for hot dog fried rice let me know.
This has given me major flashbacks from my ‘Year of Horror™’ two years ago. Find every long running tv show you’ve ever wanted to watch and have a marathon, beginning to end. Repeat x infinity.
Also – volunteer at your local pet-helping organisation (eg. my local Cat Protection Society) because kittens make everything better.
It’s also pretty much the best time ever to start dealing with all your life perspective/unhappy memories/purpose of life shizen, rather than waiting till it causes a surprise-breakdown-attack 20 years in the future. I’m actually really serious about this.
Love this post. I swear, I wrote it… except that “getting dressed” consists of changing into another pair of sweatpants & hoodie.
I’m trying to learn a language… I got a bunch of books (for free!) from my library. My library carries movies & TV shows, also free! Unemployment = become an expert in pop culture.
I need some more cheap hobbies though! I’m sick of spending so much time online because there is nothing better to do!
I like you, you should write more.
“Think about going to the smallest mall you’ve ever been to, and dress as if you are better than everyone else who goes to that mall.”
I’m not sure if I have what it takes to do that, but I’ll definitely think about it to amuse myself.
write a zine.
how do i apply at strand?
In-store apps only, I think. Take the elevator up to the 3rd floor and someone will direct you to the offices. :)
This should be entitled “5 Reasons Why Being Unemployed is AWESOME.” SUCK IT productive members of society!
I no likey that i have graduated. PeaceCorps here I come. I cannot face real worldness.
i feel like everyone is getting smarter right now than they would at work. and um, self-actualized or something. when i became unemployed i started a website. that’s pretty much all i’ve gotten done so far.
I think the word self-actualize should disappear from the English language
“i feel like everyone is getting smarter right now than they would at work.”
I agree, and this is happening because so many of the jobs are so moronic that doing them repetitively for any length of time will leave a person as dumb as it is possible for a human animal to become.
“human animal” i am confused, but I’ve been at work all day sooo
Do it again, but with more enthusiasm
I’m using this period of unemployment to watch the entire series of “Daria” on DVD. Quinn is more of a bitch than I remember, and I still want to punch Brittany and Kevin in their faces and be besties with Daria and Jane.
My life kind of rocks right now, not gonna lie.
i will be unemployed as of first thing monday morning. takin’ all these things to heart. sigh.
I’m unemployed at heart. That means I sort of get employed at times but I don’t really want to and I stay unemployed inside.
Yes I know how this is! I have actually been pretty consistently employed for like the past seven years, but I somehow feel latently unemployable. Even now, having just been promoted to a terrifyingly grown-up and extremely full-time job at work, I am always sort of thinking BUT WHAT IF I HAVE TO FIND A JOB? I WILL NEVER FIND ONE. It’s like I just self-identify as Unemployed or something.
It’s like I just self-identify as Unemployed or something = RT
Exactly, I think being unemployed is something one is born with.
I recommend never buying very much when you go to the grocery store. This way, you have to go back often and have an excuse to leave the house on a regular basis.
Video games help, too. Why better yourself when you can kill things?
I started a webcomic. Obviously.
and started watching repeats of Melrose Place. I also eat alot of toast, but this is mainly so I dont freeze to death. My biggest problem at the moment is freezing to death.
i really like toast
i rewatched every episode of 30 rock. they’re all streaming on netflix. netflix is essential to unemployment.
I’ve been playing video games for 3 days, pausing to sleep and get food. I’ve already beat a game too :) Now if only I had a job so I had the money to go buy Black Ops..
Oh, and anyone want to teach me how to knit? I would love you forever. I need a scarf for winter. It gets cold up here! :)
I can crochet one for you!
omg really?! I love you already!! You are amazing!!!
Send me an email! chrissyjacobs [at] ymail [dot] com
great suggestions everyone! i feel as if I’ve already done half of them, which makes me a winner.
1. Netflix is definately a winner and I enjoy that they basically refer to me as ‘dark, drugs, strong women, documentaries’.
2. I call my unemployed friend when ANTM is on an all day roll and we watch together and while doing so:
3. try to take only prescription medications due to possible drug testing.
Noncompliance with #3 makes those days when I can’t apply feel like a valid excuse or an earned vacation, so it’s sort of a win-win.
they love referring movies to me that are “Dramas With a Strong Female Lead” – it’s netflix calling me a homo under disguise.
I too have that distinguishment!
Why dont they just come out and say it?
This post and the comments make me feel better about graduating in 6 months. I have no idea what I’m going to do, but hey, at least I can F5 autostraddle all day. [and learn a new language. Suggestions?]
I’d never heard of it, good idea. But at the same time, I’d like to give Silbo Gomero a try.
Also try Swardspeak, Gayle language, and Bahasa Binan.
This makes me want to keep studying linguistics and do postgraduate so that I can write a thesis about these
Haha I’m not gonna lie…I really disliked this post!! I mean, it’s bad enough to read the news daily because of all of the depressing stuff…seeing a headline like “coping with unemployment” doesn’t get me jumping.
Then I thought, well, unemployment IS a reality, so why not give the post a chance…?
Sadly it was not a very uplifting post! It was kinda humorous in a thiscouldbetheworstadviceever way, but besides that….lol.
I mean, sleep and internet are terrible things to indulge in when unemployed! Perhaps that’s part of the ironic humor or something, but overall I just found this depressing (as someone who recently lost her job).
aww..no offense kelsey! someone had to make a post like this, and i think the comments are fab, but i agree about the article itself, not the best tips!
was just talking about this with a friend last night. sleeping, showering, getting dressed, drinking coffee and using the internet are not really coping mechanisms, but Things To Do In The Morning If You Are Alive. but again, i appreciate the sentiment. but since we’re all adding, i’d include:
1.wake up EARLY
3.work on your resume, often
4.go on interviews, a lot
5.start a blog
6.reorganize your closet/give away clothes you don’t wear and buy some new ones
7.get a new hairstyle/always look fabulous
8.have a lot of sex all the time
It’s not an informational piece of literature as much as it is a personal essay/opinion/humor piece that was used to get a discussion going, which, by the looks of it, was successful (your comment included)! Apologies if it is mislabeled or if you didn’t find it humorous. I think the ways you mention to get off your ass and LIVE your life are really very helpful.
I was offering a humorous look into a quite (personally) depressing subject. I’m hoping to help people feel a little less alone – by presenting the most time-sucking things a person could do (and I do!) when unemployed, I hoped to help people relate and giggle, at my expense even! I’d like us all to feel better about ourselves for like, ONE SECOND IN TIME. We all do these things. They are human indulgences and they are ok. They’re not great. But look at all of the solutions we’ve come up with by discussing! If I told them to you, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. And you know what? I like talking to you.
Can I just mention how much I relate to the excerpt from “the unemployment dictionary” right now even though I’m not unemployed.
Start a blog http://www.missjenniferwatson.blogspot.com
and treat it like it’s your job, it helps you to forget you don’t actually have a job.
Whatever you do while unemployed… Do NOT purchase a xbox or a Ps3!
Dollar store oil paints.
Make your home an art gallery.
And then charge people to come over.
this post is an exact replica of my life these day’s…
I laughed so hard through this entire post… because every point is completely true of my life at the moment. Except I don’t make my own coffee. For shame.
this is about what I have been doing for the last month of being unemployed! go me!