|Sleeping under a bridge isn't really as bad as they say it is.|
It's time we had a little heart to heart.
A hug in fact. And maybe even a high five.
(Because let's be honest, we can't afford anything else...)
Now whether you chose the unemployment or the unemployment chose you doesn't really matter. What matters is that you make the most of it!
Milk it for every cent that it's worth (because you probably can't afford any other forms of calcium)
People often forget that unemployed people are people too!
It's your duty to remind them that you have a soul! You have a heart! You used to have a job!
You could be sitting around lamenting the bastard who fired you or wondering why you quit.
You might be looking out the window and thinking you should clean it so you can at least know what sort of day it is now that you don't have to leave the house.
You might even [because I've heard it's possible] be getting bored of Solitaire and Pokemon.
Whatever state of disarray you currently find yourself in, I (a semi-professional unemployed gypsy) am about to attempt to share my advice on making the most of your unemployed journey.
[Please note that despite having numbers, these are in absolutely no particular order]
10) Make New Friends
Everyone you know probably has a real job. A nine to five (or whatever "they" call it).
Or maybe you're in a new country/ city/ suburb?
Either way you're going to need some new people to hang out with!
It's not as daunting as it sounds!
The world is full of awesome people who need to meet you!
You can start by helping old ladies cross the road. They're probably retired and have all the time in the world for you (Think home cooking and awesome stories from their many years of existence).
Backpackers hostels are an ever ready supply of colourful people from around the world who are looking for an adventure. The turn-over rate for them being in town is normally so fast too that if you mess up, you can try again in a couple of days.
Go door knocking - see who's home.
Crash house parties/ company golf days/ funerals (Make sure you dress for the occasions)
Put an ad on Gumtree/ Craigslist. If you don't have the internet, make a cardboard sign and stand at the robots (traffic lights).
If you're needing someone to talk to in a hurry I suggest you go down to the local tax office.
The queues are generally ridiculously long, allowing you good quality time to really get to know the people around you.
I spent two days in the last week at the South African Revenue Service and made many new friends. Some of them have even invited me around for coffee.
The opportunities are endless!
|Crashing a German Christmas party in Freemantle |
(I even made the group photograph)
9) Go to the Places That are too Busy on the Weekends.
Theme parks (imagine no queues and no-one to laugh at you wet your pants/ vomit!)
Beaches (Every wave is yours to surf.)
[But avoid nudist beaches in the week. They tend to attract the wrong sorts of overly excitables]
The movies (You can change seats every time an actor says the word "Vortex" [for instance]
Make sure it's not school holidays first!!!!
|An awesome day spent on our own "private" beach in Australia|
8) Stalk People
Now obviously it's better if you try and do this without completely freaking people out [or getting arrested], but there's joy in that too.
Find people who have mad skills or jobs that you would like to learn and see how they do it.
Take a day/week/month and trail them carefully, watching their every move.
Ask questions when you don't understand.
If you have nothing left to learn or no aspirations to learn from anyone else, purely just follow people to discover new areas, shops, and gaits.
[Disclaimer: I take no personal responsibility for anyone who takes this too seriously and does anything/everything against the law]
|There are creepy, and there are less creepy ways to do said stalking|
7) Get Uber Fit
Go for long runs and hikes and swims.
Climb mountains [and box slide down].
Learn to do the splits while rollerskating backwards.
Save money by walking or cycling everywhere, even if it takes you all day to get there (and if it does take a whole day, take a tent, because it will take a whole day to get back too.)
|Even if you don't get uber fit, make sure you still go cardboard box sliding!|
6) Write Your Memoirs
Everyone always dreams of writing a book.
Now's your chance, you've got the time.
And so what if you haven't done anything with your life yet?
Write the book now and then go and lead a life that lives up to the legendness of the tale.
|Find the perfect spot and then start - even if you need to do it on paper|
5) Find Creative Ways to Make Cash
Busk - you can earn heaps of money by being really good. But being really bad earns you just as much. (This is also chance to learn an [new] instrument)
Sell the belongings you don't need. And if they won't sell, creatively adapt them into something that will.
If you have no possessions you can always donate your eggs/ sperm/ and kidneys.
Blog (and if you learn how to make money from it, please teach me how).
Teach classes in successful unemployment-ism (or whatever else your specialty may be).
Become a self-acclaimed sommelier / beer connoisseur/ or personalized chef.
Walk dogs and/ or hyperactive children.
(I'm going to stop my list here because I need to keep some options for myself)
Take a temp or casual job.
You don't need to rush into a full time job that you'll probably hate [and that will definitely destroy your soul] just because you need cash.
|At a traffic light in Johannesburg.|
I made 50 bucks :)
4) Go on an Epic Adventure
Contrary to popular belief, you don't need money to travel!
Go down to your local marina and try hitch a ride on a boat.
Or hope on your bicycle and see where you end up.
Go visit those countries and cultures and places that you've always wanted to see!
Unemployment has taken me around the world one and a half times.
Spend all you have for the loveliness the world has to offer.
|Hitch hiking to get to forbidden areas in Burma|
3) Learn new Skills
Haven't you always wanted to[↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓]? Now's your time to practice.
do a handstand.
be a ninja.
undo all your bad karma.
memorize the entire periodic table of the elements.
navigate by the stars.
discover an undiscovered species or breed of germ.
make a movie.
|Learning to do handstands.|
2) Send Emails and Pictures to Long Lost Friends [and Enemies] and Family
You know how you always wondered what happened to such and such...
Or you've always wanted to thank [insert name here] for [insert thankful thing here]
This is your chance!
Better yet, send them actual hand-written letters or visit them.
Even if it's been years, and they might not remember who you are, they are still going to enjoy hearing from you!
And remember that if you don't hear back from them, they're either just jealous that you're unemployed or too busy doing boring job stuff.
|I'm still flipping grateful to these guys for getting me started as a gypsy!|
1) Look for Jobs
But don't make getting employed your primary concern.
People tend to get so fixated on getting a job that they forget to enjoy their freedom.
Jobs will always be there, free time won't!
Make sure you're looking for something that you really want to do - Why did you quit [or were you a rubbish employee] at the last job?
Jobs take up such a huge portion of your life that you really don't want to be wasting hours of your short existence for a measly pay check!
Apply for jobs that are above you.
Yes, they'll probably say no; but what if they don't??
In fact, while you're at it, if you can't find something you want to do locally; search the world.
Maybe it's time for a change of scenery?
Or maybe there's something awesome that you need to bring to your neighbourhood!
Jobs are a bit like partners; when you're not looking for them and obsessing about them, they find you!
|This is an actual screen shot of my life last January|
There's so many good aspects of the unemployed life!
Boredom is not an option!!