How to Survive Unemployment

Learning how to survive unemployment is a challenge that more and more people face as the economy dips. Whether you're newly unemployed or you've been beating the bushes for months looking for jobs, a few things can help you get through this rough patch.

Continue job hunting.
First and foremost, you need to continue your job hunting while you're unemployed. You'll have days where it seems overwhelming, or you're frustrated by the number of contacts you've made with no success. Keep slogging. Look for jobs every day, and set a goal for a number of jobs to apply to per week. Force yourself to stick with this goal even when you're feeling bad, and you can have the satisfaction of knowing that you're trying to remedy the situation.

Stay in contact with friends and family.
Humans are social creatures, but it can be easy to slip into periods without social interaction when you're unemployed. Stay in contact with friends and family, even when you're feeling unhappy and isolated. You need social contact, and spending time with friends can help you cope with the stress and unhappiness of being unemployed.

Follow a routine.
When you work every day, you get up, get ready for work and follow a routine. Do the same thing even when you're unemployed. Set a time for yourself to get up every day, and stick with it. Spend time being productive, or at least entertaining yourself, when you'd normally be at work. Sticking with a routine makes the days easier to take, and it can help with the adjustment when you get back to work.

Find inexpensive entertainment.
Cash flow is typically something you want to watch when you're unemployed, so look around for inexpensive entertainment. If you live near a city, chances are good that you can find inexpensive or free events to check out. Look for the dollar matinee at a local theater. Find cultural events at local organizations. Volunteer somewhere. Check out library books. You can find plenty of things to do without spending a lot of cash if you look around, and some of them could even lead to employment opportunities.

Network, network, network.
Spend time networking when you're unemployed. Sometimes jobs come through ads, but sometimes they come from knowing the right person at the right time. Go to professional events, work on your Web presence or portfolio, or even just have lunch with people in your field. Do what you can to network, and you'll be ideally positioned to catch the next break when a job in your field opens up.

Exercise and improve your diet.
For a lot of people, stress leads to dietary changes and unhealthy habits. You may be sitting at home all day, every day, eating potato chips and ice cream. Make a decision to take good care of yourself while you're unemployed. Join a gym, or exercise regularly. Watch your diet and eat healthy. These things take time, but a healthy diet and exercise are proven to boost your mental health. Good mental health is a plus when you're job hunting, and it can help you survive unemployment.

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