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How to Stay Productive While Unemployed

Updated on April 7, 2017
I like to browse books for information that is useful to the job-hunting process
I like to browse books for information that is useful to the job-hunting process | Source

Long Days at Home

I am used to working, so when I moved to Boston, leaving behind my job of the past 3 years, I had to deal with being unemployed for a while. At first the days seemed so long. There was so much I could do, but I wasn't sure where to start. Since then, I have gotten my act together, evaluated where I was and where I wanted to be, and figured out what I needed to get done. I am hoping that this article will help those who may not know where to start, or what to do. These are my suggestions, although everyone has different needs.

It is easiest to get things done when you have a workspace set up
It is easiest to get things done when you have a workspace set up | Source

What to do:

  1. Set up a workspace, and get organized
  2. Take time to determine your job or career goals for the next 1, 2, and 5 years
  3. Make priorities, and evaluate your day
  4. Make a routine, and stick to it
  5. Try to avoid wasting time when you are trying to be productive
  6. Keep track of everything
  7. Prepare your "Job Search Portfolio"
  8. Work on self-assessments, to help you get to know yourself and what you could put into your resume or use in a job interview.
  9. Draft a resume, and tweak it based on what type of jobs you apply to
  10. Be ready to type up a cover letter to go with a resume when the time comes. I spend time browsing books and looking online to view different formats of letters, and to give me ideas on how to put together a professional-looking cover letter
  11. I like to be prepared for a job interview, so I start going through a list of possible questions before I even get the call, and answering them the best I can. I like to keep a typed copy of the basic questions and answers, so that when I do get the opportunity to go on an interview, I have something portable to look over beforehand. Another clever suggestion that was made to me was to actually practice answering the questions- either to a friend or family member, or in front of a mirror
  12. Aside from preparing an interview list, it is helpful to prepare for an interview in other ways. Make sure you have clothes that are appropriate. For other tips, check out my article, "Interview Preparation"
  13. You may want to spend time building profiles on job or career sites. Some employment agencies also have sites you can build a profile, including your resume, onto
  14. Spend time hunting for jobs
  15. Research companies that interest you
  16. For a more in-depth look into a certain company or type of job, go on an informational interview
  17. Research salaries or hourly pays for different jobs you are interested in
  18. Always be prepared for a phone call, and stay organized so that you will have the information you need
  19. Turn every job or task into a learning opportunity
  20. This advice is from Tom Schumacher: Check your credit report. For more information on why, check out his link below

Set up a workspace, and get organized:

  • I have a desk with a desktop computer, but any area may work, as long as it involves a seat and a work surface. Maybe a sofa with a coffee table, a chair beside a side table, or else a kitchen table. Even a bed would work for some people, although I would probably doze off if I tried to work on mine.
  • It is ideal to have access to a computer with internet, and a printer. If you don’t have them, career centers or libraries often have ones for the public to use.Those who have laptop computers can be especially flexible, and can even get some of their work done in public places. It’s nice to go to a coffee shop, a bookstore, or a restaurant for a change of scenery. If it is nice outside, you could even go to a park or a beach.
  • Online, make sure you set up an e-mail account, if you don’t already have one. Most places nowadays communicate that way, and many resumes are sent through e-mail. Take care not to create or use an e-mail account with a ridiculous or unprofessional address or user name if you plan on using it for the job search.
  • A telephone is needed, so potential employers can contact you.
  • Stationery and envelopes are good to have on hand. Although many things are done online, there are still reasons to use standard mail (also known as “snail mail”).
  • A system for organizing information and papers: folders in a file system, a binder, or whatever else is your style. Some people may feel more comfortable keeping everything in their computer, and organizing virtual files. If you have everything on your computer, you may want to back up the information on a disk or USB flash drive. I organize both on my computer and in a binder. It’s always easy to find what I need to do any type of task.
  • It’s handy to have a notebook to take notes with. I always have paper nearby, in case I need to jot something down. I also have a composition book that I use to record details of my job search, or to write down ideas of companies or job types that I am interested in researching.
  • An address book or log is handy to keep track of the information you might need.

Daily Prioritizing and Evaluating:

In the morning, consider your priorities by asking yourself:

  • What do I want to accomplish today?
  • What do I need to do to accomplish this?
  • How long will this task realistically take?

At night, evaluate your day by asking yourself:

  • What did I accomplish today?
  • Did I waste any time? Doing what? What could I do to avoid this in the future?
  • Did I achieve a work/life balance? If not, how could I improve it tomorrow?
  • Is there anything that I didn't accomplish today that I would like to add to tomorrow's list?

Time-Wasters

It is good to take a break to do something fun every once in a while, or to wind down after a long day, but during periods you want to be productive, be careful of the following time-wasters:

  1. Playing games
  2. Browsing through music
  3. Browsing the internet aimlessly for news, articles, entertainment, or blogs
  4. Social sites. It is so easy to pop in with the intention of only checking messages and statuses, and before you know it, an hour has flown by!
  5. Checking your e-mail excessively. I have been there. Going through my e-mails can be time-consuming, and when I leave my e-mail logged in and I hear the notification that I have received another e-mail, many times I will stop what I'm doing to check it out!

Time management and goal setting are two great topics to read about
Time management and goal setting are two great topics to read about | Source

Self-Assessment

  • Look into your personality traits, skills and talents, interests, and work values.
  • Determine your "personal brand", which is a summary of important, unchanging attributes, such as work ethic, leadership, honesty, or creativity.
  • What is your professional reputation? Are you reliable? Can you keep information confidential? Are you always on time?
  • Keep in mind that when you get a new job, you have a clean slate, and can turn what used to be a negative part of your reputation around. If you used to be late often, make it a point to be on time. If you were a little grouchy before, be more friendly. You can reinvent yourself at any point in your life, but when you switch jobs it is the easiest time to do it
  • Define your "personal mission statement", and remain focused on it during the job search. You don't want to work at a place that goes against your beliefs and values. Bill has a wonderful article on that subject, and I would like to share it with you:


Job Search Portfolio

You'll need to get information together to create important job search documents, such as resumes, job applications and questionnaires.

  • Employment history: For each company worked for in the past 10 years or so: Company's name, address, phone number, supervisor's name and whether or not they can be contacted. Your job title and description of responsibilities. Dates and length of time worked there. Amount of pay (starting and ending), salary/hourly.
  • Job Objective or Summary: What you want to do, and where.
  • Key messages: Who are you? What are your skills? Where do you want to work? When and how have you done your best work in the past? Why should (insert company's name) hire you?
  • Achievement stories: Think of times you faced a problem and overcame it. What did you do to resolve the problem, and what were the results of your efforts? How did the company benefit from it?
  • Skills: Everybody has skills.Think of ones that you have used at work, as well as skills you use in other areas of your life. When you look through lists of possible skills, it is a surprise how many you have gained throughout your life
  • Personal story: Why do you want to leave your job, or why did you leave your last job?
  • Job and personal references: You will want to spend time thinking about those who could be your job reference, if you don't already know. You may also want to contact them to let them know they are (or ask them to be) one of your references
  • Certification: This would include degrees or academic honors, technical skill certification, awards from an employer, or even membership in a professional group

Job Search

There are many places to look for jobs:

  • Newspapers
  • Recruiters
  • Employment/Temp Agencies
  • Internet: job search sites, company sites, state or government job sites, using key words in a search engine, or the employment section on social sites, or classified sites
  • Career fairs
  • Career centers
  • Networking: a friend, family member or acquaintance may know of a job that could be a possibility for you
  • Community bulletin boards
  • Call or visit companies directly, and ask about employment opportunities

Learning Opportunities

  • Is there anything you can do to increase or update your skills?
  • Learn new computer programs
  • Improve your typing skills
  • If you're not very organized, it could be a great time to gain or enhance the skill
  • Take classes at a local college, or take an online course
  • Take advantage of free resources at your local career center, YMCA, community college or library. Their are many opportunities out there.
  • Maybe this would be a good time to devote some of your time volunteering. You can learn a lot.
  • Enhance your writing skills by starting a blog, or writing online. I joined HubPages while unemployed, and it has given me more experience typing, writing articles and researching, as well as providing a creative outlet to express myself. It also helps me to feel less alone
  • Take up a new hobby or interest. There are so many ways to learn. Check out books from the library, or look online for opportunities. There are some free classes online. Recently I started taking a beginner course on coding, and that has been illuminating! Who knows where your new skills could come in handy?
  • I used some of my free time to browse through books on different subjects, including ones on writing, job-hunting, and creating resumes and cover letters.

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wow! Great job in this hub. You have covered just about everything one could ask for. This is a hard transition. I had worked for forty-five years for some employer before beginning my own freelance writing career, and I had to learn on the go. I can say without a doubt that your suggestions are right on! Nice work, Kathryn!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thanks, Bill. It's nice for me to step back and see what I have learned, and to share it with others who could use it. When I was first without a job, I was searching for information such as this.

      What I originally typed up in my computer was twice as long, so I left that for another hub or two in the future.

    • AnnaCia profile image

      AnnaCia 4 years ago

      THis is what I was needing. Thank you for the information, I needed to clear my mind and organize a little bit.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      AnnaCia, you're welcome. I'm glad I could provide you with helpful information. Writing this hub was illuminating, because it helped me realize how far I have come along in the past several months. Getting organized and thinking about things helps quite a bit.

      Thank you for reading and commenting, and good luck.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Great tips you have listed out. Many women are out of jobs and become stagnant to homes. Voted up

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Peachpurple,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I hope that some of those women will see my article, and gain something from it. Being unemployed can be discouraging, especially when it takes months to get a new job. It always feels good to be productive, and to have priorities that help propel you forward.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      This is such a great resource for anyone who is job hunting! Thanks for the comprehensive overview.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Rose, thanks for reading and commenting. You're welcome, and I'm so glad you think it is great! I hope it is a help to many, because it is based by what I learned from experience.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      I'm self employed, which means I'm kind of unemployed. When I don't have anything to do, I try to remain creative by doing all sorts of things.

      I liked your points.

      Cheers

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Vinaya, some of these points definitely work for those who are at home but not umemployed. It's good to stay creative!

      Thank you for visiting my page, and commenting, Vinaya, and have a good night. Or day. Whichever it is for you (it is night here).

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Kathryn, it's a bright morning here in Kathmandu. Thanks for cheering me up with your nice comment on my hub.

      Cheers

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      You're welcome, Vinaya. It is morning here now, so it must be night for you.

      ~ Take care!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great information within this well well written article. Will help everyone that is unemployed and looking for work . Well done !

      Vote up and more !!!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thanks, Kashmir. I appreciate it.

      Fortunately, I will probably be writing an employment hub soon. I have a job, although I won't be starting for another week or two. It's at a brand new store, in the final stages of getting ready for people to go in and put the shelves up, and stock it. It should be interesting, because I worked at the company doing the same thing back in 1999.

      I really hope people do get a lot out of it. It's valuable information, I think.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Kathryn,

      What a great thorough account you have given! I guess you could say I am unemployed as writing is my only source of income at the moment as I lost my job awhile ago. I did a course on networking, cv revamp, all the things you mention here and it certainly helps without a doubt. Well done with all your work that went into this, voted up, useful, interesting, shared and pinned.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thanks, Suzie, that is a great compliment, coming from you! I tried to be thorough, although I still have more information to put into another hub. I didn't want it to be too broad!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Your ideas and suggestions are perfect for everyone, unemployed or not. Making time productive when you are unemployed though is a good thing and what better way than preparing things so that you are ready for any interview or application? Nicely done.

      Voted up, useful, interesting and shared.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thanks, Mary. I'm always amazed at how much information needs to be handy when filling out job applications. I like to be prepared, because the last thing I want to do when filling a long one out is to stop and look all over the place for something that's needed, or to reach deep into my memory to think of an answer. It takes long enough as it is.

      Even when I start working, I will keep some of my tips handy. It is always good to be organized, have goals, and focus on what's important.

      Thanks again for visiting my page! Have a great night!

    • Esmeowl12 profile image

      Cindy A. Johnson 4 years ago from Sevierville, TN

      I have found that keeping a date book has helped me during my 11 weeks of unemployment. I write down goals for the day (or week) and mark them off when completed. Thanks for the helpful information.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Esmeowl12, you're welcome, and thank you very much for reading and responding. I have always found writing goals to be helpful, and no matter what life is like, I always have a planner.

      Good luck!

      Your user name is very interesting. The part of it I notice most is "meow". Maybe that is because cats are on my mind.

    • profile image

      mjkearn 4 years ago

      Hi Kathryn

      In today's world of economic gloom there is hardly anyone who hasn't been in this position or knows someone close who has. This is a great topic and packed full of great advice.

      Job hunting can be so demoralizing and some people can take rejection badly. Being organized and having a routine as you say is so important.

      Great job and great advice. Voted up, ticked and shared.

      MJ.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      I like the different tips that you included to keep those that are

      unemployed busy. I am currently unemployed and will

      definitely put them to use.

      Voted up.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      MJ,

      Yes, many people have been in this position. I have had to keep telling myself that. It is hard not to take it personally at times, but I made it through to the other side! I hope that many people will fnd this article useful.

      Thanks, MJ, much appreciated. Have a wonderful day!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Torri,

      Thanks, I'm glad you liked my tips. When I first moved here, I was having so much trouble trying to figure out what to do, and where to start. Over time, I read up on related subjects, and once I organized everything it didn't seem so bad. It was very uncomfortable for me, because I'm used to working. On top of that, I lived in a new town... or city, actually, and that made it seem a little more overwhelming. I love it here, but I am not normally a "city girl". It is a completely different lifestyle than living in the suburbs!

      Good luck, and I hope things work out for you in a positive way.

    • Esmeowl12 profile image

      Cindy A. Johnson 4 years ago from Sevierville, TN

      Kathryn, I never realized "meow" was in my user name. I am a cat lover!

      There is a screech owl in a tree nearby that I named "Esme" (from Twilight) and my name came from that. Thanks for pointing this out - we have 3 cats!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Owl! Oh, I see. Esme is a pretty name. I can't imagine having an owl right outside the house! I have seen owls, but not frequently. Whenever I hear one, I can't tell where it's coming from.

      I love cats, too. I don't have any right now, but whenever we do get a cat I will be very happy!

      Thanks for telling me about your user name. Lol, my user name is my actual name, because I didn't realize people don't usually go by other names around here. I don't think it hurts anything, though. I am always careful what I say, because I care about my reputation.

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      Great hub! As someone who has hired hundreds of people over the years I think your advice is excellent!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Sheri, that is a great compliment, especially coming from you. It's nice to hear input from the "other side of the table" (from a hiring manager of sorts). I'm glad you think my advice is excellent. I hope a lot of people find it helpful over time.

    • ARUN KANTI profile image

      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 4 years ago from KOLKATA

      Excellent hub. Thank you for putting forward great advices.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Kathryn,

      You have assembled a very helpful article for those who find themselves unemployed for whatever kind of reason. Excellent advice! I am linking this page to mine titled Job Loss or Hard Times Now verses the Great Depression. UUI votes and also sharing.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Arun, thank you, I'm glad you like. It took a while for me to compile it, but it was worth it!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Peggy, thank you! I'll check your article out shortly, it sounds interesting.

      I think it is helpful, and unfortunately a lot of people find themselves in this situation at one point or another. I am very happy to report I will be working within a few weeks! It'll be so nice to get back into the work life.

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 4 years ago from Western New York

      I am voluntarily unemployed (took a leave of absence after my second son was born) - I have so many activities that I am rarely bored! While my children are both now in school full-time, I volunteer on the special education committee as a parent member and I also sew feeding tubes into stuffed animals for a charity called "Tubie Friends." Volunteering is a great way to stay busy while unemployed (and may even spark a job opportunity for those who are seeking employment)!

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 4 years ago from Pune, India

      Great tips.... Very useful for unemployed persons.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Leahlefler, thanks for reading and commenting.

      I agree, volunteering is an excellent thing to do with free time. I'm glad that you have flourished while voluntarily unemployed. With kids, it is probably hard not to stay busy!

      That charity sounds great. There are so many ways to contribute to charities nowadays.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Jainismus, thanks for commenting. I hope a lot of people find it useful.

    • iguidenetwork profile image

      iguidenetwork 4 years ago from Austin, TX

      Very valuable information. When people have gotten used to working non-stop and being a slave to the daily office grind, unemployment is really a hard adjustment. While being unemployed is not all good, it gives us a chance to assess our abilities thoroughly and be prepared in our job-hunting. It helps also that if you've got a way to set up a business of your own, you can do it but first though a research beforehand before setting up shop is recommended. Going freelance is popular nowadays as well.

      Voted up and useful, and shared. Wonderful article indeed.

    • Tom Schumacher profile image

      Tom Schumacher 4 years ago from Huntington Beach, CA

      Nice hub! As you pointed out, although unemployed it pays to remain actively engaged day-to-day working towards goals. I like that you focus on the positive versus the negative. Voted up for useful and inspiring.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very inspiring hub and I love your tips. You come up with solution. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up!

      Prasetio

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Iguidenetwork, that is a good way to look at it. Assessing our abilities is a good way of making use of unemployment, and it can actually turn into a great opportunity! And many people would be able to set up some kind of a business after researching. There are many things to do or sell, or many services to provide, and anyone with a little creativity and drive can take advantage of it.

      Thanks for reading, commenting and voting up.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Tom, I am usually a very positive person, sometimes to the point of seeming obnoxious to others (unfortunately), although I do have my negative times. I would rather find solutions to problems than to dwell on what cannot be changed. And having goals to strive for makes me feel like I am useful in some way, and it gives me hope.

      Thank you for reading and commenting, I appreciate it.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Prasetio, thank you for reading and commenting. I love solutions, and I enjoy sharing what I have discovered and learned, and what I think. I hope many people get something positive from it, whether or not they are unemployed.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      You have outlined a wonderful program to remain focussed as well as productive, Thanks for this wonderful hub Kathryn. I'm sharing this as I feel more need to read this.

      voted up, useful and awesome.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thank you, Rajan, I'm glad you think so! I appreciate your comment and feedback.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Sid, thank you, I'm glad you think so! I hope many people find use for my tips.

    • profile image

      Innocent 4 years ago

      Though I am not idle, I have learned how to be more productive.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      It's always good to be productive! With some down time to have fun and relax, of course. Thank you for reading and commenting, Innocent.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Finding a job is a full-time job in itself for most people. You have a lot of good ideas here.

      Did you know that most state employment offices offer classes in a variety of things like resumé writing, and interviewing? They have lots of tips and often have networking groups meeting in their office on a regular basis too! If one seriously needs a job, it pays to leave no stone unturned.

      I like that you encourage being organized because that is so important for your own records and for keeping your energy up when at times things may not be going well.

      Great hub with lots of good ideas and advice!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      It really can be a full-time job to look for a new one. Or at least it SHOULD be for many people.

      That is a good point. I have heard of state employment offices having those types of services, but I have never taken advantage of them myself. Yes, those who really need a job should consider every possible option.

      I love being organized. It makes things so much easier!

      Thank you, Au fait. I'm happy you read and responded to my article.

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Excellent hub, Kathryn! I was also recently laid off from my part-time job. It was actually a relief as it was almost too much with working for myself as well. Now I have more time to do what I want to do for my own business; however, I need to get rid of some of the time wasters that you mentioned. LOL. Thank you for this hub... very useful! ;)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Abby, I still have a hard time with the time-wasters! Since I have found a job, it isn't so urgent to do some of the other activities I was doing, but I do really need to stay on top of things. The job I got is one I will enjoy, and it will bring in money, but it is not a career move.

      Sometimes losing a job is a blessing in disguise. In your case, it seems like you will have a better quality of life, and I hope that your business thrives!

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting, I appreciate it!

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thank you, Kathryn. You used one of the quotes I often use when someone is going through an obstacle - "blessing in disguise." That's how I like to look at the things that seems to overwhelm me. I may not understand it while I'm going through the obstacle, but later on (whether months or years) I can look back and say that it was definitely a blessing in disguise. Have a wonderful day! :-)

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 4 years ago

      Your hub was informative and interesting.I am lucky to have a job in today's economy but if I was out of work your hub would put me right on track.Any employeer would be happy to have someone so organized and efficient.Wonderful work.Great success in your new job.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Dream On,

      Thank you for reading and responding, even though you have a job. I'm glad for you, too! These days it wouldn't be good to take it for granted.

      Thanks for wishing me success. I am very excited about starting to work again, since it has been 5 months! If I had stayed in Connecticut, I would have never lost my job (they were disappointed when I told them I was moving), but it was quite necessary.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Hi, Kathryn!

      This is a great example of the old adage, "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!" I've always found people who can take the valleys of life and turn them into learning experiences, not just for themselves but for others as well, to be remarkable and inspirational.

      Thank you for sharing this piece of your life and learning with us all.

      Joe

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thank you, Joe, that is a wonderful compliment! I like sharing what I learn. It makes the entire experience seem more productive and helpful.

      Have a fantastic weekend!

      Kathryn

    • Insightful Tiger profile image

      Insightful Tiger 4 years ago

      Such great information! It sounds like you are very organized! I aspire to be like that :) Thanks for all the great tips and the thought out execution of this hub.

    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Wow! how many useful and interesting tips here! Because of mismatch of timings, I too had to quit my job and stay unemployed. It was this time that I learned writing online and now I can do it whenever time permits. As a writer, I come across a variety of topics every day that are new and interesting to learn!

      Voted up, useful and interesting. SHARING too.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Insightful Tiger, I am very organized, and I enjoy it! You're welcome, and thank you so much for reading this, and for your thoughtful comments.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Radhika, thanks, I'm glad you find this useful and interesting.

      It's great that you learned about writing online. I enjoy writing, and the learning and growing that comes with writing articles and communicating with fellow writers. This is a very supportive environment to be in. For me, joining HubPages was one of the most enjoyable discoveries I made while not having a job.

      Thank you very much for providing feedback, and for sharing it. I appreciate it.

    • Alison Graham profile image

      Alison Graham 4 years ago from UK

      This is fantastic information and a go-to resource for anyone who needs to find a new job. I love the way you treat looking for a job just like working in a job - giving it 110%. There is so much information here and your links to external sites and other hubs are invaluable. Well done on your HOTD.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Congrats on your Hub of the Day award for a post that could be helpful to everyone who reads it, but especially to the job seekers. You offer important and practical ideas and tips here--good stuff!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Alison, thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my hub. I did not realize that I won HOTD until I read your comment, so I'm still feeling quite ecstatic!

      When I first moved to Boston, I had a hard time being productive and maintaining a focus, so I thought it would be a valuable article to write. It took quite some time to get to the point where I was treating it like a job, but once I developed a routine of sorts, it was much easier, which was also very encouraging.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      RTalloni, thanks, I appreciate it. I'm happy I won an award, and I really hope that this comes in hand to those who need it. I put a lot of work into this, to make sure I gave useful advice and links.

      Have a fantastic day!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I would be a horrible friend if I didn't stop by to say congratulations for the Hub of the Day. It couldn't happen to a nicer person. :)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thanks, Bill, I appreciate it! I'm pretty excited :) I feel like a little kid who just won a medal. Have a fabulous day!

    • vandynegl profile image

      vandynegl 4 years ago from Ohio Valley

      Great information! It is always so important to keep your skills fresh even when not employed. It shows potential/future employers that you have skills and use your time well. Thanks for the tips!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Vandynegl, you're welcome, and thanks for reading and commenting on my article. I agree with you completely. It is very important to keep up with and expand skills, and it can make the transition easier once you land a job, as well.

    • G Miah profile image

      Gous Ahmed 4 years ago from Muslim Nation

      Excellent advice, i will use this to help my clients!

      G Miah

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Great hub! Congrats on hub of the day! Unemployment was the best thing that ever happened to me. Since then, I've been busier than ever. I've always been one to be busy with stuff outside work. I hated the 9 to 5, anyway, so I've embraced making my own schedule, doing part-time teaching and freelancing. It's good to be productive in whatever way. You've given people a great place to start! Congrats! Many votes!

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Kathryn!!!

      Had to come back to Congratulate you on HOTD! DELIGHTED for you as this hub was excellent and you ended up with a new job too! So happy your work has been highlighted here, you are a great community hubber who is always supportive of others so well done again, so well deserved!!

    • profile image

      mjkearn 4 years ago

      Hi Kathryn

      So what happened here then? An award, an accolade, a recognition of a job thoroughly well done. Poor you, I sympathize and appreciate that now you will need a sit down, time off work, tranquilizers, a day in bed, a weekend by the sea or what ever it takes to relieve the stress and the pressure.

      Ha, Cods Whallop or similar. A thoroughly deserved award for a great hubber and member of the HP community.

      Now is the time to do cart wheels, hand stands, a solo gig, or what ever private success dances people do. Just make sure nobody has a video recorder.

      A thoroughly deserved Congratulations on HOTD.

      MJ.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      G Miah, thanks, I feel honored that you will be able to use some of this information to help your clients. Thank you for reading and commenting, and have a wonderful day.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Vicki, thanks! I was excited to see that I won the award. What a way to brighten my day!

      I'm glad that unemployment worked out for you. It's nice when things that could be perceieved as "bad" are actually good things, sometimes in disguise.

      Being unemployed taught me many things, and it was a valuable experience. I also discovered HubPages, and I am very happy about that. This has been the creative outlet that I have been craving!

      I appreciate your votes, and I hope you have been enjoying the Spring so far. Have a great day!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      MJ, you always make me laugh.

      I appreciate your support, and that you think it's well-deserved :) That makes me happy!

      As for me, I'm doing the happy dance, but no one is here to record it. Although if it were the other day, it would have been possible. Masonry guys are outside my building, and a few days ago they were right in front of my window, up here at the 15th floor! It's a good thing I noticed that the ropes hanging down were moving, because it would've been a shock if I hadn't known they're coming up (I leave my blinds open)! I'm pretty sure they don't have cameras or video recorders with them. Lol.

      Thanks again, and have an awesome day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • followthestray profile image

      Samantha Harris 4 years ago from New York

      This is just what I needed! Thank you!

    • profile image

      Joanne M Olivieri 4 years ago

      These are all such great tips. It is so easy to waste time when you are unemployed and I know I have when I was out of work. This hub is very useful. Voted up!

    • carozy profile image

      carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Great hub and congratulations on Hub of the Day!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Followthestray, you're welcome, I hope the information is useful to you. Thank you so much for reading my article, and leaving a comment!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Joanne, it sure is easy to waste time! I was amazed at how much time flew by doing small tasks, and on some days I felt really bad for wasting the time away, because I wanted to get a job asap. But usually if I got into the job-hunting tasks, I would spend a lot of time doing productive things, so that when I stopped I could feel like I accomplished enough to deserve a little "me" time.

      I'm glad you find this useful. Thank you very much for taking the time to read and comment. Have a wonderful day!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Carozy, thanks! I'm happt that people are viewing this, as I put a lot of thought and effort into this, and they were lessons I learned through experience. I'm happy I got the HOTD, too!

      Thanks for reading and commenting, and have a good week!

    • vertualit profile image

      Abdus Salam 4 years ago from Bangladesh

      Very informative hub. thanks for sharing...

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Vertualit, you're welcome, and I appreciate that you took the time to read and comment. Have a great day!

    • KawikaChann profile image

      KawikaChann 4 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Nice job Kathryn, very informative - I've been there a couple of times and have done almost the same thing. The thing is when you're looking for work, you have to be ready when you get the 'hired' call. I like the bit on your credit, because this happens when you're unemployed for some time. Good job, and congrats on the HOD! Upvoted/awesome/following. Peace. Kawi.

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      This is a hub packed with lots of useful information for job seekers. Like you mentioned, it can be very overwhelming very fast. So, staying organized helps.

      Congrats on the HOTD award.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Kawi, thanks, I appreciate that you took the time to read and comment.

      It is definitely important to be ready when you get the "hired" call! When it finally happened for me, I was so relieved. Although I'm always on the lookout for a better opportunity, so it isn't necessarily over. But at least I am employed, so I don't have to worry about having a really long employment gap. And it is so nice to get out, and be around people again!

      Have a wonderful day.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thank you so much, Comfort, I am very pleased by the award, and hope many people are inspired by the advice I have given.

      Staying organized is a great help!

      Have a fabulous day!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      This is really good advice and guidance for those times between jobs. Excellent topic, enjoyed! Shared!

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Being unemployed does not mean there's nothing to do. You hit it right on the mark. There's so much to do and be thankful you've got time to do it. :) Great job on this hub.

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      What an awesome article! It is very well thought out and extremely insightful. Thanks for sharing.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Detailed and informative article. Being unemployed is a full time job. This is great advice on how to make the most of your time.

    • relawshe profile image

      Rachel L 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Such a great, detailed article! My husband was unemployed for 1 year, so we've experienced some of this firsthand! It was so easy for him to apply to a couple of jobs but then get distracted with the internet or anything really. So this is superb advice about treating this time of unemployment as a full-time job. Great work!

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Kathryn, congratulations on HOTD. This was well deserved. I think even people who are employed but looking to transition into another career can benefit from this article. Very good job!

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 4 years ago from Cape Cod

      Fabulous work Kathryn. Writing this piece must have been just like a job! Your love of books certainly shows in your fine work. Now that you are in Boston, you can visit the venerable Boston Public Library. It was this venue 100 years ago, that hired a young fellow named Johnny Sullivan to work as a stacks runner. He'd take the books that people had brought back, and dash up the stairs to put them away in their proper spots. In between putaways, he discovered a book on comedy which he devoured, then one on juggling. He began juggling library books in his spare time. At the library's annual talent show, his book juggling and jokes won the day and he was told he should go into vaudewille, so he did. He became a top vaudeville performer and had the number one radio program of the 1940s, using his stage name of "Fred Allen". Perhaps forgotten today, he was the sharpest wit of his time. His biting satire reached every dwelling in America, including that big white home on Penn Ave in Washington DC. I hope the BPL will be as lucky for you as it was for little Johnny Sullivan.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Rebecca, thanks for reading, and for sharing. I appreciate it! Have a great weekend.

      jpcmc, thank you, and I'm glad you agree that there's plenty to do during a job search. Most people can put as little or as much time and effort into looking as they would like. I prefer to work hard at it, so I get a job as soon as possible! Not having one is a bad feeling. I'm glad I found a job. The work paid off, in the end! Thanks for reading and commenting, and have a great day.

      Rose, you're welcome, and thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you liked.

      Truthfornow, thank you for reading and commenting. I'm glad I made use of my time, because I ended up getting a job, I have a few great resumes handy, and I joined HubPages and wrote this article in that time! Ultimately, joining this site been a big deal for me. It's a great community, and I enjoy writing. Have a great weekend!

      Relawshe, It really is incredibly easy to get distracted, especially online! I have trouble with that every once in a while, when I am "trying" to be productive! Thank you very much for taking the time to read and comment. Have a fantastic weekend!

      Cire81, you're welcome, I'm glad that you've learned a lot from this. That makes me feel good. Thanks for reading and commenting, and have a great night!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Careermommy, thank you very much! I agree, this would be just as relevant for those who're transitioning into another career. Thank you so much for reading and commenting on my hub. I was so excited about winning HOTD! I didn't expect it, so it was a surprise. Have a great weekend.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Billrrr, thanks for reading this, and for your compliments. I appreciate that you would take the time to comment. I also enjoyed your story about the Boston Public Library. When I go there, I will think of it, and the inspiring story of Fred Allen. Sometime I'll look his name up, and read about him. It is amazing what reading can help one accomplish. Have a great weekend!

    • ketage profile image

      ketage 4 years ago from Croatia

      Great hub, very organized and efficient. you outline a good systematic way to keep a person focused on their objective. voted up useful

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Ketage, thank you for your input and compliments. I appreciate it. Staying focused is definitely very important, while job hunting, and even in daily life. Have a fantastic weekend!

    • cherryseeds profile image

      KABILIGI Clement 4 years ago from Kigali-Rwanda

      Thanks Kathryn for the great hub. I think this may lead someone to a career in which he can reserve his freedom and manage his time in his own way without necessarily depending on a large number of people before. Keep up the good job

    • profile image

      jacob 4 years ago

      hi kathryn this is such a nice and very informative hub, thanks for sharing your views with all of us. I think even people who are employed but looking to transition into another career can benefit from this hub..

    • Angela Kane profile image

      Angela Kane 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Great information about staying busy while not working. Being unemployed is stressful and remaining productive can be very difficult. Your ideas are very helpful.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Cherryseeds, thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my hub. I do hope that this will, in some small way, help people to move forward and gain employment. The more skills that are gained during the period without a job, the more productive one can be once they have a job.

      Thanks for the compliment and encouragement.

      I noticed that you are new to HubPages. Welcome to the community, and I wish you well!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Jacob, you're welcome! Putting this article together was interesting to me, because it caused me to reflect on all I learned during the few months I was without a job.

      I agree, this information applies to more than those who don't have a job. I'm glad you recognize that.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my hub. I appreciate it! Have a great week.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Angela, I'm glad that you appreciate my information. It can be a very stressful period of life, that's for sure! But I found that once I was productive, I felt a little more in control of the situation.

      I'm glad you find this helpful. Thank you for reading and commenting, and have a good night!

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 4 years ago from Malaysia

      You are a very organized person and I admire you for that. Your list is awesome and will be very useful for others to follow. I am now retired and took about 2 year break before deciding to work again. During those 2 years, I forced myself to keep up with busy activities and that was how I ended up on hubpages! A belated congrats on your HOTD.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Greatstuff, thank you, I enjoy being organized. I'm glad you enjoyed my article, and I hope many people find it useful.

      It's great that you kept yourself busy during the two year period. I started on HubPages during my time away from work, and I'm so glad I discovered this place!

      Thanks for the congrats. I was thrilled to win HOTD, and I have appreciated all of the comments I have received.

      Have a wonderful week!

    • self-counsel profile image

      self-counsel 4 years ago

      Interesting information! It is difficult to reconcile unemployment and productivity. Simple measures to conquer idleness, however, exist. Success rate depends upon your immediacy.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Self-counsel, thanks, I'm glad you found it interesting. It is definitely possible to be productive while being unemployed, it is just a different type of productivity as working for pay is. And success is helped a lot by the amount of work you put into trying to find a job, and having a sense of urgency right away (as opposed to waiting for a while), although it's never a guarantee.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and commenting on my article, and have a great week.

      Also, I see you are new to HubPages, so welcome to the community!

    • CZCZCZ profile image

      CZCZCZ 4 years ago from Oregon

      Great information about how to stay focused while being unemployed. I am a big fan of having a personal project that is in the field of interest for your next job so that you are staying active and doing things / learning about what you hope to be doing.

      Always hard to stay focused when the world is at the tip of your fingers on the keyboard so I set up Rescue Time just to monitor my own productivity on the computer and it has helped me be more aware of how I spend my time on the computer every day.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      CZCZCZ, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I am big on staying productive.

      It really is hard to stay focused when on the computer! There's so much going on. What is "Rescue Time"?

      I'm glad you have found a way to help you keep track of how you spend your time on the computer. It is easy for hours to go by without really accomplishing much!

    • RedSirenJulie profile image

      Julie Ritchie 4 years ago from East Sussex, UK

      This is really useful. It could be too easy to do nothing whilst unemployed, and if you follow these guidelines I don't think you would stay unemployed for long!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Julie (I love the name RedSirenJulie, it has such a cool ring to it), thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my article. It's extremely easy to waste the day, and not get anything accomplished. But if one puts work into it, the likelihood of getting a job sooner is pretty good.

      I have to admit, now that I have a part time job, I waste time. I need to use some of my own tips to be more productive!

      Have a wonderful day, Julie!

      ~ Kathryn

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Kathryn, these are truly wise words to live by when faced with unemployment. I worked for 12 years in a professional career and haven't gone back since my children were born.

      But I have stayed very active during the time I've been raising a family. I have volunteered in animal foundations, schools, fundraising, and have even owned a business. Anything a person can do in the meantime to add to their list of talents and skills is wonderful to a hiring personnel's perspectives.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Brandi,

      This was a hard experience for me to go through, and writing this was very helpful to me, and really put my opinions and tips on this subject into a useful hub that has helped me out, and hopefully others.

      I'm so glad you have stayed busy, gaining skills and talents while you're raising you're family. That's great, and encouraging.

      Have a wonderful day, and thanks for reading and commenting!

      ~ Kathryn

    • sanasiddiqui profile image

      sanasiddiqui 2 years ago

      Self assessment is a very important factor to become a good and productive employee.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 2 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Sanasiddiqui,

      That is very true! Self assessment is valuable way beyond the process of looking for a job. Thanks for reading and commenting, and have a wonderful weekend.

      ~ Kathryn

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