I have been officially out of work for 3 months. As I work in IT, it isn’t the first time. The longest I was out of work was nearly 6 months last year.
I will admit that it was a scary time, not knowing when there would be work or whether I would be considered for work after being out of a very competitive market for a while. During that time, I looked at my situation as failure and often blamed myself even when it was clear that it was just the current climate.
Probably the hardest thing is not having the freedom to do the things I want as I used to. Just a few years ago, I lived life as I wanted and it suited me as I am very much a free spirit. I was once very happy with my life and never foresaw the quite drastic change of direction that it has taken. It is often hard to explain to friends when I can’t do the activities that I would normally have just jumped at doing without hesitation. I find it frustrating, and I know they must do too, but now I have to think carefully about everything I do and mostly turn invites down because every day I need to work out how I will pay my bills.
As well as job hunting I have tried to keep busy and fill my days with doing jobs around the house, and cheap (often free) activities. What this time out has taught me is a lot more about myself. I try to plan and set myself daily tasks, just as I would have done whilst I was working to keep myself busy and to stay positive. Even writing this blog was a task today
Here are 5 things you can do to keep yourself motivated
1. Try and get out of the house everyday
It is really important if you are not working to feel the sun on your skin or just to get some fresh air! It helps me to think clearly and just feel better in general.
Another thing I discovered this year is that I love walking. I walk approximately 30km per week now and I love it. I used to have to motivate myself to go to the gym or go for a run. Walking is a pleasure, and it has helped me shed 2 dress sizes since April. Whatever you like to do for exercise, make sure you keep it up. The endorphins will help keep you positive.
3. Stay Focused
Try and plan at least part of your day and then leave yourself time to do what you want. I find that once I start on the things I have planned, the day just disappears anyway! Even if I don’t feel like focusing on big things, I try to tackle little things just so I can feel as if I have achieved something.
4. Start a Group
If you know other people who are in the same situation as you, start a group. Helping each other to find work and give advice and support is invaluable and helps you understand that you are not alone.
If you think you have a skill or just some time that you could put to better use, get out there and volunteer. It could be with a local group or organisation or you can even be an online volunteer if you have the right skills. I have volunteered with UN Online Volunteers in the past and always found it a very rewarding experience.