A Handbook for the Recently Unemployed

Are you out of work? Maybe school’s out, maybe you quit your job in a fit of rage, or maybe you were laid off. The point is, you’ve played so many games of the Sims that even locking them in a room until they pee themselves has lost its former appeal. Until recently, you were a contributing member of society and the knowledge that you’re now basically a leach is slowly pulling you into a miasma of shame and sloth. Or maybe you’re having fun, I don’t know.

I’ve been unemployed for a month now. (I KNOW.) I was doing that whole “job hunt” thing and it really wasn’t working out for me. I knew it was over when I interviewed in a clothing store at the mall and they asked me one question (“Why did you wear what you’re wearing today?”) and then told me they’d let me know. They did not let me know. Several rejections and many unanswered applications later, I’ve been forced to embrace the fact that for the next month and a half, I’ll have a lot of time off. All the time off, in fact. I’m sort of drifting through life, so I wrote this guide. It hasn’t helped me, but maybe it will help you.

So You’re Unemployed: Fun Ways to Pass the Time Between Interviews

1) Hang out with your friends more. This is a double-edged sword. You suddenly have time you didn’t have before to bond, and they may buy you things when you hang out. That’s good. The drawback is that you no longer have any excuse not to hang out, as you never have anything to do.

Say your friend Margaret invites you to a musical. You hate musicals, so normally you’d say you have an important meeting, or you need to sleep before work the next day. Those excuses won’t work anymore. You don’t even have errands to run, since money is way less disposable.

You can’t say, “Sorry, Margaret. I have to wash my hair and then make sure every one of my fingernails is trimmed to exactly the same length. I’ll catch you next time!”

You could go with a vague “Shoot. I’m super busy then!” but Margaret would know it’s a lie. So you’re either forced to see the show or to tell Margaret that you hate musicals, offending her and whittling your list of friends who actually want to hang out with an unemployed bum such as yourself further.

2) Get a hobby and spend a lot of time practicing it. I have several hobbies. I used to knit a lot, but that’s not as appealing when it’s 95 degrees outside. I’m a fairly regular facebook-checker-outer, but there are only so many times you can hit refresh and see no new notifications before you want to throw yourself through a window just to have an update.

Now that I have all this free time, I’ve decided to take up some new hobbies. For a while there, I thought I’d learn how to write jokes. Turns out I’m not funny and eHow is no help. Now I’m teaching myself how to rap, but apparently the Will Smith Method of Rapping is a little outdated. (Too bad, because my remake of “Parents Just Don’t Understand” is pretty tubular.)

It’s fun to try new things! You learn about yourself. For example last week I went rock climbing for the first time and after being instructed to walk backwards off a 40-foot cliff, I’ve decided tetherball is probably more my thing. I had always suspected I was secretly a tetherball aficionado, but it took confronting my death to really open my eyes.

3) Experiment with new hairstyles. You don’t have to impress anyone by looking professional anymore, so go nuts. Today I gave myself a shampoo mohawk in the shower and I’m considering going for Natalie Portman’s V for Vendetta look. There’s a weird bump on my head, but maybe makeup will cover it. I may also dye it blue, which I threatened to do in middle school until my dad told me I’d look like a Smurf. You could shave shapes into your hair! You could finally try the Flock of Seagulls hairdo! The possibilities are endless. Unless you’re bald, in which case… sorry. Ignore this suggestion.

Dream Come True

Do it. You know you want to.

4) Clean and organize everything you own.
It sounds boring, but when you’re opening your drawer of t-shirts arranged by sleeve length, color, and starchiness, you’ll thank me.

5) Tempt fate by sunbathing. Due to an unfortunate incident involving a sunny, comfortable lawn and a case of Internet-induced insomnia, I now have one very tan arm and one very pale arm. If you’re one of those people who likes to live on the edge with no regard for freckling or skin cancer, you could eventually get such a nice, even tan that you’ll be consistently mistaken for a piece of jerky.

6) Get all social network-y. If you don’t have a blog, get one! Tell people all the things you aren’t doing with your life. If you already have one, post more and then get another one! I now have six or seven blogs that I routinely ignore. Tweet constantly! I’m actually tweeting so often that it’s driving people away. You could argue that this particular strategy goes directly against Twitter’s purpose, but I’m going to pretend it’s a social experiment in the name of science.

7) Try not to cry every time someone says they’re picking up their paycheck or going grocery shopping. Just smile bravely and pretend you didn’t consider cooking your roommate’s Crocs for dinner. You’ll find another job soon. In the meantime, work on your photosynthesis.

Potato plant. To ensure continuing worldwide a...

Plants don’t need jobs!


    • Stephanie

      Thanks for reading! Hopefully the situation won’t get desperate until just before I start work again in August. We’ll see if I can still giggle through the starvation. :)

    • Stephanie

      Volunteering is a great idea! So far I’ve volunteered to feed a fish, water a lawn, help someone move, and check someone’s car periodically. I’m starting to realize I should have just started a sitting business. Stupid entrepreneurial ideas, showing up a month late.

    • Stephanie

      Thank you! I’m glad you chuckled, and I wish I could go back in time to two weeks ago and read this comment to myself before I went sunbathing. This sunburn is the opposite of awesome.

  1. emisformaker

    Just wait till you’re in your ninth month of unemployment. Oh, boy. The times you’ll have.
    One of the funnier things has been that,despite the oodles of free time at my disposal, I’ve actually hung out with my friends less than I did when employed and busy. Funny how that happens.

    • Stephanie

      Ha. I just reached the “hanging out less” stage, actually. My theory is that I was around so often last month, we all started to get on each other’s nerves.

  2. aimeeval

    Your venture into “funemployment” sounds a lot like mine! I have embraced the hobby section and have “become interested” in nearly everything that will make me look insanely cultured and interesting.
    I.e.-cooking, gardening, french.
    Keep rockin’ that free time!

    • Stephanie

      You know, everyone who’s commented to say they took up a hobby has mentioned they learned French. Maybe my hobby should be starting a social networking site for all the unemployed people learning French. I’ll let you know if I start anything up, so you’ll have another way to spend your time, too!

  3. girlonthecontrary

    Another suggestion would be to work-out compulsively until you have the perfect body and then eat nothing but fried food for a week and see how much it effects you newfound perfect body. Experiments are fun. So are fried oreos.

    • pezcita

      If you’re just learning, the Vogue Knitting book is an excellent reference, and it’s available at most libraries. Some yarn shops have classes too.

      Other than that, you can check out my new blog theknittedrose.wordpress.com for free patterns, pictures, and ancedotes. I try to post every Wednesday.

    • Stephanie

      I taught myself how to knit while I was sick in high school, but I kind of plateaued with rectangular-shaped things like scarves and potholders. One of these days I’m going to make a sweater… but it may not be any time in this decade.

    • Stephanie

      Ha. It’s true– all of these things are excellent time-wasters. Maybe I just should have named this post “A Handbook for the Bored”. Thanks!

  4. I Made You A Mixtape

    I have been unemployed… not recently, but I was laid off from my job 4 years ago…yeah, talk about super scary time..anyways, love the positivity- that is exactly what you should do- engage in things you enjoy! And don’t feel bad about the mall experience- years and years ago 9when I was in college) I was looking for a job and went to a job interview to a health spa (reception job and they took one look at me and did not even interview me!! Oh, the shame!!…lol.

    • Stephanie

      Being laid off would be terrifying. Ha. The best thing about this blog post is that all the comments regarding interview horror stories make me feel way better about a few of the interviews I’ve had.

    • Stephanie

      Thank you! It may have been eHow. That is how I learned how to cut my bangs, after all, so maybe some of their humor-related suggestions were actually useful.

    • Stephanie

      Ha. I guess it’s encouraging that so many of us are in the same boat, but I’m also very sad for us. There are only so many hobbies we can take up.

    • Stephanie

      I would love it if these hobbies paid off. I could see myself becoming a rap star. (No I couldn’t.) Blogging would be good, since I love it. I’ll check out your blog! Thanks!

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  6. Speedball*Zee

    =)) i like it! if you don’t have a job, here’s some tips on how to spend all that free time. Screw trying to get a job! We’re gonna fight… for our right… to paaaartyy!!! :)

  7. Kathryn McCullough

    What a fun post! I’ll pass your tips to my partner who is on sabbatical. Yes, not technically unemployed, I know, but I suspect she’ll be really good at the sun-tanning-one-arm thing! Congrats on Freshly Pressed and hang on for the ride! Now you can spend all of your non-tanning time responding to comments!

    • Stephanie

      Ha. If I’d known this was going to happen I would have included a #8: Get Freshly Pressed and try to keep up with the comments on your blog. Maybe I’ll just call my unemployment a sabbatical. It makes me feel less useless. Thanks for reading!

    • Stephanie

      It’s very handy, but I’m starting to get a little addicted. When I’m not writing a new post, I’m thinking about blogging, editing old posts, or reading other blogs. This may be a problem.

  8. onemeanmfa

    I’ve been looking for a job for about 2 months. I have tried all these suggestions. I’m glad I’m planning a wedding because that takes up quite a bit of time. I also think working on my photosynthesis is a great idea. I’d be a fantastic tomato plant.

    • Stephanie

      A tomato plant may be the best kind of plant, actually. I read this comment and actually thought to myself, “Maybe I should get married. I have enough free time.” Turns out you have to be dating someone before you can get married in most cases. Good luck with your planning!

  9. Shannon F.

    This is sooo funny! I’m going through the same thing myself. Have you tried baking homemade banana bread or making prank phone calls to local businesses? Good luck with the job hunt!

    • Stephanie

      I should make banana bread! I’m a mess in the kitchen, but I suppose teaching myself to cook can be a new hobby to keep me busy! I haven’t tried prank calls yet, but give me a couple weeks… I’ll get bored. Thank you!

  10. Nicholas Monro


    • Stephanie

      The city I live in is great for bicycling, and I really need to get a bike… I just can’t afford one until I get a job, which means I’ll have less time to bike. What a vicious cycle. (A vicious bi-cycle, I mean. Sorry. That was a terrible joke.)

  11. Book Nerd

    I can add another suggestion, although it might fall into the hobby section. Read. I just graduated from college and I’m still looking for a full time job, in the mean time I’ve been absolutely devouring books. This month alone I’ve finished 11 books, and I just went out and bought more a couple days ago (my stack of books to read was down to about 10 books, I had to put back up to about 17 or 20 again.

    • archaeofieldtech

      I totally agree! I was out of work for a year and a half about a year ago- I read 5 books a week. It was really awesome. Then to take breaks from reading, I watched a lot of hulu. Now I don’t have time to read. Very sad. I miss it.

      • Stephanie

        Ha. I have gotten an amazing amount of reading done, which is nice since I never have time during the school year. It turns out this unemployment thing isn’t so bad.

  12. Mr. Green

    I find doing #4 inspires me to do other things. It gives you a feeling of accomplishment and it helps take away stress, seeing things in a nice order.

    • Stephanie

      I’m glad I’m not alone in that feeling. I can’t even sleep if my room is too cluttered, lately. That’s either OCD, or me being a grownup. I’m hoping for the second.

  13. pezcita

    As a recent graduate who’s only worked 1 day in the last month, I know where you’re coming from! It is nearly impossible to find steady work here in the Midwest, but if it was easy, I’d have another problem: no incentive to consider grad school or expand my skills. Who knows, maybe 30 years from now, a lot of us will see this time as a blessing in disguise?

    • Stephanie

      I sincerely hope that’s the case. I’m hearing from a lot of recent graduates, which is kind of freaking me out since I graduate next May. Maybe I’ll be off to grad school, too! I wish you the best of luck.

    • Stephanie

      Your blog cracked me up! There are a bunch of really good tips in there, surrounded by things that made me giggle for stupid amounts of time. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Square Eyes

    It seems like I do everyone of these things! And they do fulfil my time enough for me to say that I have done something with my day other than stay in bed and eat chocolate.
    First time reader of your blog – very funny!

  15. jollof

    I thoroughly enjoyed the read! Congrats on getting Freshly pressed (although I do hope that somewhere amongst all the replies there is a job offer lying in wait). Fingers crossed!

    • Stephanie

      Ha. No job offers yet, but a lot of tips on how to help. This was probably the best possible post to have been Freshly Pressed for that reason. Thanks!

  16. Lafemmeroar

    I’m freelance so that can mean lots of downtime:

    #1 is good to lift my spirits
    #2 I do love to knit, but I agree that knitting an afghan in hot weather is not very appealing.
    #3 and #4 Just got my haircut and cleaning is just a necessary evil
    #5 I’m allergic to the sun
    #6 Yeah, love being social networky … I like your spin on it as a “social experiment in the name of science.”
    #7 I once worked “for the man” don’t miss it. Every time I got my check I cried because I felt underpaid and under-appreciated. The steady stream of income was good though … but not the steady steam of tears.

    LOVE your post!!!!!

    • Stephanie

      I was having allergic reactions to the sun last summer, too, and no one believed me. It didn’t help that it hasn’t happened again this summer, so I’m glad to hear it happens to other people! I think you’re right– income is nice, tears are less so. I hope freelancing causes you much less grief!

    • Stephanie

      I’m @listfulthinking on Twitter… because I’m original. There are links to my very annoying feed on the homepage and my About page. Thanks for reading!

  17. be awake

    great ideas! for sure — with this mini-guide we won’t be non-doing-anything never ever again! which is very good. the hardest work is to do sth for yourself, not to fulfil an obligation.

    • Stephanie

      It’s so tricky to be ok with not having errands to run or things to accomplish. I hate it, and I know I should be more zen about it or something. I’m glad that makes sense to other people!

  18. clianthaaward

    Left my job in October of ’09. No regrets, no anger. I’m 27 and never had a life or identity of my own. My life belonged to everyone else and I did for others. L.S.S., The BEST THING I’ve ever done for myself. I’m learning to relax, value the solitude, explore new hobbies I’d never had time for. Now, I’m in love with horticulture & photography. Sure, I lost my cohorts, “steady” income, and 401k, and I miss dinners out, the theatre, vacations, Bath & Body Works, but I NEVER believed those were the key to MY HAPPINESS. They were just nice distractions from the realization that every job I had was WRONG for me. Living the wrong life, for me. I just took jobs to have money, and that DOES NOT WORK for everyone. I never wanted the “America Dream,” just happiness and simplicity. I feel that what I’m doing NOW…I’m preparing myself for a glorious future.

    • Stephanie

      This is such a cool story. I’m so glad this post was the one that was Freshly Pressed, because it’s fantastic hearing about people discovering themselves outside of work. Thanks for sharing!

  19. John Hughes

    This blog made me chuckle a few times. I loved the part where you said: “TRY NOT TO CRY EVERY TIME SOMEONE SAYS THEY’RE PICKING UP THEIR PAYCHECK OR GOING GROCERY SHOPPING. Just smile bravely and pretend you didn’t consider cooking your roommate’s Crocs for dinner.” The only thing, you may need to make another guide for those who are more long-term unemployed. :)

  20. mkeeffer

    Nice post.

    Those retail people lost out – they should have hired you to do a newsletter to their customers. Or I could really see your stuff in a column in the local paper. Great wit.

    I’ve got job search stuff on my blog – and Penelope Trunk is also excellent.

  21. anonnickus

    Wish I had a job so I could quit and be unemployed. I so want to test everything on your list . Got to run and buy a few more Tees first. I am going to start with #4. I can make up my own order I hope? Terrific post.

    • Stephanie

      The good thing about everything on the list is that they can all be done in your spare time and on weekends. So you could actually keep your job. Or in your case, get a job and then keep it. You’re definitely allowed to make your own order. Thanks for reading!

  22. suzi

    Lol! Thanks for this post! It brightened my day! I have a job, a part time one and have just finished uni for the summer and Im already bored and freaking friends out with jumping all over their facebook statuses, I think I have a record for replying to all my friends statuses within 10 mins now! sad I know but Im sooo bored! :) Lol! x

    • Stephanie

      Ha. I’ve been doing a lot of Facebook stalking, too. I’m starting to know things about my friends’ social lives before they do. It’s not good.

  23. gondica

    Well, after coming home from Afghanistan during the 2009 recession and not finding a job for many months, I decided to use the plentiful free time constructively by learning French. Three-four hours of study a day for several weeks and, voilà, I got skilled enough to read Paris newspapers on the web. A good cure for boredom and a useful skill.

    • Stephanie

      That’s brilliant, and it actually made me want to pull out my Spanish textbooks and get better at life. You’re the second or third person to say they studied French while unemployed… I wonder why that particular language found so many fans.

  24. oneheartonemind

    Newby…a good sense of humor is after 24 months (never use years) of unemployment.
    Three hundred applications and I call myself a freelancer now to ease the pain.
    But….there is tomorrow.

    • Stephanie

      I hate that. I’m worrying about how to buy groceries for the next month, while my friends are going crazy at the mall. It’s turning me into a grumpy hermit.

    • Stephanie

      That is exactly the situation I’m in. Training for next semester’s job means my summer break is just over two months long… and no one wants to hire someone for that little time. It’s beyond frustrating. Good luck!

  25. kimjarrett

    Love this. :) Particularly the t-shirts sorted by “starchiness”. LMAO. I also recommend organizing the plastic bag drawer in the kitchen by size and type of plastic. But that’s only good for killing 20 minutes.

    • Stephanie

      I know that feeling. The best part of this whole Freshly Pressed thing is that I can check out new blogs by the commenters. I’ve found some great stuff!

  26. Jo McGuirk

    As a certified member of the unemployment club, I can certainly relate. I painted every room in the house, and then I moved on to tweeting and blogging to relieve the perpetual boredom. I soon discovered that my blog was not even worthy of attracting spam, let alone subscribers. Twitter had been kinder, at least I have followers in Twitterland. Enjoyed your post!!

    • Stephanie

      Ha. It sounds like we’re having the same experience, but reversed. The blog does alright (in that I get a lot of spam), but Twitter is a fight. I get a lot of spam, there, too, but I pretend they’re real followers.

  27. courtneyryanne

    I knew this was going to be good once you mentioned the Sims – I was not at all disappointed. I hope to see you on the national tetherball circuit soon. (That counts as kind of a job, right?)

    • Stephanie

      I have never hoped for anything more than I hope that there is a national tetherball circuit. If there isn’t, I’m starting one right now. Thanks for reading and being hooked by the Sims. They get me every time, too.

  28. Jamie Burns

    Just wait ’til you reach months five and six of unemployement, when you’ve already done all those things…and blogged about them. You’re in for a treat.

    I think I enjoyed your blog–even caught myself laughing a couple of times–but that could just be the boredom talking. Here’s to unemployment and needing a vacation from vacation! Congrats on FP, at least you’ve contributed something to society :)

  29. Tollef Jørgensen

    I’m now 19 and I skipped out of school 2 years ago, simply because learning absolutely nothing didn’t really appeal to me, nor did I have many friends a tall either. And of course I’m also unemployed, but money isn’t an issue as of now so I’m pretty much living a life without any consequences at all, doing what I want, which is just sitting at home being bored nerding it up infront of my computer watching tv shows and browsing the interwebs all day long. o/

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  31. 1litchick

    Love it! Thanks for the laugh. I’ve been unemployed on more than one occasion…but mostly before the days of Facebook and Myspace. I’ve had my share of organizational sprees!

    • Stephanie

      I have to stop organizing. Once I started arranging my DVDs by color and alphabetically, I knew there was a problem. I’m not sure I could have been unemployed pre-social networking. I’m spoiled!

  32. Debra Colby-Conklin

    Having an unemployed husband at home is almost as bad as having a retired one at home. And the schemes and “business ideas” he has will drive you up the wall….especially if he actually intitiates any of them and then goes ahead and drains the bank account. Do anything you can to convince him to stay at his job….whether it sucks or not! Funny article.

    • Stephanie

      Did you know there’s an illness in Japan called Retired Husband Syndrome? I imagine Unemployed Husband Syndrome is a lot like that, and I’ll keep that in mind in the future. Thanks for reading!

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  34. bmestdagh

    Haha! Great post. Is it terrible I’ve already tried most of your ideas even without the prompting? And yes, I do socially mortify my friends with excessive blog posts about nothing and Twitter updates. I’m making up for all those times I slacked off and they wondered if I got hit by a bus.
    Nope. Still kicking.
    Thanks for sharing this delectable treat!

    • Stephanie

      Ha. I’ve been way more active with my blog and twitter. Annoyingly so, I would say. But you’re right– we’re just making up for the times we disappeared with no warning. Thanks for commenting!

  35. Kathryn

    Couldn’t relate MORE. I recently graduated and have been on the job hunt for a good six months, well, at least have been unemployed for a good six months (job hunting when I get a supernatural jolt of motivation). Patience pays off though. After many, many rejections and non-replys, I finally got an offer. Great post and good luck (if you want a job that is) :) Besides, there are enough 90s re-runs to go around and around …and around

    • Stephanie

      Aaa! I’m about to do that graduating thing myself, and I’m kind of freaking out about it. I’m so glad you finally got an offer! That gives me hope! And so do all the 90s re-runs. I think I’ve watched every episode of Seinfeld at this point.

  36. Michelle

    haha! I love you Steph. Crack me up. So…were these my crocs you were considering cooking. Because if so… PLEASE EAT MY FOOD. like spam. and all the types of chicken I adopted from ppl, and the green beans of course.

    • Stephanie

      Well… if you insist, I will eat your food. Do you even own Crocs? Even if you do, I’ll probably just stick to the spam and green beans. I hope camp is still fun!

  37. Angelique

    Oh, what is the saying? “I luahged, I cried and cried and cried again. At first it was complete torture after working non stop for my entire life. You get over it, you get smart and find ways to travel and stay at home while all along making money. Your blog is so great. I loved it so much. Keep writing!

  38. thebracoach

    Boy have I been there! I also started a new career by taking real estate classes and writing classes along with everything you listed. It’s nice to have a little humor during a difficult time:):)

  39. KKRS

    Fun post! Exactly what I’ve been going through for the past 3.5 MONTHS! I’m particularly so much into #2 – I tried beatboxing and ended up with spits all over my laptop screen (gross, I know).

    For #1 it’s good to hang out with friends who are just like you – unemployed or working at home, a friend of mine out of unemployment got in touch with another friend in the same situation and ended up creating this homemade bite-sized food delivery business!

    We can’t stay at home and only sulk on blogs for too long. :)

    • Stephanie

      Bite-sized food is a brilliant idea! I’d have to say my number one problem with food is that it’s occasionally too big to fit in my mouth in one try. (I wish that was a joke.) Beatboxing is a good idea, too. I think spit on your laptop screen might be a necessary evil when it comes to that particular hobby.

  40. globalstudentguide

    HI-Larious! I didn’t know you can lock Sims in a room until the pee on themselves…hmmm…I won’t be trying that. LOL

    Thanks for the wonderful suggestions, it is encouragement to get me through another grueling day of job search!


    • Stephanie

      Yeah, it sort of makes you feel guilty for making them so upset they pee. I’m really lucky there’s no Sims Therapy game, because all my Sims would be in it. Good luck in your search!

  41. phonetically

    I am about to quit my job. You gave me hope that there are plenty of useless things I will find to do with my time that don’t involve imagining slow starvation.

    • Stephanie

      Oh yeah, there are all kinds of things more fun than imagining slow starvation. Or at least… up until the point that slow starvation becomes a very real possibility. But hopefully it won’t get that bad! (This sounded more positive in my head.)

    • Stephanie

      Ha. I wish I had a marketable skill like being musical. On the other hand, if I have enough down time I may get brave enough to attempt a musical instrument… but probably I won’t.

  42. Pingback: A Handbook for the Recently Unemployed (via Listful Thinking) « I Can't Stop Raving
  43. Kasmersensei

    Very funny read, hope you can find something to earn money soon!
    You might want to consider freelancing (dog walking, personal shopper, etc) or doing some small online business (selling books, etc..) just to make some fun money. It will also get you out and about, so you will have a chance to network with people.

    • Stephanie

      It never even occurred to me to freelance until this comment, and now I realize that I’ve been housesitting, petsitting, and carsitting for free all summer. I hope I get at least a free meal out of it. Oh well.

    • Stephanie

      Everyone who’s said they learned a language has learned French. That’s it. I’m filling up my free time by starting a social network for people who learned French while unemployed. The market is apparently huge. Merci for reading!

  44. Brian Burwell

    I wish I had something to write a blog about, but I think most thing I’d blog about would get me locked up. Not necessarily in jail, but there’s not much difference in prison and a looney bin when you can’t leave. I probably should stick to writing down the random songs that get stuck in my head. I’m only up to 668 songs! There are a lot of crappy songs in that list, and I blame a lot of them on Wee Sing!

    • Stephanie

      Ha. That’s a great idea for a blog! I have a different song in my head every day, and it’s never once occurred to me to do anything about it. Unfortunately, now I’m thinking about Wee Sing and I have a terrible feeling I’ll get those stuck in my head too.

  45. Lei

    I love your blog! I just shared it on facebook. I am also unemployed and in the process of learning creative entrepeneurship while trying not to cry everytime someone says they are cashing their paycheck.

    • Stephanie

      Thank you for sharing my blog! I’m intrigued by the phrase “creative entrepreneurship”– I’ll have to look into it. I wish people would stop throwing around the words “paycheck” and “cashing” so flippantly. Don’t they know it’s killing us?

  46. Timtimothysfowler

    I did indeed walk out of my job in a rage a month ago. Now I have six weeks until my next gig, which thankfully I accepted yesterday. So what do I do with it? Summer job?Well, I will probably end up like you, realizing I am wasting my time looking. Social Networking? I dropped Facebook except for mainly business purposes. Naah. I like the idea of spending time with friends (and fam). A good one. Great post.

    • Stephanie

      I’m sorry your job drove you to a rage, but hopefully six weeks won’t be bad. I second the hanging out with friends and family idea. Thanks for reading!

  47. sandywhite

    Finishing my first month of unemployment as well! Though I would caution against the “tempting fate and sunbathing…” apparently, I freckle. Oh and also, be proud that you got an interview at a clothing store. I got rejected by Walmart, Target, Meijer and Macy’s. Humbling. Truly. Loved your post! Good luck on your job search!

    • Stephanie

      I freckle too, and frankly I’d rather be sunburned for a week than freckled for the next three months. Stupid melanin. Ha. Maybe don’t look at it as rejected by those places. Maybe they recognized your greatness and realized you’d be wasting your time working there… or something. (I’m not very good at optimism.) Good luck to you, too!

  48. elmerhassan

    i’m currently taking up my hobby photography and trying not to stalk this dude who has a girlfriend that I’m crazy about on the internet, so i’m off Facebook and Twitter. :(
    There will be better days :)

    • Stephanie

      I’ve had to give myself Facebook and Twitter-timeouts for stalking, too. Just… don’t combine your photography hobby with your stalking hobby. That’s where things get sketchy legally.

  49. Victoria

    #7 is particularly hard for me. My favorite new thing to do now is to hang out with people who have no idea why I suddenly want to hang out so frequently.

    • Stephanie

      Ha. Don’t tell them, either. Just let them believe it’s caused by their charming personalities and sparkling wit and not your sheer and utter boredom.

  50. ghostdogjedi

    You know what? I’ve actually already quite a few of those things on your list. Gosh, I’m a truly unemployed bum. But at least I’m doing something, right?

    • Stephanie

      I don’t think you’re technically an unemployed bum until you’re panhandling and hitching rides on trains with all your possessions tied in a handkerchief on a stick. See? It could be worse!

  51. larosson

    I’ve been unemployed ever since I left university (*cough* ten months ago *cough/choke*) and this post is so true! When I finished, my lecturer told me (on graduation day!) that when he left university it took him eighteen months to get a job. So, I kinda knew what I was letting myself in for, espesh with the recession and all. But that didn’t stop me falling into a pit of depression. I’d never had nothing to do before! Apart from a BBC internship, that’s ten months with nothing to show for it…

    BUT, I’ve definitely done numbers 2, 3 and 6 with aplomb! Within the space of year my love of photography is becoming more and more skilled to the extent that I’ve done actual photoshoots and am building a portfolio. I’ve gone from jet black to blonde. And I’m a full-time blogger and am building a nice little online presence with YouTube, Facebook pages and eBay.

    Now if only I could snag a part-time gig I’d be all set…. but the job market is still shot to crap, so that seems unlikely. We just need to hold out and keep trying. Good luck with your job search!

    • Stephanie

      It sounds like you’re on a roll, even if it feels bleak. A BBC internship can’t hurt, and photography is a great skill to have! One of the comments above has a link for how to turn your online presence into a blog, so you may want to check that out. That being said, I think the bravest thing you’ve done is changing your hair color from black to blonde. I have commitment issues and a change that major would freak me out. I couldn’t do it. Kudos to you!

  52. sallysome1

    Unfortunately, I’ve done most of these things not out of boredom or unemployment. The experimenting with new hairdos went especially awry. But then I had a kid, and now there’s no end to the entertainment! So maybe that’s the answer- get preggo! (just kiiiiiiiiiiddddiiiing!)

    • Stephanie

      Ha. I can’t imagine explaining that to my parents. “Stephanie? You’re pregnant!”
      “Well… I was bored.”
      Now I really want to see pictures of your hairdos gone awry. I love that phrase. I’m going to put it in conversations whenever I can now. “Your hairdo! It’s gone awry!”

  53. lovelyiskey

    Oh geeze, the awkward interviews and applications that get no response. MmmmMmm my fave! Haha “funemployment”….wonder if that term will make it into our grandchildren’s history books when describing the world we live in today. Along with staycations!

    • Stephanie

      I can imagine reading that in a corny history textbook. What I can’t imagine is saying to my grandchildren, “You have it so easy. When I was your age, we had staycations! And did we complain? No, siree, we called it funemployment and we liked it.”

  54. theclackamist

    I was laid off 9 months ago and I have done almost all of your ideas, particularly the sorting of shelves and refiling things, even animals.
    Thank you for the tips and the knowledge that I’m not alone out here. Gotta go rewash my dog.

    • Stephanie

      I’m so lucky this post was Freshly Pressed, because people are suggesting all these things that hadn’t even occurred to me. I never considered a temp agency, and now all I can think is “duh”. Thank you!

  55. Pingback: Unemployment blogs | Ashleigh's Portfolio
  56. Tattoos, love and lunacy...

    Witty…I like your style. Good luck to you in finding a job and/or not dying of boredom in the meantime :)

    • Stephanie

      Ha. I’ve received so many emails lately that would have made me click the link to see the store, or check out a sale. Now I just scoff. At least I’m learning to live frugally!

  57. kbookish

    A month? Sorry to best you but try four. Thank goodness for loving parents. Thank you for this post for two reasons – 1. For reminding me of all the things that I could be doing with my now abundant free time (and that I should probably start routinely ignoring my social media life), and 2. for making me laugh. You desperately need one when you’ve been unemployed for as long as I have (for the record though, I’m unemployed not necessarily from lack of jobs, but from the lack of specific jobs, namely admin).

    • Stephanie

      I’m pretty sure I’m going to lose any grasp on sanity I have at month three, so I’m impressed. Don’t ignore social media! Embrace it! Annoy your friends! Give them links to my blog! (Just kidding. You don’t have to do that.) Good luck in finding an admin job! I was going to make up a cheer for you, but nothing good rhymed with admin. Thanks for reading!

  58. theworldbyozren

    Great post! I can really relate, since I’ve recently passed all my exams at uni, and I’m waiting for the defense of my thesis…
    I’d like to add to the list: “reading books that you would never have”

    • Stephanie

      Ha. I’ve read a lot of books I never thought I would have this summer, some of which I will never admit. Congrats on passing all your exams!

  59. Oh Cheers

    Your interview experience at the start of your post reminds me of the interview Daisy Steiner had in the sitcom Spaced, for a role as a journalist in the womans magazine “Flaps” (I know).

    Interviewer: “We don’t want you to pigeonhole yourself, but would you regard yourself as a postfeminist?”

    Daisy: “Er-”

    Interviewer: “Let me put it this way, do you drink pints or shots?”

    Daisy: “Well. I do, I mean I can drink a pint. But I’d also have a gin and tonic, you know, like at a wedding.”

    Interviewer: “I see. Well… thanks for coming. It’s been very useful.”

    • Stephanie

      I LOVE Spaced. LOVE IT. It was a lot like that, except happily I didn’t say “girl power”. In regards to your other comment… I probably won’t rob any banks, but I may watch “Butch Cassidy” repeatedly.

  60. Oh Cheers

    Just rob a bank. Except banks don’t hold much cash or gold these days. They don’t have to. Just in the same way as people don’t have to pay you just because you mow their lawn, @ZRBE. All previously-held notions of justice and morality have been abandoned by our rulers.

  61. Pingback: Slightly Delayed Karma’s Gonna Get You « Listful Thinking

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