I’m sure you’ve heard the adage, ‘Searching for a job, is a full-time job.’ But I think that mindset is nonsense. It sounds counter-intuitive, but finding other ways to spend your time, besides job searching makes you a better candidate.
The long-term hunt search saps your ability to think beyond yourself and your needs. But doing something that you enjoy, allows you to focus and stop feeding negative self-doubt.
One of the hardest elements about being unemployed is the constant search for ‘small wins.’ And they are elusive. But if you get involved in a passion project, you can find them. You can celebrate little accomplishments and that will feed your confidence.
For me, that came in the form of volunteering with a non-profit. For others, it might be connecting with your artistic side. Or working on a DIY home-improvement project. There’s a tendency during the job hunt to push ‘passion’ projects aside because you don’t prioritize them. But I disagree. I think pursuing your passions, while job hunting is important and needed. Nourish your soul.
Allow yourself to indulge in your passions and the things in life that excite you. You may find that you want to pursue ‘that’ instead of the job that you originally aimed for. Many entrepreneurs began their journey as unemployed. They decided never to return to the 9–5 job and started their own businesses instead.
There is a type of scary freedom as a job seeker. You have a chance to re-invent yourself. You can pursue plans or projects that you didn’t have the time for when you had your last full-time job. With that extra time, you can explore interests that you neglected because you were working full-time.
I’m a foreign adoptee and passionate about policy reform in international adoption. My last unemployment period was about one year. During that time I found a group called Adoptees for Justice, an adoptee advocacy organization.
They were championing a Congressional bill to ensure all adoptees had U.S. Citizenship. I began volunteering with them. I made visits to Congressional staff on Capitol Hill. I attended marches and demonstrations. I was interviewed for my local NPR station. I helped with a postcard campaign and assisted with their Twitter…