Being in between jobs is arguably every adult’s least favorite stage in life. When your paychecks stop coming in, your bills, sadly, won’t. How do you add color to a bleak picture?

Well, some good can come out of your current employment situation. The money, or at least not the amount you expect, may not be part of it. But you can take and use this time to learn, explore, and do something productive while waiting for your next full-time job.

The State of Unemployment

Overall economic conditions and personal reasons cause unemployment, which comes in many forms. For example, if you are actively looking for work, then you are experiencing short-term or frictional unemployment. If you lost your job because of the bad economy, then it’s cyclical employment at work.

Whatever the circumstances that led to your current employment status, these six things make you realize that it serves a purpose for the time being.

1. You Can Learn a New Skill

Experience is your leverage when you look for work, but learning new skills, such as in IT, that you can apply to your new work can boost your employability. You can also brush up your current skills to refresh your knowledge and learn new tricks in your trade.

  1. You Can Prepare to Ace Your Preemployment Exam

You can practice in the mirror for your interview and answer online psychometric tests. As for the drug test, time may not be on your side for you to be cleared of unwanted substances or health issues. If the circumstances for the urine test are favorable, you can mix your powdered urine and bring it on your exam day to test negative.

3. You Can Find Part-Time Work

While waiting for a full-time job, you can be engaged in part-time work to earn a fraction of your usual income. You can sign up for online job boards and get paid by the hour or per project. Take on as many gigs in between submitting your résumé and waiting for calls. It also matters to check with your state or country if it offers unemployment insurance or benefits.

  1. You Can Devote Time to “Nonurgent” Papers or Requests

Process unemployment claims as applicable. Remember the letter that you received from the bank to update your information? How about lining up to get a government ID or following up on a similar request? These tasks may be mechanical or don’t have deadlines, but you may as well do them while you have time to spare.

  1. You Can Spend More Time with Your Pets or Family

It sounds cheesy, but it’s easy to lose track of loved ones when you are working forty hours a week and then some over the weekend. Spend time and talk with them, and maybe go on short trips as you will likely see less of them when your new work comes.

  1. You Can Devote Time to Your Passion Project

You have been meaning to write a novel, paint your car, or start something that is not related to your work or career. You may need a distraction that proves to be worthwhile as this passion project shows.

Helpful or Not?

Going back to the question, can unemployment be helpful? The answer is yes. It lies in finding opportunities for personal growth and development. Sleep, eat, and do nothing. Work on yourself. You will come back ready to face the world again.

Good job on getting back on your feet and making the best of your current situation. What are your best practices when job hunting? Drop a line in the comment box.

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