Monday, February 20, 2012

How to Move Back Home Without Killing Yourself and Everybody Around You


It happened. Despite your best efforts (or not) during your last year of school, you find yourself sleeping on the same bedroom set you came home to every winter break. You know that it's okay, and you have a plan for going forward, but some days you can't bring yourself to get out from under the covers. Let me help you.

Maintain a Schedule
While you were at school, you probably slept in as often as possible, but the fact of the matter is that you did have something to do on a reoccurring basis: go to class, write a paper, avoid studying for a test. Now that you're home and unemployed, your only scheduled activity is "Find a Job." This, my friend, is not the thing you want to see at the top of your to-do list every morning- trust me, I know.

Put together a schedule that works for you, and make an attempt to stick to it. Try going to sleep at relatively the same time every night. Eat breakfast. And speaking of schedules,

Have a Plan for Searching for Work
How many hours a day/week do you want to spend looking for work? After the first few tries, spending 8 hours a day looking for work is not only disheartening, it's downright depressing. Make sure you have a certain amount of time to spend each day polishing your resume/abusing your contacts/cruising Craigslist, but make sure you don't exceed your allotted amount of time each day, you overachiever you. Spending too much time worrying about finding the perfect job is going to stress you out and make you a total bore to talk to at parties.

Have an Activity
This feeds in to the scheduling thing: it doesn't have to be a do-gooder activity like volunteering at the local library (although that does look great on a resume); it can be a series of short-term goals like finishing a certain book or scrapbooking. Having a reoccurring activity will help keep you on track with your schedule- everybody knows that if you want something done, you should give it to a busy person.

Get some Exercise
You don't have to join the gym to do it, either. Join a local adult soccer league, go to the tennis courts with your little sibling, or strap on those sneakers and go for a nice, long, soul-searching walk.

It can be very easy to get so consumed with finding a job that you don't realize you haven't gone outside in three days until your mother mentions that your sweatshirt is starting to smell funny. Exercise not only gives you a change of pace (ha!), it gives you endorphins, which you probably need right about now.

And the last, most important tip....


Get Dressed
If I roll out of bed and plop directly down at the computer, sometimes it's lunchtime before I realize I need to change my underwear and get cracking on my to do list. 

Getting dressed tells your brain that the day has started and it's time for non-reddit things to be accomplished. The kind of psychology that applies to getting fully dressed for a phone interview applies here; what part of lying in bed under the covers with the laptop says 'worktime'? Nothing. Nothing about that says worktime.

Additionally, getting dressed means that if you need to run out to the grocery store and get some milk for Mom (or go to an interview right now) you've already spent the 20 minutes brushing your teeth and selecting a shirt, and you can just go.

If you never got "dressed up" (translation: changed out of sweatpants) to go to class, now is the time to break that habit, but that's an entirely separate post.


Here is a list of things somebody thinks you should avoid in your situation. is an okay site to click around for some more ideas.

Do you have any tips which worked for you in your unemployed life that I've missed here? Feel free to share them in the comments!

No comments:

Post a Comment