It's been a minute since I jumped on here and talked about my own personal post-grad experience, so let's talk about how to stay sane unemployed.
I am not unemployed, unemployed, but I’m still pretty unemployed. What I mean by that is yes, I’ve been working a few side hustles, along with Dear Diary, but I still don’t have a contract or a yearly salary. Back in March when everything went to sh*t, I thought by October 2020 I would definitely have a job secured, but alas I am publishing this post on October 1st, 2020 and I am still unemployed.
All of the companies that I started applying for at the beginning of 2020 are either still on hiring freezes or not bringing on new hirers until 2021, so although informational interviews are super helpful (do them if you are not already), I keep hearing the same thing after each virtual call, “You're great! We’re just not hiring right now.” Hearing those sentences over and over again is enough to make anyone feel insane.
Unfortunately, all of the advice for post-grads on the internet right now is not being written by unemployed post-grads and it is extremely hard to relate to. So, I have come up with a list of a few things that have helped me keep moving forward during these, unprecedented times. Unlike those other articles, in this post, you don't have to read someone who hasn't gone through this exact experience tell you what you should do. I am going through this right beside you too, so this is just what has helped me.
*Note: these tips are also useful if your an employed post-grad too.
1) KUWAS (Keeping Up with a Schedule) has helped me a lot recently. That being said, I don’t follow a schedule every day, (because who is that organized) but I do feel most productive when I have some type of "game plan" for my day. I like my planner, but I got one that doesn't have specific dates on it, which makes me feel less bad about myself if I don't finish what I had planned for that specific day. If getting a planner feels a little too intense right now, "Reminders" on the iPhone is a game-changer.
When all the days start to mush together, I have found that making a clear schedule allows me to pretend that I have it all together.
2) Please don't spend your whole day on LinkedIn. I am not sure who needs to hear this, but I am saying it. LinkedIn is like any other social media platform and it can become addicting, so set limits for yourself if you find yourself going down a never-ending black hole. What I do is I set aside time to go on, do my thing for a little bit each day (make ~connections~ and follow up some messages), but I have learned not to obsess over it.
LinkedIn is basically professional flirting, so it's important to remember that no one likes to be bombarded with messages.
3) Getting the heck outside actually really works! People have been saying "go for a walk" on social media all of quarantine, and at first, I thought "walking isn't for me, I miss Uber", but I tried it, and it's actually amazing. Seriously, this is new for me, I’m not a nature girl (I like the gym) but fresh air is like really nice. I have a puppy now too (@mini_maisie_mae), so I have to go outside for a ton of walks each day. At first, I thought this would be a pain, but it’s actually such a good way to break up the day. A lot of us are just staying in the same location for the majority of our days, so mix it up.
4) Using your phone? To communicate? With Others? Groundbreaking. FaceTime a friend, text your siblings, Zoom your grandparents, it doesn't matter just reach beyond your current environment. I know everyone is over Zoom at this point, almost as much as we're over tie-dye sweatsuits (oops, I said it), BUT when you reach out to others it makes you realize everyone else is dealing with similar situations right now. I know my day always gets 100% better when I have a great conversation with a friend or relative.
5) I am learning that my bed is not my desk. I am such a hypocrite for this one, but I am going through this transition too. It’s so easy to go back to bed after each activity, but don’t do it. I recommend making your bed in the morning and only using it for sleeping and naps. I’m writing this on my laptop in bed right now, but I have this thing called a desk and I’m going to start to use it!
My list is short and sweet because I don't have all the answers. Even if this list made you roll your eyes, it’s okay because at first, it made me roll my eyes too, but I hope hearing it from someone who actually is going through unemployment right beside you helps a little bit.