My few weeks of unemployment have taught me some valuable lessons. The ten most important ones are listed below.
1. Constantly be updating your resume. If you haven’t updated your resume in 5 plus years, it’s going to take you a full week to track down the information about your old employers, type up a draft, find eligible references, get friends and family to read over the draft, and then make the necessary changes. Do it every six months while your employed.
2. Buy that new suit while you’re still employed. Forking out that $500 some-odd dollars hurts when you’re not gettin’ paid.
3. Regardless of your situation, apply for unemployment benefits. Don’t let pride get in the way of this, you have been paying for it your entire working life.
4. On the day after your first full work day spent on the couch watching MTV’s spring break, buy your family’s Christmas and birthday presents. Then tear up your credit cards.
5. While you actually have a job, make a list of everything that you would like to do if you didn’t have to be at work. Because the day you get fired/layed-off/quit you’ll forget all the fun things you should be doing. It’s like walking into a great record store: the second you cross the threshold, your mind drops the names of all the cool bands you’ve been wanting to check out.
6. Go on vacation. Be sure to leave town at least once while you’re not working. You don’t get many chances to go on a vacation and have nothing to come back to. The experience is incomparable. Book a flight before you throw out your credit card (see #4).
7. Don’t quit smoking. Now is not the time nor place for such risky measures.
8. Work. But don’t work that hard. Finding a job can be a full time job in itself. Don’t let it come to that. Spend four hours a day looking for work. Spend the rest of the time getting in the way of the plumber at your girlfriends house and hitting golf balls. On the contrary, don’t get lazy.
9. Go outside. A lot. It really does help.
10. Keep your routine. Continue to get up at your regular time each morning. Do something productive in the morning (laundry counts).