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It can be challenging to get your people time in when you spend all day at home job hunting. Even for the introvert a taxing loneliness can creep in. I have been unemployed in 4 different states with very different experiences for each of them. The people I had available to me were different. I have known just one person in the area, to being surrounded by family.
One thing I realized was how I used my time to connect with others was just as important as how I was applying to jobs. Social time could be going out every night or having a cup of coffee with a friend once a week that fills your needs. But, the purpose of the interaction and who it is with can make the world of difference. Here are some different ways to have human interactions that may be more meaningful and fun.
Get Workout Buddies
Yes, have more than one workout buddy. Go to a class with a friend every week. Do your weights with another friend. Join a running group that meets up a couple times a week. Find a friend that wakes up in the morning to work out, or does their workouts on their lunch break.
Use these opportunities to benefit your health but also to talk to someone who is sweating it out just like you. It’s easier to bond and connect with someone when you both are sweating and exerting yourself. Also, going for a coffee or food after the workout to extend that social interaction.
I love working out with others. They help push me, but also help me have a fun time. The small chit-chat between sets is a great time for jokes and laughs. Experiencing a class tough class together usually will lead to laughs later recounting struggles. Workouts with friends is a great way up your endorphins and be social.
Network To Get Your Dream Job
It may hurt at first but networking is really just getting to know people. So reach out to old acquaintances, bosses, work friends, Linked In discoveries, and alums and ask them out for a cup of coffee or a drink after work. Pick their brains a bit.
You will find people who have been exactly where you are and be able to empathize with your plight and give decent advice. Some of these people may turn into regular contacts and friends. Don't over think networking as a big scary thing.
When you network, do mention that you are unemployed and job hunting for your dream job. People will keep you in mind if they come by anything that is up your alley. But, mainly focus on them. People enjoy talking about themselves. Have a list of questions already prepared. It will make the conversation go more smoothly.
Remember networking is just getting to know people. When you think of it like that you are bound to make a few friends along the way.
Join Groups To Learn And Have Fun
These groups could be related to your future 9 to 5, or just a hobby. Groups can be centered around previous education, spirituality, volunteering, books, what you are learning now, or interests.
Meetup.org is a great place to look for people getting together doing what you are interested in. Also idealist.org isn’t just a place to job hunt, it is also a great location to find volunteer opportunities. Build a tribe of people who can support you in your endeavors. If you can't find a group that is centered around your interest make one!
Having scheduled times for workouts, networking meetings and groups get togethers can help breakup the repetitive days of unemployment. Try to have 1 or 2 scheduled events a week. Being unemployed doesn't have to be a lonely experience. Let me know how you get your people time in, in the comments below.
** Editor's Note: This post was originally published on November 17, 2017. It has been edited and updated.