I’m not sure exactly how doomed we are these days, but I keep hearing on the news we’re kinda doomed. Well, I’ve dealt with doom before and while I’m no ray of sunshine myself, I have been hopelessly unemployed twice and I have some nuggets of wisdom and hope to share. Some of these tips may be obvious, but I learned more than a few of them the hard way:

  • It’s not the end of the world. You will survive. We will all be OK. You will work again one day and you will regret it. You will not be homeless. Your friends and family will take care of you and you will find ways to survive and pay rent.
  • You will have to pinch your pennies. The top three easiest ways to do this is to cut out going to the movie theaters, restaurants and bars. Explain that and why you are cutting those out, and if your friends still want to be with you so bad they will cover your ticket or buy you a drink. Be sure to pay it back when they’re in your shoes some day. Sacrifice a little glamour to keep food in yer tummy.
  • Take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise, get lots of sleep and hang out with your friends a lot. It helps more than you think.
  • If you are doing a focused job search and properly networking, the job hunt should only take about 4 hours a day. Don’t waste your time driving yourself crazy by printing and broadcasting resumes until all day until 8 at night. Spend the rest of the time working out at the gym to relieve your stress, and getting back in touch with old friends over their lunch breaks.
  • If you have a lot of skills and are getting unemployment checks, avoid temping if you can. I think it’s a waste of time and you don’t get paid that much anyway. If you must work, try to work out an agreement with a company you’ve networked with to fill their needs, not filling the needs of a temp agency. I had many, many bad experiences with temp agencies. Don’t like ’em at all.
  • Network, network, network. In each instance it was contacts through the rugby team that got me leads to new jobs. I would say 90% of all my job leads were through contacts and networking. Applying to ads in employment sections of the newspaper and broacast resume blasts doesn’t work very well. Whine about your job search to your friends until they eventually get sick of you whining and start looking for jobs for you just to make you stop whining.
  • The DC unemployment office was actually very sensitive and helpful and they got my checks to me in time. I was actually quite impressed. I hear DC is not experiencing as high an unemployment rate as other regions though. If you have issues dealing with handouts, get over it. It pays the rent and fills your tummy with food.
  • Don’t jump at the first job offer that comes to you without thinking about it first. Don’t take a job you might hate later. Pretend like you’ve gotten two other fabulous job offers and you have to consider those too. Granted, your first job offer might indeed be fabulous, but there’s a lot of desperation on your end at such a time that biases your decision making process.

That’s all I can think of right now. I’m sorry you’re unemployed but the situation won’t be forever, so relax, enjoy not working for a while and get some sleep.


  1. SeanMT says:

    I have only one word: Indeed.

  2. Mari says:

    I migth disagree with you about temp agencies. However it has been a good while since I’ve had to deal with a temp agency. To get my cousin a summer/semester job at my aunt’s organization the HR department had to get her through a temp agency. I’ve had long-term assignments (aka several weeks worth of work) with temp agencies that got me through. But that’s been about a decade ago in another state.
    The network of friends and family is very important, let them help you.
    Also in the meantime, while you’re still employed build up an emergency/rainy day fund.

  3. Sean says:

    Thank you! You are a ray of light!

  4. Tim says:

    Really good tips, and advice Jimbo!

  5. CBinCa says:

    Jimbo: Currently unemployed, I will follow your tips. Thanks!

  6. Marty says:

    Thanks, Jim…this is some great stuff. If you don’t mind, I’m going to forward this to my sis who’s going through some tough times right now!

  7. Luther says:

    Ya Jimbo, This too shall pass!

  8. Brett A. says:

    This is some great stuff. Had a conversation about this topic this morning with my parents ironically.
    Jim can you send me your email address again. I forgot it.

  9. Matthew Thompson says:

    Sage advice. And I agree on the temping, avoid it if you can.

  10. jimbo.info » Blog Archive » Don’t Panic says:

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