How to stay positive when unemployed 👍

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Beyond the #funemployment we see plastered all over social media, where everyone seems to be reaping the positive effects of unemployment, there are others who really struggle to stay positive while unemployed.

Searching for a job can be financially, mentally and emotionally exhausting, and dealing with unemployment depression is something that many people find themselves experiencing in this uncertain time.

This is why it is so important to know how to stay positive when unemployed will be beneficial for your mental health and the productivity of your job search.

Structuring your thought process and daily routine is imperative for those wanting to overcome unemployment depression and will be beneficial to any job search.

Short-term positivity tips: 

Make a plan 

If you are wondering what to do when unemployed, then the first thing you can start to do is write out a plan.

Writing out a plan will help for a few reasons:

  1. Writing out your thoughts is a therapeutic way to process your thoughts and visualise the situation you are in. If you are able to see a plan of what you want to do, what you can do and when you can do it, it can help tackle unemployment depression by changing your thought process so you aren’t tempted to render your job search hopeless. Being made redundant? Here’s what to do when made redundant.
  2. Having a job search plan and job application time frame is a good way to manage your time while you’re unemployed and wondering how to stop procrastinating. Set yourself small goals such as completing a certain amount of job applications a week, waking up before 10 am every day, or watching some online guides to help you feel proactive about staying positive while unemployed.
  3. Having a time frame will also make it easier if you are trying to budget. If you are unsure what to do when unemployed about your finances, then budgeting and finding enjoyable free things to do is a great way to learn how to overcome unemployment depression, especially if you are concerned about your financial situation.

Speak to your friends

We know that our social health affects our physical and mental health, so it is important to keep in touch with family and friends if you’re feeling concerned about being unemployed and depressed.

  • Speaking to others about how to cope with unemployment depression will remind you that you are not alone and your friends might be able to share their experiences on how to stay positive during job search times.
  • You can ask your friends and family to help you with job applications, if they have been successful in the past then they might be able to offer you valuable advice on landing your dream job.
  • Speaking to friends and family can be a great way to get your mind of job hunting, socialising with loved ones is great advice for someone wanting to know how to enjoy unemployment.

Give a Grad a Go have a great range of helpful blog posts for graduates living the unemployment life to help them with their job search.

Why not take advantage of our free basic CV templates and Graduate Careers Advice pages!

Long-term positivity tips: 🙌

Learning how to deal with unemployment depression can sometimes take a long time, particularly if your job hunt isn’t going as quickly as you may have liked. But there are ways to combat this feeling long-term.

Enjoy the time ⏲

It might be hard to visualise if you are experiencing unemployment depression, but once you become employed, you won’t have as much spare time to enjoy. One of the positive effects of unemployment is the amount of time you have spare.



Get some experience ✍

Getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things will be a great way to feel motivated, be proactive and improve your mental health during periods of unemployment.

Here are a few ideas to keep busy during long-term unemployment:

  • Sell some old belongings or clothes online or at a car boot sale. This will not only make you feel productive but could also bring in some extra cash and help you clear out. A messy working environment has been proven to kill your productivity – so having a good clear out could also boost your chances of getting a job!
  • Get a part-time job or find some work experience. If you know someone who wouldn’t mind you shadowing them at work for a week or could offer you some work experience then this could be a great way to improve your CV and keep busy during your job search. If you don’t know anyone, then ask around local businesses and see if they need a hand.
  • Volunteering is a great way to spend your spare time, boost your CV, help others and feel better about yourself. Volunteer your time on a crisis helpline, in charity shops, or at animal rescue centres for example.

Learn something new 👀

Learning a new skill or building upon a current skill is a useful tip to motivate yourself while unemployed. If you always wanted to learn an instrument, join a new gym class, train for a half marathon or become a pro at knitting (?!) then now is the ideal time to do so.

Take a break! 💆‍♀️

Many of us are fooled into thinking that because we are not working, then we do not deserve breaks. This is not the case at all. Applying for jobs can be just as much work, if not more than spending a day in the office, so don’t take your hard work for granted and give yourself a well deserved break.

If you are feeling particularly stressed then having a break and coming back to your job hunt a day later, or after the weekend will help you feel refreshed, re-charged and energised to get back into the job hunt.

Get in touch with Give a Grad a Go if you are feeling helpless in your job search.

Not only do we have a fantastic range of roles in a variety of companies, but we will be able to offer you a bespoke service.

This means we will only suggest jobs to you that we think might be of interest, and we will be able to offer support and advice if you are feeling exhausted with your job search.

Get in touch today to take advantage of our free service and have a chat!


For more graduate career advice and support, visit our career blog, or apply to a graduate scheme in the UK!

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