Tired of Applying to Jobs? 6 Goals For Unemployed People That Have Nothing to Do With the Job Market

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June 19, 2024 at 10:50PM UTC
As the world is adapting to what is now the “new normal,” Fairygodboss wants to be there for you every step of the way. Keep reading for timely advice and join our Navigating the New Normal group for continued support.
When you're unemployed, it's easy for the job search to consume your entire being. But especially in a market like today's, it's normal to want to take a break — maybe even a hefty one — from sending applications, particularly if you've been sending applications to no avail (if that's the case, have you checked out the Fairygodboss professional profile yet?). 
So, what can you work on while laying off the job search? Here are six goals that have absolutely nothing to do with the job market that can still make you feel accomplished. 

1. Take a free online course that has nothing to do with your profession. 

Sites like Coursera and  Khan Academy offer free courses in everything from art history to personal finance. Taking a course just for you will not only set a weeks-long routine full of small accomplishments, but will also help reinforce your sense of self outside of your career. At the end, you might just have a new set of knowledge or skill set to pursue a new passion or build out a part of your life separate from the workplace. 

2. Try a fitness challenge.

Encourage yourself to complete a fitness challenge to not only feel the physical and mental benefits of consistent movement but also to feel a sense of achievement by day-whatever. There are plenty of challenges — ranging from seven to 30 days — on Pinterest. You could also make your own using your favorite free online workouts. Try printing or making a calendar to hang on your wall with an indicator of what you're going to do each day, then cross of the days as they pass. At the end, reward yourself! 

3. Start a Goodreads or Letterboxd challenge.

If a fitness challenge doesn't sound super appealing, try challenging yourself to read books you're interested in or to watch movies you've been meaning to see. The apps Goodreads and Letterboxd let you track the books you've read and the movies you've watched, respectively. 
Make a reading list or movie list on either app, then check them off as you go along. You can also challenge yourself to write reviews on the apps. Writing reviews causes you to sit with and reflect on the stories you're reading or watching and learn something from them — even if that lesson is only that you really enjoyed that movie — then produce something based on those reflections. That's creative and interesting, plus it serves as a small digital journal you can go back and look at when you're thinking about this time in the future. 

4. Volunteer (virtually, of course). 

There are many nonprofits and mission-based groups that use virtual volunteers. Getting involved with a cause you care about can help you feel more empowered, even if you're stuck inside. Here are nine places to find robust volunteer opportunities online, according to the nonprofit DoSomething. 

5. Send snail mail to people you care about. 

While you may be keeping up with your loved ones on FaceTime or Zoom, there's something special about sending or receiving a handwritten letter. Try to write one letter a day to someone you love or a friend you miss. Then, try to connect with that person when they reach out to thank you for the letter. Making someone feel special can spark joy and deepen relationships — and writing letters, especially ones that remind you of a good relationship or fun times, can be an uplifting experience. 

6. Start a journal. 

I'm not sure if you feel the same, but often in social isolation, my days feel like they run together. It can be hard to recount my daily accomplishments in my head when I'm laying down for the night, much less the next day or a week on. Challenge yourself to start a journal where you track your goals and routines, no matter how small. 
Journaling is a mindfulness practice in and of itself because it asks you to live in the moment and reflect on what you're doing and how you're feeling — it's known to  boost feelings of productivity and gratitude. You can go over what you did that day in a narrative format or take a stab at bullet journaling, if you want a slightly more time-consuming and aesthetically pleasing journaling approach. Then, once a week, take a look at everything you've done and felt and experienced. See, you're still a human. What a great realization to give yourself. 

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