So here I am, at home, a full week after having been laid off. (No, it wasn't for noding at work -- the reasons were complicated, and not worth wasting nodespace on.) There's been a lot of poring over want ads and employment web sites, and much email has gone out from me with my résumé attached. But if I were to spend my full waking day (while my wife's at work, anyhow) doing that, all the postings would start blurring together after a while, and I'd probably miss something good.
So I've been finding other things to do to keep my mind fresh and to keep myself from getting too discouraged too quickly. In no particular order...
- Actually, I haven't done much of this, though I can think of several worthwhile things. Ironically, though I now have plenty of time for noding, I've lost the urge. I guess it says something about my work ethic that I had no problem with noding on someone else's time, but I do have a problem with noding on my own time. (Or maybe it's just that far too many of these pages take too damn long to load over this HPB's dialup connection...)
- Do that housework that's been begging to be done.
- And I'm not referring to doing the dishes and laundry. I mean extracting the tree growing in the gutter and painting over those stains on the walls. Anything to keep busy, do something that needed doing, and to keep from thinking about why you got yourself canned in the first place.
- Write a letter of protest to your former boss.
- This isn't a letter that ever needs to be actually sent (particularly if your boss otherwise holds no ill will toward you and will be a valuable reference), but if you feel at all wronged, vent. Set it down, for your eyes only, and set down in excruciating detail every little grievance you ever had with your former job, particularly the events which led to your firing.
- As long as all of your time is your own, take advantage of that fact. I've got a third-party Novell certification exam study guide and the Llama Book on hand for whenever I feel like reading a physical book instead of my computer screen.
- Figure out what you're worth.
- Particularly for IT folks who held the same job for a couple of years, market forces may have pushed up the average salary for a person with your experience. After talking to a couple of recruiters today, I discovered that I may be being passed over partly because I've been stating too low a figure for my expected salary, given my skill set and years of experience. Undervaluing yourself is a great way to tell people that you don't have enough self-confidence to do a good job.
Unemployment ain't fun, not by a long shot. Even so, your every waking moment doesn't have to be devoted directly to job hunting.