How To Be Unemployed (Without Going Crazy!) / by Anne Kreamer

Seija Rankin reported this piece for Refinery 29.  Dr. Danny Penman, co-author of Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World and I were among those interviewed for advice. "This week, a whole new generation of college graduates enter the working world — armed with diplomas, a thirst for success, and an alcohol tolerance like no other. We'll spare you the sappy quotes of graduation speeches past (insert biting, yet humorous observation on the outlook of society and the need for a zest for life, here), but rest assured they've heard plenty in the way of warnings and advice.

And, while we have no doubt that each and every one of you breaking into the workforce are more than qualified for your dream jobs (okay, that was a joke), we're going to be honest: Despite the fact that you are intelligent, hard-working, deserving people, there just aren't enough jobs to go around — some of you will join the ranks of the unemployed. Plus, there's that whole life-isn't-fair thing. While we wish we could use the magical powers of the Internet (or, that new 3-D printer invention) to summon careers for each and every one of you, what we can offer you is a shoulder to lean on, and a little bit of expert advice. After all, we've all been there — and by "there," we mean our bed, watching countless reruns of Sex and the City, wishing all those recruiters would understand how totally awesome we were.

So, to do all of you job-seekers a solid, we hit up HR execs and happiness experts to bring you our ultimate guide to surviving unemployment. Read through to get started on your brand new life, and crack open a cold one while you're at it. Because, hey, it's not like you've got a job to get to.



After our (multiple) stints through the vices of unemployment, we now consider ourselves venerable experts in passing time. You'll find that as your friends, roommates, and lovers head off to spend the day gainfully employed, hours turn into days, days turn into weeks, and a simple commercial break can feel like a lifetime. You'll now be longing for the structure of Excel documents, lunch breaks, and mundane meetings. But, rest easy, because there are (temporary) solutions.

Break Out Of Your Routine: According to Anne Kreamer, author of It’s Always Personal: Navigating Emotion in the New Workplace, being unemployed can be isolating and scary for even the most grounded and secure person. "One of the best things to do is expose yourself to something new that brings you in contact with new social groups," she says. "Volunteer at an animal shelter or find a free lecture series that interests you." It's okay if what you're doing isn't directly focused on gainful employment — it will help you become an explorer of the world and maybe even expose you to a new direction you hadn't even considered.

Get Your Rest: This may seem counterintuitive, but just think — when else in your life will you have the opportunity to get every minute of the beauty sleep you need? Not only will a solid eight (or 10, or 12) hours help you feel refreshed to tackle cover letter after cover letter, but you may finally banish those undereye circles that plague your salaried friends. Plus, the more you sleep the less time you'll spend watching infomercials (and splurging on the Forever Comfy).

Tackle Your Netflix Queue: Are you constantly feeling out of the loop while the rest of your friends riff on The West Wing (Oh, President Bartlett, you ol' curmudgeon!)? Now's your chance to catch up on everything you missed at your 9-to-5.  (to read more....)