How to deal with the unemployment blues (advice from a newbie dev)

Personal:

After graduating from EDA, I set out on the the hunt for my first developer position, a task that was by turns daunting, frustrating, invigorating and exciting. I hoped it would lead to something great, a job in which I can learn a lot, become a better coder and work with a fun team. And I’m happy to announce that it did! I start with Rabid Technologies as a Junior Developer on Monday, 20 July.

It’s good that my unemployment will soon come to an end, because I really don’t do well at being unemployed. A big part of that is that I’ve learned to tie a lot of my self worth into what I do for a living (thanks, society!), so when I’m not making a living, well, you can imagine what that does to my self worth. It’s fine when I’m an unemployed student, because then I’m actually doing something, bettering myself and all that. But when I’m not a student and don’t have a job – not that I’ve been in that position very often – well, it’s not the best feeling.

I tried to counter the unemployed blues by keeping the student flow going and actually doing something, or lots of somethings, as the case may be. I started my own project, contributed to a couple of other projects, and just generally tried to continue with my learning as much as possible. And it helped: I stayed busy, I had a schedule, and it kept the lack-of-a-job insecurities away, for the most part. I really wanted to do my best to make the most of the time while I had it, because once I’m back working full time, I’ll probably wish I had more free time to do my own things. Oh, the irony.

“Technical”:

How do keep busy when you’re looking for a job

As I mentioned in my first post, nothing gives you a sense of control in this chaotic world like a colour coded calendar. And it’s true. What helped me the most during my unemployment was keeping a detailed schedule. I planned it out a week in advance and colour coded tasks depending on their nature – social, household, job hunt, learning, industry events, etc.

Calendar for Blog

Blurred because reasons.

This may seem like extreme taskmastering to some people and of course wouldn’t work for everyone, but it kept me focused. With it, I never floundered for something to do, I felt busy and I worked through my list of things I would do if I had the time. It gave me a clear and defined way to juggle the things I wanted to learn with everything I needed to do in an organised way. It’s not revolutionary or original, but it works.

Have you had periods of unemployment? If so, how did they make you feel? What did you do to keep busy? Please share any tips in the comments below. Thank you!

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One thought on “How to deal with the unemployment blues (advice from a newbie dev)

  1. Pingback: NetHui 2015: Fundamental Fellowship | I Like Pretty Code

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