Tag Archives: welfare

Who Put the Fun in FUNemployment?

14 Dec

Well this just looks like fun.

Funemployed. A word that prior to circa 2000 did not exist. The term can either be used to negatively describe someone currently on the welfare system or someone who has fun while being unemployed and actively seeking a job (which is the one I’ll use for our purposes).

There’s the optimistic reaction to the unemployed, “Now you’ll have so much free time! You can get back to all your interests! Why don’t you take up painting? And what about that souffle that you used to love to make?” But what happens when you lose those interests? Or the “Just apply everywhere and you’ll get a job!” Unfortunately, it’s really not that easy and surely not all that “fun”. Job autonomy isn’t as common and skill level qualifications are much more demanding. You have the same job title and salary yet you must take on numerous uncorrelated tasks just to keep the job. The security of a college education yielding at least a decent job isn’t as certain as it was in the comparatively medieval 1990s.

As a response, I’ve compiled a Funemployment To Do List (AKA How To Stay Sane While Unemployed):

First and foremost. . .

Stay Active.

The Stairmaster: not my recommended apparatus of choice...


Hey, it’s free (at least in some form)! There’s hiking trails and beaches and the like.

It’s about much more than getting that killer bod you’ve always dreamed of. I personally find that to just be an added bonus. Being active makes you feel more alive and helps you immune system in the process! It’s difficult enough to get out of bed and go for just about anything when you’re unemployed. Getting in the habit of waking up to greet the day is a very good start.

Keep A Schedule

Where'd my day go?


I find it’s easy to get into a sleep in and watch Law & Order: SVU marathon-funk. The uneasiness of not having a schedule can be draining and even more discouraging. If you have no reason to wake up at 7am, why waste time? I’m not implying wake up early after some 2AM job searching (very easy to do but I highly discourage). It’s nice to have a plan so you don’t become addicted to video games or one of those addicting iphone apps.

Give Yourself A Break From the Search

How was this ever considered fun?


Searching all day on Monster and Careerbuilder and Craigslist (shudder) will only get you so far. Even though the actual job is vital-so is your sanity. Let yourself have fun and do things you love to do. Read a book at a coffee shop or library. Hit up free (or cheap) museums. Cook. Make out with your best friend. Build a fort. Do whatever floats your boat but try to steer clear of doing activities at your own house, an easy trap to a negative routine of rumination and despair.


Look! I'm worthwhile (and maybe even lovable...)!

Volunteer. I’m not saying go buy a plane ticket to China and teach English (not that that doesn’t sound amazing and is a very viable option), volunteer locally intermittently. Surrendering is the worst thing you can do.¬†Although it may seem like this is taking time away from the career search, it’ll help you in the long run. It’ll help your resume. It’ll help your social life and, at the very least, help you maintain your sanity! You’ll be gaining skills and doing meaningful work (even if it’s just for the time-being).

Talk To People

Please tell me your story, wise Grandpa! I finally turned off my ipod.


Talk to old professors and family friends. People have been there and have persevered. The mere comfort that you are not alone should lessen at least a speck of tension and may even give you ideas about your future.

Be Positive Yet Realistic

Stay Positive–Easier said than done. Agreed. But it must be done. It is so easy to get discouraged when you are unemployed. That sofa is so comfortable and the TV Line-up is oh so good. You must keep it up.

I’m far from an expert on this matter. These are just some general ideas that seem to help in my opinion! Good luck.