Use your Ninja Powers to Survive Unemployment

19 Mar

I know a lot more than I should about Lego Ninjago, due to a certain very enthusiastic 6 year-old boy. The Lego Ninjago characters have special strengths and powers such as intuition, creativity, strength, patience, and many more. The ninjas travel to the caves of despair, use a tornado of creation to destroy the bad guys, find the keys to unlock their true potential, and  learn the secrets of their golden weapons, among other things. If you are going to survive unemployment, and thrive, you are going to need to find your inner ninja, and use your special powers.

Being unemployed takes a great deal of inner strength, resilience, and determination. The stereotypes of people kicking-back, collecting their unemployment “royalties” and enjoying life simply aren’t true. Maybe there is a small minority of people who abuse the system, but for most people being unemployed is anything but an enjoyable free ride. If you are unemployed for an extended period of time, you’re going to need all of your ninja strategies to get through this time, to survive, and even to thrive. Ninjas are smart, resilient, creative, crafty, and wise. Below are some tips that I have learned from harnessing my inner ninja during this time of unemployment.

1) Create a Schedule

We are creatures of routine, and creating a schedule will help you stay focused and attack the unemployment “project” as you would any project at work. Figure out when your most productive time of the day is and use that for the bulk of your job search activities. Build time into your schedule for learning, exercising, and social activities.

2) Be Kind (to yourself)

Some days you just will not be able to bring yourself to write another cover letter, have another networking coffee, rewrite your resume (again), or revise your LinkedIn profile (again). Sometimes you will hit the wall, and you just can’t do it. Even ninjas need a break. Be kind to yourself on these days and allow yourself to take a break from the job search. Read a book, watch your favorite movie, visit a museum, go the park, or get together with a friend for a (non-networking) coffee. You need these breaks to reenergize, and to keep the momentum going. So, when these days come, be kind to yourself, and allow yourself to take a break. Just make sure that these days don’t outnumber your productive days.

3) Maintain your Hobbies

Many people say that looking for a job is a full-time job. It is true that the job search takes a significant amount of time and effort. But just as important as the job search, is spending some time doing what you love to do to nourish your soul. Whether it is running, playing tennis, yoga, knitting, watching sports, cooking, or blogging, include these activities in your schedule. This will help you maintain a positive outlook, and take the focus off the difficulties of being unemployed.

4) Keep Learning 

Use this tremendous opportunity that you have been given to increase your skills, learn a new hobby or both. As I mentioned in a previous post, there are numerous opportunities to upgrade your technology skills for free online. You could also spend some time at your local library reading about whatever it is that you want to learn. Much of your learning should be focused on building new job-related skills, or keeping skills up to date, but you can do some learning just for fun too. Learn a new language, read about the history of a foreign country, learn how to play the guitar, or learn a new yoga pose. Learning keeps your mind engaged, and also feeds your spirit.

5) Spend some time with Kids

This tip doesn’t work for everyone but,  I am fortunate to be an Auntie to some really cool kids. Sometimes when you are going through the struggles of unemployment, and feeling frustrated, it is refreshing to see the world through the eyes of a child. There is nothing better than the wonder, creativity, and inquisitiveness, with which kids approach life. When was the last time you practiced doing cartwheels (last night for me), had a dance party, colored with crayons, or played a killer game of uno? Being around kids allows you to remember your wonder for life. The other really awesome thing about kids is that they could care less about whether or not you have a job, how much money you have, or what kind of car you drive. They just see you for the great person that you are.

6) Make Lists

You’ve got to give yourself some tools to feel like you are being productive and accomplishing small and large goals. As simple as it sounds, make a daily to-do list, and put even small tasks on the list. It is easy to feel like you aren’t making any progress in your job search, so daily tasks list are nice ways of reminding yourself of what you have accomplished.

7) Volunteer

Consider volunteering for a cause that you are passionate about, or for an organization which you are interested in. You may want to target your volunteering to skills that you are interested in developing, or to organizations where you would like to make contacts. But, you can volunteer just for fun too. You may be surprised at the new skills that you learn, or maybe volunteering will take you down a different career path.

8) Keep your Friends Close

It is easy to feel isolated when you are unemployed, especially if you don’t have a lot of friends who are dealing with the same thing. You may shy away from social events because you don’t want to talk about your job search, or you are concerned about spending money. But, it is so important to stay connected to your friends, and lean on them when you need to. They want to help you and support you. I am so thankful for the generosity that my friends have shown me during this time. Accept the generosity from your friends, be thankful for it, and remember that you will have future opportunities to repay their generosity.

9) Keep in all in Perspective

Find a way to remind yourself that this time is temporary. As another week goes by, or you cross into a new month, it is easy to feel like you will always be stuck in this place. But, you actually are making progress, you just may not be able to see it yet. Remind yourself that this time is part of the journey, and if you embrace this time, you’ll end up better off for it.

How have your survived unemployment? What your tips for how to get through this time? What has worked the best for you?

This post was inspired by an “assignment” from Problogger. To see the assignment, and other excellent information on blogging, check out the Problogger site.

photo credit: Jeyhun85 via photopin cc


10 Responses to “Use your Ninja Powers to Survive Unemployment”

  1. Rebecca Fraser-Thill March 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    I especially like #5. Kids really do help us keep everything in perspective, don’t they? And I love how they don’t care what we are, just who. Great post!

    • Lisa M. March 19, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

      Rebecca, thanks for your comment! Yes, kids are the best!

  2. Euforilla March 20, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

    Nice post! I like the point that says to keep learning and investing in ourselves.
    That’s always a good idea 🙂
    (Came here from problogger, I wrote a how to, too! :D)

    • Lisa M. March 23, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

      Thanks Euforilla! Yes, always important to keep learning, I will check out your post on problogger.

  3. Kimberly C. March 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    Great post! I especially like #2. This is good advice for people trying to overcome unemployment by starting their own business. Thanks for sharing on ProBlogger!

    • Lisa M. March 23, 2013 at 5:16 am #

      Thanks Kimberly! I love your blog and I will definitely be reading your SEO and social media tips.

  4. Accounts software March 28, 2013 at 6:20 am #

    I feel pretty grateful to have come across the weblog and look forward to some more awesome moments reading here. Thank you once again….

    • Lisa M. April 1, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

      Thank you accounts software!

  5. David Derbyshire March 28, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    Thanks for this Lisa! One morning a week my wife and I run a little job club coaching people into work. I think tips like this are so important to keep people going.

  6. Lisa M. April 1, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    Thank you David! What are your job-searching tips?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Seth Godin's Blog on marketing, tribes and respect

How to survive unemployment and thrive in the new economy

Nic Freeman

Sharing the wonders of travel & everyday adventures

The Unwitting Traveller

Opportunistic Travel Photography and Occasional Geo-Tourism


She turns coffee into books so she can afford to buy more coffee. And more books.

Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

The Traveling Writer

Alexis Grant on writing, travel & other adventures


Technology news, trends and analysis covering mobile, big data, cloud, science, energy and media

Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

How to survive unemployment and thrive in the new economy


How to survive unemployment and thrive in the new economy

Comments for Copyblogger

How to survive unemployment and thrive in the new economy

Mr. Money Mustache

Early Retirement through Badassity


Blog Tips to Help You Make Money Blogging - ProBlogger


How to survive unemployment and thrive in the new economy

Change Your Life | The Change Blog

How to change your life


Career and Job Search Blog

Freelance Folder

How to survive unemployment and thrive in the new economy

%d bloggers like this: