What To Do When Unemployed Turns Into Unmotivated


20-Something Question:

I was laid off from a seasonal position at a retail company. Since then I have remained unemployed. More deeper, I have become highly complacent and unmotivated to search for another job. I know I am stuck and yet I can’t shake it. I have spent all of these months on my laptop watching you-tube clips and listening to music. I am 23 years old. I feel I am existing, not living. What should I do?

40-Something Perspective: 

Take one day at a time. But get strategic with your day.

  • Spend 1/3 of it job searching and applying.
  • Spend 1/3 of it putting in the time of getting focused on what you want…where your strengths meet a market shall we say.
  • Spend 1/3 living and putting yourself out in the world.

For other ideas on how to stay motivated and put yourself on the pasty to possibilities, here are some answers from my panel of 40-somethings survivors and thrivers:

Travel. Get out of your depressive hole by getting out and seeing the world. Expose yourself to new ideas and different ways of living. Meet fabulous adventuresome people. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. If you think you can’t afford it, just earn money at small jobs along the way. It really doesn’t take much cash to travel in developing nations. It’ll change your entire perspective. And I bet you’ll find your passion along the way.- Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Life Coach, Los Angeles, CA


Balance looking with living. I highly recommend the latest version of “What color is your Parachute” and in the meantime take any job you can get. Balance focusing on the job search with getting out there. When I was unemployed I’d send out 10 resumes a day for the gamut of positions then go to the dock at 4 pm and crew for sailboat races 4/5 days a week. It was also unpaid work but I usually got a meal out of it met some lifetime friends who eventually hired me. Do what you love. Realize and aim for your life’s goals. All work is noble and most of it temporary. Concepts about work are archaic. Be innovative, start your own company, write a book, go back to school. Just enjoy your life. — 40-something, artist, musician, surfer, Los Angeles, CA


Always keep your eyes open. I found a job I ended up loving while out of town for a wedding, playing pool at a bar with my boyfriend during some downtime between wedding events. Tell EVERYONE you are in a job search. You never know who may be in a position to aid you.”- 40-something, graphic designer, Rochester, NY


Lastly I would say, get strategic …put yourself in places where vision meets opportunity.This is an interesting story…you may not be able to do this but it goes to show what happens when you are focused on what you want and get creative with strategizing how to get it.

How a Night With Arianna Huffington Changed My Life


For more perspective and ideas, here is a link and excerpt from a similar question and posts previously posted on 40:20 Vision.

Wander purposefully!

1. Don’t wait for the perfect job. Consider temping…

“You can try different things and maybe find something you enjoy. One day I walked into a job and within thirty minutes of being there I was like, ‘This is where I’m supposed to be.’ I talked to a bunch of people there, worked hard and ended up with a full-time job.” – 40-something, HR, Los Angeles

2. Volunteer. If you are able to get outside yourself and see other people’s issues it will give you insight to see yourself. You can build skills, make contacts and gain insight.

“Do something for people other than yourself…community service. It will help you in many ways. You never know when you’re going to meet somebody who can offer you insight that’s really helpful.” – 40-something, Cleveland, OH

3. Visualize. Simply taking the time to go through an exercise to visualize what you want and who you want to be can help you determine the path to get there. There are a ton of tools online.

“If you could just visualize…what would the best job possible for me be? What would the best possible career be? One thing you find in common with successful people is that they all had a visual of what they wanted. Take the time to literally create a visual of what you want. Then you can stay attuned to the possibility. – 40-something, New York, NY

4. Join, participate. Try. Part of getting to know your strengths is trying new things. There are opportunities all around you to find an interest. And of course it’s a great way to meet your peers.

“Find a book club. Take an art class. Go to a wine-tasting at a wine store. Explore community boards and local meet–ups (www.meetup.com) to find people who share your interests. Tons of charities and art museums have junior memberships and committees to allow younger people to take advantage of the arts on a budget. Many towns also have social clubs revolving around sports. – 40-something, New York, NY

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