We’ll conclude the unemployment series today, and do so on a light-hearted note garnished with levity.
8. Declutter Your Life.
If you have ever been backpacking, whether it be through the woods or across a continent, you’ll realize that it’s possible to compress everything you need to live into a 50 L bag or smaller. You will never wake up and spend time wondering about what to wear, incessantly changing clothes. You’ll wear whatever smells the least awful. There might be some possessions that you long for, but they are not necessary, simply nice to have. If cash flow is short and time is plentiful, then gather up that junk, and earn a buck.
The TI-89 graphing calculator you haven’t touched since 2002 can quickly turn into $100. Those books that you’ve read and are collecting dust on the bookshelf might net you anywhere from $5-20 a piece. College textbooks can score you even more. Be creative, see what kind of market there is for your things, assess a value, and sell them. You’ll open up space in your house (and life) and earn some money at the same time.
Clothes are easily donated to local churches and thrift stores, and old winter jackets are always in demand. Take a few minutes, and make someone’s December a little bit warmer using nothing but the stuff you have laying around. Check out the 100 Thing Challenge to read about one man’s quest of narrowing down his possessions to 100 things.
Stop buying things for a while. You can live with what you’ve got. You’ve done so up to this point. Clear your closet, clear your mind.
And now, we can have some fun.
9. Collect Unemployment
Don’t quit your job, get fired! Stop trying, stop being politically correct, and stop being friendly. If they don’t want you in the office, employers will realize “it’s just not working out” and hopefully let you go. I know a handful of former workers who have personally done this with astounding success. One friend of mine was planning on leaving anyway, and volunteered to be let go rather than someone else unexpectedly losing his respective job. He now collects $550/week on top of a 4-month severance package, all the while, saving the job and the income of someone who really wanted to continue working. When interviewed, he had this to say: “New Jersey takes very good care of its unemployed.” Do all the things you love doing on the rest of the work force’s dime.
10. Embrace the feeling
Feel like sleeping in today? You can! Does bed feel extra cozy? Then lay in it until 1:00 PM. For this period of time, you don’t have to be somewhere you don’t want to be. You don’t have to run your life on someone else’s schedule. Go nocturnal; creative juices flow faster under the cover of night. Watch some horrible daytime TV, or stay glued to CNBC if it’s your bag. You’ll probably be working 40+ hours a week again soon, so enjoy and embrace this time that is really yours. Take walks around the neighborhood. Meditate. Take it easy.
11. Misery loves company
Surely you’ve got some unemployed friends, retired aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Use the time to reconnect with friends and family. Grab a beer with an old friend, and argue about whose unemployment check is going to foot the bill. Everyone loves to complain, now you can do it with one of the other 15.1 million people in America who have no job!
Hopefully by now you are knee-deep in a book you enjoy. You now take pride googling your own name. You’ve got a big trip planned thanks to the generous welfare system of your state’s government. Or you are enjoying a cocktail in your underwear counting the hours till Oprah starts, thinking about all the suckers that woke up this morning and had to take a shower and commute.
Whatever it is you decide to do with your time, enjoy.