3 Things Keeping Me Motivated During Unemployment

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Etch-A-Sketch with elaborate design spelling out "I'm bored."

Well, at least this probably took up some time.

Shane is back on the SALT™ Blog! (We know, he just “left” last week. Still, Springsteen pretty much comes right back on stage for his encores, and we know how Shane feels about The Boss.) Over the coming weeks, Shane is going to let us know what life is like in that weird world beyond college. Here’s what he’s been up to.


I’m now in my third week post-graduation. It’s been nice for the most part. I’m starting to settle into a routine.

There’s a problem with that. I don’t want a routine. I want a job!

After these first few weeks, I’ve found that there are three things that have kept me going on the job search.

1. Boredom

Want some time off? That’s understandable. Once you hit week number three, not so much.

There’s a lot of time in a day. Even after sleeping in, I’m left with hours and hours of free time to fill. I looked at things to do with my time a week ago, but there’s only so much to do.

I try to job search as much as I can, and that doesn’t even kill half my time. It’s easily one of the biggest reasons I want to find a job: I just flat-out need something to do every day.

2. Grace Period

Student loans seem evil, but one of the nicest things about them is the 6-month post-graduation grace period that some have, which allows you to get on your feet before paying.

Six months is a long time, and November feels ages away. In the big scheme of things though, it’s only a few flips of the calendar—and that’s a little daunting. If I haven’t found full-time employment by then, I’ll absolutely have to settle for part-time work in the meantime.

Every day that my grace period window closes a little more, I work even harder to find a job. I don’t want to get stuck with that window closing on my fingers.

3. Pride

I just had my graduation party this past weekend, and it was a great time. The hardest part was answering the “what now?” question from every single guest. (Is there still a future in plastics?)

There’s certainly nothing wrong with not finding a job yet. There are literally millions of graduates in my same position. In this economy, jobs aren’t easy to come by.

Even though that is true, I still want to be able to tell people otherwise. I want to be proud of myself and see that pride come from others. I want to be able to answer “what now?” with confidence and my head held high.

For now, I’m just swimming in free time and job applications. Hopefully, one of those applications will lead me to a life raft.

Fellow recent grads, what motivates you? Share with a comment!

(Photo: pikajane)

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