“Funemployment” refers to that time between jobs or a period of unemployment when you simply start to enjoy all the free time you have. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you’ve been working for years non-stop. Having been retrenched or struggling to find a job is not something that needs to be all doom and gloom. You can actually enjoy that free time while you have it.

However, that doesn’t mean you can spend all your time relaxing and watching daytime television. You actually need to be productive while you’re “funemployed” as well. Because, if you want to get a job, you can’t just send in the same CV and cover letter for every job you qualify for and then go and enjoy the rest of your day. That may seem great at the time, but you’ll regret it when you’re unemployed and your savings run out. Then it won’t be so much fun.

So, instead, try to stay productive while you’re “funemployed” and give yourself a better chance of finding employment before the fun and funds run out.

Actively reflect on your situation

You’re unemployed. Why is that? Is it because your company downsized? Your internship ended and they didn’t offer you a full-time position? You just graduated and nobody is hiring? You don’t have a degree and are struggling to find a job? Or perhaps, you had to leave your job because it wasn’t right for you. Whatever the reason you find yourself unemployed, it’s important that you actively reflect on the situation you’re in and how you got there.

This is definitely not supposed to make you feel bad. But rather, it’s supposed to give you insight into what went wrong the last time you were employed or force you to think about why you aren’t receiving offers for the jobs you’re applying for. Consciously setting aside time to think about your situation and what caused it will help keep you motivated while you search for your next job. And if you were unhappy in your previous job, then you will have identified what made you unhappy and know what you don’t want in a job.

Take some free online courses

While you’re not doing anything except sending off your CV and cover letters each and every day, rather be constructive than lazy. If you find that you’ve applied for every job you qualify for that’s been posted since the last time you checked (a day ago), then don’t take a nap or watch TV. Instead, find a few free online courses and sign yourself up. They’ll keep you busy, teach you some facts, methods and insights that could help you grow in your next position, and will, at the very least, be something useful to add to your CV.

There are so many courses you don’t have to pay for out there. So, why are not taking advantage of all this free time you have? Take courses to do with the industry you want to work in and not just courses to do with the specific job you want. Potential employers will be impressed by your ability to discuss the work of other departments with just as much confidence as you discuss your own skills.

Find a mentor

If you know what you want to do and have your career mapped out in front of you, find a mentor. A real-life career mentor can be invaluable when you’re looking for a job in a specific industry. For starters, they can teach you what you need to know in order to tailor your CV for the jobs you’re applying for. They can give you tips on how to conduct yourself during an interview, especially if they know the company that’s interviewing you. And they can also give you names of people who may be able to help you or tell those people about you.

It’s not as hard as it sounds finding a career mentor, especially if you want a career in a popular industry, such as marketing. If you’re fresh out of university, college or school, then you should consider asking your old lecturers or teachers if they know anyone who could mentor you. If you’ve been in the industry for a while, you likely already have a mentor. No matter how much experience you have, everyone needs a mentor to keep things in perspective every now and then.

Launch your side-hustle while you have the time

You know that side project you’ve been dying to work on? The one that you just did not have time for while you were employed? Well, you now have the time to dedicate to that project. You can no longer use the excuse that you’re too tired from your day job. But remember, it’s only a side-hustle if it has the potential to make you money. It’s a good idea to start setting up now, while you’re “funemployed”, because that way you’ll have it all worked out by the time you start working again. And, in the meantime, you may end up with an extra bit of money, which you definitely have some use for.

Keep up-to-date with everything happening in the industry

Don’t let your unemployment stop you from keeping up with industry trends. Even though you’re not working in the industry currently, you still need to know what the latest tech is, what the popular process of the hour is, and what the best practice is. In fact, this is more important purely because you’re not in the industry at the moment. If you miss out on big changes, it may be even more difficult for you to find a job.