Unemployed? Five Tasks to Include in Your Daily Routine


“I’ve been unemployed for two months — it’s getting harder and harder to get up each day and look for work. I don’t know how I’m going to be able to keep this up. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.” — Mark from Missoula, MT


When you become unemployed, finding a job becomes your job. Even though you don’t have a supervisor monitoring when you clock in and clock out each day, committing to a routine can help you stay motivated and feel like you’re making progress towards landing your next position.

It’s up to you to craft what your specific hour-by-hour schedule looks like, but consider the following activities as you plan your time.

  • Start the day strong: It can be tempting to stay in pajamas all day, but I encourage you to take some time each morning to shower and get dressed in clean clothes. You’ll be less tempted to lounge on the couch and feel more motivated to accomplish the day’s work.
  • Review new job listings: Spend an hour or so each day looking for new job listings online and in your local classifieds section. Copy details for the ones that seem promising in a single Word document or in a notebook you keep nearby.
  • Apply for positions: Many companies now allow individuals to apply for positions online by completing a form or emailing a résumé and cover letter. Others may require you stop by the company in question to fill out a paper application. Regardless, if you see a job you’re interested in, apply right away – the longer you delay, the greater the chance that the company will find someone else to fill the position.
  • Build your network:  When searching for a job, it’s not just about what you know – it’s about who you know. Many open positions are never advertised and the only way you’ll hear about them is to build up your network. Set a weekly goal for the number of new people you’d like to connect with (either virtually or in person), then make sure to reach out to them online or at in-person networking events throughout the week.
  • Follow up: Keep track of all of your activities – jobs you apply for, interviews you go on, connections you meet – and be sure to follow up with them after the fact to let them know you’re still interested and available. People are busy, and polite follow-ups can demonstrate your interest and keep you in the front of their minds.

And don’t forget – you don’t have to go it alone! Use the locator on our home page to find the Goodwill® career center nearest you and make an appointment to work for free with an employment specialist on getting your job search back on track.