Surviving unemployment is an unfortunate storm that many people are currently weathering in this down economy. Worse still, obtaining a job of any kind is far more competitive than in the past. Being unemployed, however, should not stop you from conquering your dreams and getting on with your life. There are countless support systems and opportunities for the unemployed out there - as long as you set out to find them. Below are just a few of the very possible avenues you can pursue to remain active while surviving unemployment. Capitalize on what you do best, and you'll be successful. Work on your skills, and being unemployed will soon be a thing of the past!

Making the Best of Being Unemployed

1. Do something you've always dreamed of: Most of us started working as soon as we got out of college, settling for some entry-level job that paid the bills. Very few of us had a chance to backpack through Europe, pursue our dream of becoming an amateur cyclist, or swim the English Channel. Now, with so much downtime on your hands, you have ample opportunities to do what you've always wanted to do, but never had the time to get them accomplished. Even if you can't afford some of your more extravagant dreams, there's always something in your backyard that you can do while being unemployed. Create a list of your 'must-dos,' and tackle them! The chance may not come up for another couple of years.

2. Concentrate on hobbies: Being unemployed is a good time to focus on what you love to do, whatever it might be. If you like arts and crafts, use this time to knit, sew, paint, or sculpt. You may even want to think about donating some of your handiwork to a cause, which can make your time and talents more rewarding. If you like sports, join a free league that plays a couple of times each week. In terms of surviving unemployment, concentrating on your hobbies is ideal as it allows you time to yourself, equating to more relaxation and a more focused approach to your job search.

3. Brush up your resume: Take a good, hard look at your current resume. If you've just been laid off, chances are your resume hasn't been updated in years. Review everything you've written, re-wording things to reflect what you actually did in all of your positions, and, more importantly, how you impacted the company personally. Did you increase sales by a certain percent? Did you land a big account one year? These kinds of details are the ones that companies and headhunters are looking for each day. Make your resume sparkle!

4. Volunteer your time: Volunteering presents unique activities for the unemployed to get involved with their communities. These days, most employers think to ask interviewees what they've done while being unemployed, which makes having a solid answer more promising in regards to your job prospects. Before choosing an organization or club to work with, think about what you're most interested in. Countless churches, groups, libraries, schools, and causes are seeking reliable, trustworthy individuals to help them get their message out to the community. Not only can you lend a helping hand while being unemployed, but these experiences are a great addition to your resume.

5. Go back to school: If your career has been put on the back burner, consider updating the skills you currently have and adding to your knowledge base. For many companies, technological skills are a goldmine, and perhaps even a foot in the door. Contact your local college or university for information on their programs; many of them allow you to take just a few courses rather than pursue an entire degree. If you need something a little more cost effective, your local YMCA, business association, or civic center likely offers courses throughout the year for less than $200.

6. Consider contract/temp/part-time work: If you've been offered temp or part-time work, take it! What's the harm? It's a great thing to put on your resume and, better yet, helpful on the path to surviving unemployment. You also might learn a few new skills that you can translate to your next role at a more permanent job. While you may not be getting as much as you were paid in the past, part-time work helps with paying that growing pile of bills and surviving unemployment!

Surviving Unemployment the Right Way

Being unemployed is what you make of it. Don't squander your time - use it wisely! Too many people want to feel sorry for the situation they're in and waste their time. The only way you'll get ahead is to get out and make the best of the situation. This is valuable time - take advantage of it, and you'll find that surviving unemployment can have its perks.

Author's Bio: 

Darrel Giann, the founder of, is a former businessman who has years of experience guiding individuals to achieve financial freedom and peace. Educated in Georgia, Giann has had success working in the finance industry and now devotes his time to helping others get ahead in life. For more information on how to start a business of your own, visit