You may be wondering where I’ve been…

After finishing my master’s degree in December, I moved back to Washington, DC, to start the job hunt.  A trying process in any economy, in this economy it has been particularly tough.  Staying with whatever friends would host me, I sent out dozen of resumes, emails and requests for networking opportunities.

I finally landed back at my old company, at least for now, and it feels great to have somewhere to be five days a week.

In my last few months of grad school, I was actually looking forward to some time off.  I would have time to exercise, and see those museums that I never managed to get to when I lived here before, I thought.  And, most importantly, I would be able to fully dedicate myself to the job hunt.  Looking for a job would be my full-time job.

What I discovered, though, is that unemployment, for someone like me who craves deadline pressure, can be a huge black hole of free time.

I would sleep until noon, because I had no where to be.  I would then eat breakfast and read the paper for an hour.  I justified this by noting that all of the job search articles I had read said that the job search is only 20 percent applying to jobs, and 80 percent getting yourself ready for the application process.  I wanted a job in news, so reading the news was a good way to keep myself abreast of important events.

Then I might surf some job boards for an hour or so.  Then, if I was feeling really productive, I’d write a cover letter.  And before I knew it, my friends who were so generously allowing me to stay with them would be home from work and my day was over.

When I finally found a job (even though it’s a temp job), that amazing time hole that I had to fill went away.  All of a sudden, I’m running all my errands in one day.  I’m searching job boards at night when I get home.  And I’m finally getting to those museums and monuments that I’ve always wanted to see.  (It helps that it has been about 75 degrees out in DC for the past few weeks).

In light of the fact that I’m already into week 4 of my 12 week assignment, and of the fact that I just signed a year-long lease, I know I need to come up with some additional strategies for unemployment in the future.  What have you done to help you stay on the wagon?