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All, Writing & Ranting

Dos and Don’ts For the Recently-Unemployed

I wrote this nearly four months ago when I didn’t have a job. Things have gotten better, and hopefully my writing has too. Yech. Enjoy.

“Having recently left my job as an investment banker in Cleveland to pursue my dream of being a failed freelance writer (I believe that’s right on track), I have found myself wading into unchartered waters. College ended in 2011, and the whole working-75-hours-a-week thing ended a few weeks ago.

There is no road map going forward, but I have learned some dos and don’ts to help keep me from wandering into Patrick Bateman territory. These general tips are applicable for anyone finding themselves out of work and with an abundance of free time.

Do: Make a list of things to do each day. Setting goals – even small ones – and achieving them gives us a sense of direction and purpose in life.

“Send three resumes,” or “go to the gym,” whatever you need to do to keep busy and sane. Even some basic things such as “shave” or “bathe yourself” should not be overlooked. It’s those little things, along with polishing your Cole Haans and regularly dry-cleaning your Tommy Hilfiger suit, that separate us from the savages.

Do: Spend more time with your family. Now that you have all this free time, make up for all the ways you’ve neglected them over the past months or years.

Hanging around your family usually results in free meals, which is a nice benefit for someone like yourself who isn’t receiving a paycheck anymore. Who knows, you might enjoy spending so much time with your parents that you decide to move back in with them. Yeah, you moved back in because you love them so much. That’s why you did it.

Enough said

Don’t: Blow through that Christmas bonus. Getting drunk and losing a few hundred at a time at the casino isn’t a good idea. You have no income, you idiot. Stop doing – I mean, don’t do that.

Do: Take a moment to do something nice for someone. Hold a door or volunteer somewhere. I gave blood for the first time in a few months because I was bored and like the free snacks.

If a young lady drops her glove on the ground, pick it up, and hurry to catch up with her. Odds are, when you tap her on the shoulder, she’ll be the beautiful woman of your dreams, smitten by your kindness.  Yeah, that’s what will happen.

Don’t: Allow your lack of a steady job remind you of all the other failures you’ve experienced in your life. Being unemployed is a good thing for you. Sometimes you have to make positive changes, like when you chose to end your last relationship by making an ass of yourself at a friend’s wedding, or when you quit playing guitar.

After all, you’re not going to die alone and penniless, right? And don’t dwell on the fact that you had to walk three times during that half marathon you told everyone you “ran” last summer.

At any rate, it gets better. I mean, it has to right? Your next opportunity is right around the corner, and, in the meantime, make the most of your situation by following the above tips.

Admittedly, some of them may be a little specific to my situation (I do not walk my half-marathons, however), but if you follow them, you’ll have a better shot at avoiding depression and binge drinking, which would be a nasty alternative.

Oh, and one last tip for the unemployed and employed alike: Watch American Psycho if you get a chance. Good flick.”

About Anthony Russo

Jon Hamm look-alike. M&A Director of Marketing, golfer & expert amateur storm chaser. Have a cactus named Phil. Say what you want; let the market decide.


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