6 Tips for the Unemployed Twenty-Something

Picture of female twentysomething


Today All Groan Up presents a guest post from Annie, a recent university graduate from the University of Stirling, Scotland. Annie’s pipe dream is to own a petting zoo but in the meantime she writes at Following the Northern Star. Want to write for All Groan UpHere’s how


Moving from student life to real life doesn’t seem to be going so smoothly. The economy is as sketchy as a back alley behind a club on a Saturday night and jobs are certainly not aplenty. However, my fellow twenty-somethings, I have some tips for you to help you to keep your chin up in this awkward unemployed limbo that you have now found yourself in.


Picture of female twentysomething

Photo Credit: Kate Gardiner – Creative Commons


1.      Try to see the good in every situation

Living at home isn’t all that terrible; I’m lucky enough to be able to stay with my parents rent free, but whether or not you’re paying for that roof over your head, be grateful that you haven’t been left homeless. Similarly, appreciate the free time you have and use it wisely. When you finally get a job (and I promise you will), you’ll miss it all too much.


2.      Socialise as much as possible

Unfortunately for me, most of my friends at home graduated last year and are now working full time so it makes for tough going on the socialising front, but I certainly don’t let it stop me. Even if you can make as little as one plan per-week it will give you something to look forward to.


3.      Be active about your job search

You need to be looking for jobs every day and applying for every single one that you can. If nothing else this takes up some time, and don’t worry about rejections because they’re just character building.


4.      Find things to fill your time

Whether that be reading, writing, gardening, running, cycling, cooking, playing an instrument, or numerous other activities, you should definitely have things to fill up your time that don’t involve staring at a screen feeling sorry for yourself.


5.      Keep fit

Now I realise a lot of people aren’t big on sport, but neither was I until I realised that physical activity releases endorphins (the “happy hormone”), therefore making you feel quite a lot better about life and not so awful about your temporary unemployed status. Call me crazy, but I’ve found that I love getting up at 7:00 am to go running.


6.      When you feel like nothing will ever get better, just stop and think about how good life will be once this period ends. And it most definitely will.

So, there you have it, a 2012 graduate’s top tips on how to feel better about this very much temporary stage of life.

What other tips do you suggest?


  1. Drew Tewell

    Thanks for the tips Annie! Relating to #6…We need to have something to look forward to. Life has many seasons.

    As for #3, I would suggest that before applying for every single job that you can, first take some time to clarify the job or career you want. Then apply for things that at least can somehow take you in the direction of your dream job.

    Thanks again for the post!

    • Annie

      Definitely important thoughts! I think the something to look forward to is simply being employed, and what comes with that (not necessarily just money). The simple things can be just enough =]

      For me, I’m applying for anything and everything that I fit the bill for so I can figure out what I do want to do, which I think a lot of new graduates struggle with. Sometimes knowing what your dream job is isn’t always enough and you need to do anything you can to pay the bills until you can start making your way to what you do really want.

  2. Drew Tewell

    Employment is something to look forward to. And I’ve definitely been there, where I’ve had to do anything I could to pay the bills.

    If you’re still figuring out what you want to do, her is a link to a free copy of my book, The Dream Job Program. It can help you figure out what you want to do. It will also give you a strategy to use networking in your job search.


    Keep up the good work!

    • admin

      Thanks Annie for this great post and offering ideas to fellow grads on how to stay sane during a crazy season of life!

      Thank you Drew for sharing this great resource!

    • Anonymouse

      “Employment is something to look forward to” – a few weeks ago, after on-and-off job hunting for too long, a friend offered to give my resume to the company she used to work for (who are “always hiring”) and it occurred to me that I might get a job…. and it totally threw my plans for a loop! I was just going to keep job hunting and wallow in self-pity a bit. I was starting to get comfortable with the process, and getting a job would mean that all the work I was putting in to get better at job hunting would suddenly be unnecessary.

      Well, they weren’t hiring, but it was an interesting thought. I was job hunting to remove the guilt of not having a job and taking my parents money, not to actually get a job!

  3. Lindsey Kirchoff

    The most helpful thing that’s kept me going through my period of unemployment is blogging. On those days where I don’t seem to be getting anywhere (aren’t those fun?), writing a post or commenting on other websites helps me feel like I’m moving forward. Not only is it a productive way to #4 fill my time, but it’s also helped me to #3 be more active in my job search. It’s SO much nicer to be the one interviewing interesting companies/people than waiting on someone to ask to interview you.

  4. Christian Cura

    Thank you so much for posting this! I really needed to read what you said.


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