Useful Tips on Staying Positive When Faced With Unemployment

So you’ve lost your job? I feel you. I’ve been there… NUMEROUS times! But this is not the time to throw in the towel, no! Today we’re learning about staying positive when faced with unemployment.

South Africa has an unemployment problem so I hope this post will make someone faced with unemployment feel even just the tiniest bit better.

I know that some of you might be thinking “the heck?” when looking at the title of this blog post because you probably think it’s hard or there’s nothing to be positive about when it comes to unemployment.

We all know that a negative mindset doesn’t get anyone anywhere though…

It’s very easy to sink into depression; especially if you’re someone who is prone to it, so today I’d like to talk about a few things that we can do to prevent that. I am saying we because as of last week, I too am unemployed. The company I was working for, like many companies in South Africa at the moment, is experiencing some difficulties.

You may have lost your job due to retrenchment, getting fired, etc. It doesn’t really matter how or why. You gotta stay positive.

Here are a few tips on staying positive when faced with unemployment:

Don’t dwell on the fact that you’ve lost your job

What’s done is done and it’s something you can’t change!
Accept the fact that your term of employment has come to an end and start thinking of ways to move forward. There’s no use in over-stressing about something you can’t control.

Try to keep a positive mindset

At times it may be a challenge but always try to keep a positive mindset. Being negative will only make the situation more stressful and difficult to deal with but a positive mindset can go a long way.

Time to learn a new skill/go back to school

If you have the opportunity, go back to school and pick up a new skill.

Go and obtain a qualification that will better your chances of securing employment in the future.

Speak to family or your spouse about funding your studies or apply for a student loan.

I took a few blog writing courses on Skillshare to improve my writing skills.

Now you’ll have something new to add to make your CV pop!

Wake Up and Get Busy!

Try to avoid sleeping in and try to wake up like you did when you were going to work and find activities to keep you busy. Spring clean, job hunt (check the paper too), do some gardening or try to find a new hobby.

Just try to find things to do during the time that you would normally be at work to keep yourself and your mind busy and distracted. This will hopefully prevent you from overthinking and getting depressed about not having a job.

If you can, wake up at the same time every day as if you are still going to the office.

Try to Develop a Schedule or Routine

Give yourself things to do throughout the day and plan your days if you can. Try to wake up at the same time every day and fill your time with various activities. Schedule time to job hunt every day and actually sit down and send out your job applications. For example; wake up, work out, job hunt, etc.

You had a routine when you had a job so you don’t have to change that now, just adjust it. Stick to your wake up time if you can and find activities to keep you busy throughout the day, one of mine is this blog.

I have a “routine” but routine can get boring so I don’t do the same things at the same time except I ALWAYS start my day with a cuppa coffee.

enjoying coffee and staying positive during unemployment

Leave the house whenever you can

Spending too much time cooped up at home can also leave you feeling depressed. Go for walks and visit friends and family if you can and use any excuse to get out of the house. You never know where or when you might meet someone with your next job opportunity but you won’t meet them if you’re cooped up in the house all the time.

You can even do some volunteer work if that interests you such as volunteering at a children’s home or your local SPCA.

Spending your time helping others can bring great positivity into your life and volunteering gives you something you can add to your CV that will give employers a positive image of you and increase your chances of getting hired.

Reconnect with old friends now that you have more free time

Try not to isolate yourself as this might lead to depression over the fact that you’re now unemployed. Catch up with your buddies when you can and even speak to them about your situation; you never know, they might be able to hook you up and connect you to people that could give you your next job.

Do some research on topics that interest you

Look up topics that interest you such as your current hobbies, you might be able to turn them into your new career or alternatively you could discover new hobbies and ideas that could potentially bring income.

Also research some career-related topics, it will make you stand out in interviews if you have industry-related topics you can discuss with your potential employer.


Personally, I find reading very relaxing. It’s a chance for me to discover new worlds and ideas and it helps to boost creativity as well as keep my mind off my worries; even if it’s just for a moment.
I know I’m always advocating for reading but trust me, it will take your mind off things and cure you of stress and boredom!


I’m forever advocating exercise too but that’s because it works (for me at least).

This is a great stress reliever and helps to improve your mood and overall mental health. Even if it’s just a quick 20-minute workout; believe me you will feel the difference. I try to work out even when I’m not in the mood and when I’m not in the mood I usually opt for the quick 8-minute Teabo workout.

It may sound really short but you can really work up a sweat!
Try doing different types of exercise such as yoga, pilates, etc. You can even do it in the comfort of your own home via guided videos available free on YouTube.

Update your CV and Ensure It’s Readily Available

You never know when or where your next job opportunity will present itself so be sure to keep your CV accurate and readily available. If you can, keep a copy on your phone or in your handbag so that you have it when you need it.

Picked up any new skills during your unemployment period, volunteered or done any new courses? Don’t forget to add them to your CV!

My sister revamped my CV for me and a week later, I got called for an interview!

Stay away from negative people!

They will stress you the fuck out!

You don’t need a constant reminder that you’re unemployed, you know that because you live it every freaken day.

Try to surround yourself with people that are supportive and understanding of your current situation.

Pray About It

Prayer can help you get through a lot in life; especially when times are tough. If it helps, make an appointment to see your pastor and join support groups in the church.

I know we may not all have the luxury of doing some of these things because maybe your situation doesn’t allow you to do so so please understand that I am writing purely from my perspective.

Wasn’t the breadwinner when I lost my job and have very few responsibilities in comparison to many people my age. I have no kids and I am still living at home so my basic living needs are covered.

There are so many people facing unemployment, myself included and it gets really stressful at times. It’s important to keep a positive mindset and to never give up and accept that your situation isn’t going to change. It is!

2020 was a tough year with so much job loss as companies had to close down and retrench due to the lockdown. Many people were affected and are sadly now facing unemployment (so am I) but keep your head up.

To sum it all up, these are the keys to staying positive when faced with unemployment:

  1. don’t dwell
  2. Keep a positive mindset
  3. learn new skills
  4. wake up
  5. exercise
  6. keep busy
  7. keep your CV up to date
  8. steer clear of negativity
  9. pray

Your next job will come along, just don’t give up!

Talking to people about your job hunt could help you to find a job sooner. The people you talk to may know someone who knows someone who knows someone who’s looking for someone just like you…

If you have a talent that you can use to gain income then do that. Offer a service for a fee if you can. Whatever happens please just try to keep busy. If can you volunteer, do that and get out of the house as often as you can.

Nothing good ever comes from a negative mindset!
“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.”

Here’s to staying positive even when faced with unemployment!

Do you have any tips on staying positive when faced with unemployment? Please share them with the readers in the comments.

A true-crime-obsessed, quirky lifestyle blogger from the coastal city of East London, South Africa whose interests include reading, writing and fitness. Find me on Twitter @WeirdnLiberated.
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