As a fresh graduate, you spend most of your time submitting resumes, taking assessment exams and doing interviews. But there are days that drag longer than the others since you are not always looking for jobs. It is tempting to be a couch potato during those mundane days – binge-watching TV series on Netflix, scrolling endlessly on social media and falling to the Internet black hole. The idea sounds perfect. You just got out of the academic jungle.
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But it shouldn’t be the case. The world offers a lot of activities for you to get your hands on. Life is too wonderful to spend a big portion of it being bored. Here are some of the things you can do to maximize your time:
- Do volunteer work.
Volunteer work is an unconventional but a meaningful way to spend your free time. There are organizations that accept volunteers like PAWS, Gawad Kalinga, and Habitat for Humanity, among many others.
Aside from the pleasant feeling of being able to give back, it can also help you boost your career. It gives you an edge in job searches because it shows employers that you seek opportunities even if you are not working. It also allows you to develop the necessary corporate skills such as teamwork and time management.
2. Take a hobby.
There are hobbies that you are interested in before but was taken aside due to the demands of the everyday life. Now is the perfect opportunity to give them a shot again. Why don’t you join a choir or band if you love singing? Sign up on a watercolor painting workshop if you are the artistic type. Search online for coding lessons if you are into building websites or mobile apps.
Engaging in a hobby benefits the mental and physical health. It takes your mind off of the demands and troubles of the daily life. It reduces stress and wards off depression and anxiety. A hobby can also make you sleep better because it slows down your heart rate and decreases the frequency of your brainwaves.
Even busy and successful personalities are known to have one (or more). Virgin Group’s Richard Branson is into sports (tennis, biking, running and kite surfing). The “Oracle of Omaha” Warren Buffet plays bridge. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer bakes.
3. Take an online class.
This era could be the new Renaissance with the abundance of information available to everyone. Well-known universities such as Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford offer free online courses on different subjects. You may choose to get your certificate at a fee, making your training official. You may put it on your resume, LinkedIn profile, and/or your portfolio.
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Tech legend Bill Gates also stresses the convenience of online learning. He once wrote, “When I wanted to learn something outside of school as a kid, cracking open my World Book encyclopedia was the best I could do. Today, all you have to do is go online.”
4. Start a business.
One of the best ways to beat unemployment is to start your own business. You also don’t have to take any superiors into consideration because you are the boss of your own company. You can make your decisions and do the things you think will make your business better. It is also a good training ground for you to enhance real-life skills such as flexibility, customer service, negotiations skills, communication skills and management that are also vital in the corporate world.
5. Do freelance work.
Being jobless doesn’t equate to being penniless. You are now in an era of side hustles and there are lots of opportunities available. Websites like Upwork, Craigslist, and Raket PH post jobs from graphic design to web development to data entry.
You may also go to 51talk or Bizmates if you want to teach English to foreigners. For designers, there is 99designs. For writers, you can go to Paypercontent and Essays.ph for writing gigs. You may also contribute writing pieces to publications and websites. One of them is Claire Delfin Media, an online magazine that accepts articles on culture, history, and science and tech for a modest compensation.
Everyone has 24 hours in a day but not everyone uses it in the same way. Choose to spend yours on beneficial activities that will help you grow as a person. Stagnation should never be an option.