• Austin Whittlesey

12 Gifts for Unemployment Cheer


Tis the season for giving and one of the greatest gifts that one can give is your time. However, job seekers spend so much of their time submitting resumes and writing cover letters that they tend to forget to give themselves time to sharpen their own skills. Unfortunately, unemployment carries several stigmas and can even leave an individual with diminished self-worth. Do not lose energy or motivation! Let’s redirect some of our time by developing our skills and find the silver lining during our job search. Here are twelve gifts that can be found and used during unemployment.


  1. The Gift of Developing a Routine – One of the most critical steps for success during this period would be to use your time wisely. If you are looking to work a 9-5, make sure you are staying productive during these hours. Start each day, week, and month with goals or tasks. Essentially, you are becoming the boss of you. Crush it!

  2. The Gift of Networking – Unquestionably, the global pandemic may have caused networking to become more challenging than usual. However, one would be wise to establish or reconnect with your old friends and co-workers with industry connections to see if they can be a reference or connect you to a position you desire. Worst case scenario, you become more social and popular.

  3. The Gift of Isolation – Unemployment brings along several challenges mentally. Although, each person can use this phase to get to know themselves better. This opportunity will allow you to reflect on your life, goals, strengths, weaknesses, and refining your passions. There is an African proverb that reads, "When there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do you no harm." Become unstoppable!

  4. The Gift of Controlling Your Surroundings – Hopefully, we will never see times like this again. However, the gift of wi-fi allows us to get work done in various locations. Get out of the house and explore the world around you!

  5. The Gift of Becoming a Scholar – Learning should always be a huge part of one’s life. Maybe consider going back to school and earning a master’s or any other type of degree. However, each person can use their time to find career-specific literature that can be just as useful and broaden their intellect. In a matter of time, one can even become an expert in their field.

  6. The Gift of Developing Your Fastball – Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan was one of the greatest pitchers ever to play the game of baseball. For those who do not follow the game, Ryan is the king of strikeouts and has 839 more strikeouts than the next player on the all-time list. According to Nolan Ryan’s Pitcher’s Bible, during an 8-year window of his 24-year career, Ryan used his fastball 62% of the time. While Nolan Ryan was a once in a generation talent who had extraordinary secondary pitches too, he knew that his fastball was his greatest weapon. What is your fastball? In almost every interview, you will be asked what your greatest strength is. Make sure you know and spend some time each day growing it!

  7. The Gift of Upgrading Thyself – No matter where someone is in their life, they should always be working on themselves. However, for this gift, we are pertaining it towards your professional career. In saying that, spend some time upgrading your skillset. Take some time to research your desired position and find out what prospective employers consider to be currently valuable. Also, look for any new information that might be new or evolving in your field. This step will allow you to be an effective asset upon getting hired.

  8. The Gift of Interning/Volunteering – Tis the season of giving, and there may not be anything as awarding as helping another. On the flip side, internships and volunteer work can give you invaluable experiences and grow your network. Also, prospective employers will have confidence that you can complete your duties professionally.

  9. The Gift of Freelancing – During this down-period, seek out opportunities that will allow you to make a little cash on the side. There are several sites available to explore these openings. Also, if you find success, the company may look to extend or offer you something full-time. Furthermore, you may be able to add these experiences to your resume too.

  10. The Gift of Becoming a Master Communicator – Communication skills are critical to success. Undoubtedly, you will become more successful if you can express your thoughts and ideas to the world. Becoming a better communicator will help you land the job you are coveting and allow you to develop impactful relationships too. Make sure you are practicing and focusing on deep listening, nonverbal cues, and speaking clearly during all daily interactions.

  11. The Gift of Practice – Before or after submitting a resume, take some time to practice an interview for that position. Also, take notes and rehearse potential responses that the employer may ask during this process. At the same time, practice the non-verbal skills that will allow you to make a phenomenal first impression.

  12. The Gift of the Hire Powers Network – According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the November jobs report showed a slight decline in the unemployment rate dropping two-tenths of a percent to 6.7%. While any improvement is positive, far too many Americans are still suffering to provide for themselves and their family. Our mission to end joblessness is growing closer but we are not there yet. We are ready to use our gifts for you!


Each day, every individual should be trying to get better. If you’re willing to manifest your greatness, releasing your gifts will come sooner than later. There is always a light shining in the darkest moments. In these times, we must seek out the good even when all seems to be going bad. In closing, I wish each reader the happiest holiday season! I hope you find and deliver your gifts, allowing you to close this year strong!


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