A Day in the (Unemployed) Life

I have been meaning to participate in Amanda of musicalpoem’s A Day in the Life link-up since she launched it back in January, and I’m happy to say that I’ve finally done it! On Tuesday, October 28th, I documented my day, and now present to you A Day in the (Unemployed) Life of yours truly.


3:45am: Yes, you read that right. My day started roughly at 3:45am when R’s alarm started to go off. He/we hit snooze a few times, but we were up, out of bed, and leaving the house by about 4:30am. Why? Because R’s new job involves shift work that can start as early as 5am. And this week happens to be a 5am week. Yuck.

This is what outside looks like at 4:30am


4:30am: There is no public transportation to R’s new job because it’s located out on the highway, so I get up and drive him. It’s only about a 10-15 minute drive each way, but in the wee early hours of the morning, there’s no traffic so the drive isn’t bad at all (and we get much better gas mileage). Except that today it just so happened to be raining – which was pretty, but made it a little slower because it was harder to see.

A Day in the (Unemployed) Life - My Life, I Guess
Rainy highway road


5am: I get home and go right back to bed. But because I’ve had sleeping problems most of my adult life and always have a hard time falling asleep (no matter what time it is), I end up sort of accidentally playing on Twitter on my phone for about an hour before drifting back to sleep.


9:30am: I start to wake up at about 9:30 when my kitties decide to come cuddle with me (a.k.a. wake me up so I can feed them). It can be annoying, but it’s still a much nicer way to wake up than an alarm in the middle of the night.

Cuddles with my kitties


9:45am: Over my 6 months of unemployment, I’ve learned that sometimes I need to “trick” myself into being productive, and not waste the day in front of the tv. What works for me is to actually get ready – shower, do my hair and make-up, and put on real clothes (opposed to pajamas or sweat pants). So that’s exactly what I do.

A Day in the (Unemployed) Life - My Life, I Guess
Yes, this is what my make-up and hair routine consists of (plus a hair straightener).


10:30am: First thing I do when I boot up my laptop is check out 7 different job boards (4 that are general but somehow list different things, 1 for the college, 1 for the university and 1 for the government). I check at least half of them again throughout the day, hoping it’ll give me something good. But today is not that day…

To help give you all a better idea as to why I’m having such a hard time finding a new job, there were only 16 new jobs posted today, as follows:

  • 5 retail jobs (3 of which are seasonal only)
  • 3 truck driver jobs
  • 2 unpaid internships
  • 1 to work in the day care of a gym
  • 1 for fast food
  • 1 to clean hotel rooms
  • 1 PSW/home health care
  • 1 a mining position (that’s actually located in remote Northern Ontario which is fly-in only)
  • 1 temp agency (which didn’t actually list what the job was)

There is only one posting that vaguely interests me, which is the day care one. I’m pretty sure this is actually a re-posted position because it caught my eye before, but I didn’t apply because I don’t qualify for it (I don’t have my ECE certificate and my first aid is out of date). But, I’m assuming that if they are re-posting the job, it likely means they haven’t found any one that is fully qualified and therefore they might consider my experience to be equivalent. It can’t hurt to try, right? (Plus it’d mean a free gym membership!)

A Day in the (Unemployed) Life - My Life, I Guess
Come on job boards and give me some good news!


11am: I’ve already spent hours reworking and tailoring my resume for a job working with my local newspaper and have to write a cover letter to go with it. I hate writing cover letters, so I look online for tips to make mine better and edit things as I go.

A Day in the (Unemployed) Life - My Life, I Guess
Time to get to work!


12:15pm: R’s shift is just about done, so it’s time to go pick him up. (Plus I’ve been staring at this same resume and cover letter for too long that I need to step away from it for a bit.) The drive is slow because it’s still raining and visibility sucks.

A Day in the (Unemployed) Life - My Life, I Guess
Waiting in the parking lot


12:45pm: My gas tank is running low, so we stop to fill er’ up on the way home. This is when I realize the last time I put gas in my car was also the last time R was on a set of 5am’s – which just so happened to be the first week of October. Do you realize what that means? I’ve only put ONE tank of gas in my car all month?! I guess unemployment (ie: no daily commutes) has it’s perks after all!

A Day in the (Unemployed) Life - My Life, I Guess
I’m like ‘fill my gas tank all the way up’ rich.”


1pm: Lunch time! I enjoy some left over pizza and a Palm Bay while sitting on the couch with R. We recently got an older version of Apple TV, and he did something to it so that we get American Netflix and Hulu with it, too.

A Day in the (Unemployed) Life - My Life, I Guess
Best lunch ever


1:45pm: Because I’ve worked and re-worked my resume so many times for so many different industries over the last 6 months, I always re-read and re-edit my cover letter with “fresh eyes” at least one last time before submitting it. After sending off my application via email and crossing my fingers for good luck, I check a few job boards again to see if there’s anything new (nope!). I then work on more resumes that are due in the next week, read some blogs, take some online surveys (which is soon to become my only source of income), and do some blogging of my own.

A Day in the (Unemployed) Life - My Life, I Guess
The Minions are my muse


4pm: R and I start talking about what to have for dinner, and decide that a quick trip to the grocery store is needed. (Another benefit of living an unemployed life is that running errands is easy because most stores are fairly empty during the day.) We pick up a few things, and head back home. On the drive, we pass by my FAVOURITE pizza place in the entire world and see that it’s FINALLY reopened after being closed for a least a year (for renovation)! This makes me so incredibly happy that I end up missing a turn and driving passed our house. (Seriously!)

A Day in the (Unemployed) Life - My Life, I Guess
Nom nom nom


4:45pm: While R cooks us dinner, I move to the couch and go back to hiding behind my computer screen. More resume-ing, blog reading, blog writing, and survey-ing in front of the tv. I successfully reach enough points with Opinion Outpost to redeem $10 via PayPal (which I find pays-out a lot faster than Swagbucks). [Yes, those are referral links.]


5:45pm: It’s dinner time, and R spoils me by making us a giant chicken burger with chips & dill pickle dip on the side. He tried using some of the dip on the burger too, but unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out. (It was still good, though!)

A Day in the (Unemployed) Life - My Life, I Guess
This burger was bigger than my face


8pm: We are both exhausted from these 5am shifts (him more-so than me, obviously) and spend the rest of the evening watching more Hulu. We put out the garbage and recycling for pick-up in the morning, and then headed to bed early and prepare to do this all over again tomorrow. 🙂

A Day in the (Unemployed) Life - My Life, I Guess
Yes, the sun is still up (well, kinda) when we go to bed


So now you know what a typical day in my (unemployed) life is like. Exciting, isn’t it?

What’s a day in your life like?


Thank you, fellow-Amanda for the inspiration for this post!

Amanda Kay, an Employment Specialist and founder of My Life, I Guess, strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making a living. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources.

29 thoughts on “A Day in the (Unemployed) Life”

    • Haha. If you told even 2 months ago that this would be a “typical” day for me, I’d laugh in your face! I’m NOT a morning person, but I’m happy to do for him 🙂

  1. May days are about as exciting as yours! It was still an interesting read though. It’s cool to see what other people’s schedule’s are like. I’ve never heard of Palm Bay-must be a Canadian thing. Yikes, that is a very early morning but getting off so early has to be pretty cool.

    • Being done work before lunch time is pretty sweet. And his latest shift is 6:30pm, so I’m glad there aren’t any midnight shifts or things like that. That would be so much harder!

  2. Haha, I know exactly what you mean about tricking yourself into being productive. If I don’t, I end up spending half the day (all day, who am I kidding) in my pj’s while I’m blogging and job hunting. It’s funny how I psychologically link makeup and nice clothes to being awake and aware.

    • Yup! If my home office hadn’t become more of a storage room, I’d also use that space more like a “real” office in order to trick myself even further. For now, the kitchen table vs. the couch often does the trick 🙂

  3. That was fascinating. I did 5am shifts once when I was 22 and it was horrid. I used to take a nap every day afterward! I hope you are staying positive with the job search — good thing for “tricking” yourself into getting ready.

    • I’ve been up and down with the job hunting. When there’s a nothing on the go, it’s so disheartening, but thankfully there’s been enough “decent” jobs to apply to lately that’s keeping me going, too. I’d be curious to read about a day in your life – especially now that you’re freelancing 🙂

  4. Have you managed to find any networking groups in your city? Like chamber of commerce workshops or anything?
    I love day in the life posts, I should do one sometime. My work is not a great one to do, though. Maybe one day!

    • There is a young professionals group, but I haven’t heard the best of things (plus all of the events that I’ve seen posted cost A LOT!)
      You should absolutely do a day in the life post. They are super interesting and easy to write 🙂

  5. My fiance wakes up around 4am if he goes running in the morning; other days it’s 5. You’d be hard-pressed to get me out of bed and on the road that early! I’m not a morning person at all. Your cats are so cute! Mine like to come up behind me and sit on my pillow in the morning. I agree that “getting ready” makes a world of difference when working from home. It puts you in the mindset of being productive!

  6. Nicely done. I agree, how you start your day makes a huge difference in the day’s productivity. I work from home when not on a plane, so it’d be scary-easy for me to live in my jammies all day. The days that I take time to get ready in the morning always seem to work better.

    Good luck with your job hunt!

  7. Sounds like my day except add in sit in front of a computer for 8-9 hours straight at work. Life can be monotonous many times whether employed or unemployed. I was always upset when I was up for a job and then didn’t get it, but almost always I landed a better job later on, so sometimes I’m glad it takes time instead of just getting the first thing that comes along.

  8. Hey, saving money on gas is huge! I don’t know how much gas costs you all, but it’s somewhat expensive here. I have to fill mine up weekly… I don’t mind a whole lot, but I hate going to the gas station (it’s smelly, hot, and someone is always smoking nearby. Yeah, super dangerous… people in my neighborhood like to live on the wild side I guess :-?) Also, serious props to you for getting up and dressing in normal-people clothes. I’m pretty sure I would live in sweats if I were home for an extended period of time!

    • We saved probably $60-$80 by only having to fill up once this month, so it was helpful for sure!
      I spent most of the summer bumming around, because I was still (foolishly) assuming I was getting my college job back and didn’t fully embrace the fact that I was, in fact, unemployed. It just felt like some time off between contracts. But once that job offer didn’t come, I knew I had to take it more seriously and had to put the sweatpants away.

  9. Wow, I wake up pretty early but not THAT early, and I definitely don’t get myself moving for much later! Looking for a job is so exhausting and stressful, I’m really sorry that you’re not having much luck with it. 🙁

    • Thanks, Aisling. I don’t think people in general realize just how exhausting and stressful it is. I get a lot of comments about how “nice” it must be to get to stay home all the time…

  10. Yuck, that is definitely an early morning! Even if you do go back to bed, it’s broken sleep.

    I’m curious – have you two discussed moving to an area that has a better economy? Where there are more than 16 jobs posted per day, and some might be relevant? I live in a pretty small rural area, but I came into it with a job… I have no intentions of staying when/if this job ends.

    • We have talked about moving before, yes, but it’s more of an “in the future” kind of thing. We do like it here, and we both have family here, etc. so we don’t want to go too far. If his “new” job does work out, he’ll have the option to move around within the province, so we will for sure consider following any opportunities and promotions.

  11. I love day in the life posts! I did one a few months (weeks? I don’t know,I’ve lost track of time) ago. So much fun to write!

    My husband used to have a job (a long time ago) that involved him getting up at 3:30 and he took himself. I wouldn’t. I’m not that nice!

    Good luck with your job search. I know it’s frustrating and exhausting and demoralizing at times but something will turn up. Also, I think your routine of getting yourself ready for the day is a great one. I’ve recently started doing that and it makes a huge difference in my productivity and the way I feel.

    • Thanks Jana! These posts are a lot of fun to write – assuming you’re day is at least somewhat interesting, that is.
      I really dislike the 5am shifts, but it’s helped me get up earlier and I have been so much more productive as a result, so I can’t really complain anymore. Haha.

  12. I’m currently looking for work as well. I, along with a lot of other people at my work were let go in mid-September. There hasn’t been much to apply for so far. I check 4 sites daily and 1 on Monday’s only (as it only updates that day). There hasn’t been a lot to apply for so far and definitely not the options I had when I lived back home (near Vancouver BC). It would help if I knew people here (Yellowknife NT) but I don’t really so I’m pretty much relying on the online postings. I just finished a temp job today (it was supposed to be 6 days but ended up being only 3) as I had signed up at the local temp agency. I hope to hear back from an interview I had last Friday this week so fingers crossed for that.

    Good Luck with your job search! 🙂

    • I haven’t really looked into any temp agencies yet, but thanks for the idea! I know a few people that started as a temp but landed full time work. I hope you can find something that works for you soon. Best of luck with your search as well 🙂

  13. At first I was like :O when I saw 4am but then I was like 😀 when I saw DILL PICKLE DIP, one of my favorite things ever. Also… your note about taking out the recycling reminds me that I need to take mine out, too 😛


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