How to Defeat Boredom When You are Job Hunting

Job hunting is stressful. As is finding a partner. Doing both at the same time can be soul crushing. Even if you spend your days in looking for work, go on occasional dates and try to earn a buck to pay your bills by doing low skilled jobs (totally NOT worth your Master’s degree, because racism is “awesome” in Europe!!🀣), you will eventually get bored. Especially if you are blacklisted from the job market and NOBODY wants to help you find a job (500+ Linkedin connections are useless when you REALLY need them). πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ

I think the “geniuses get their best ideas alone, crazy and bored” concept is totally OVERRATED BS and does NOT work or then I’m just simply not smart enough to come up with a billion dollar business plan when I’m been constantly mentally tortured! πŸ˜‚ I hate spending time alone and that’s why I live in the WORST country for my personality (Finland). Anyhow, here are 30 things I have done to defeat boredom (because there’s a limit how much you can spend on writing your freaking job applications per day ok??!). These can be utilized for your mental health as well, because obviously excess boredom and isolation decreases your mental wellbeing A LOT.

  1. Watched cake videos. πŸŽ‚ It’s amazing to see how they create beautiful (and tasty!) art from cakes and sugar. It’s very relaxing and satisfying to see these perfect cakes.
  2. Sent more than 200 job applications in seven years and FAILED. (Most of them to Finland, because apparently I’m not Finnish= white enough to be hired for a job worth my fucking Master’s degree. πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ)
  3. Went to Malta for work, got fired and spent two months looking for work and attended eleven job interviews! (Eleven in two months vs. three in SEVEN YEARS in Finland!) Unfortunately the industry was apparently wrong for me so no luck in getting a job or something fishy. πŸ€”
  4. Binge watched TV shows, such as Desperate Housewives, The Handmaid’s Tale, Good Behavior, White Collar, Criminal Minds, New Girl, The Mindy Project, Family Guy etc..
  5. Literally attended tens of CV improvement courses and even bought a book about cover letters in a work in a library in NYC. Didn’t help me unfortunately.
  6. Attended job searching courses/ unemployment office events/ generally hanged out in the unemployment office. πŸ˜†
  7. Volunteered for Unicef, UN Women, Amnesty and Finnish Animal Welfare Society. Turns out they are more than happy to take my free help, but not actually PAY me and hire me for a real job. 🀣 πŸ‘πŸΌ
  8. Spent excess time with my cats (they are kind of like my children now ahaha). 🐈
  9. Drank A LOT of wine. 🍷🍷
  10. Joined different networking organisations and went to SO many different networking events with ZERO luck in finding work. Met a lot of cool new people though! πŸ’―
  11. Went to local church events to try to find new friends, failed. πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ
  12. Joined Twitter and have tweeted more than 5000 times. (doesn’t include all the deleted (rage)tweets.)
  13. Created Instagram for myself and one for my cats. Have updated them regularly with pictures I have taken myself.
  14. Tried to become a Marketing Consultant, created a professional Facebook account (in addition to my other FB account) and a Facebook page for my new “business”, but failed to get clients. ☹️
  15. Learned how to use WordPress and started blogging after SEVEN years of sending bullshit applications and getting rejected from everything and getting mocked by everyone.
  16. Did free online courses by Google Digital Garage and got a certificate for one course. Hopefully it will be useful in finding some work. ✌️
  17. Exercised a lot, checked my weight every day and tracked what I eat but eventually got bored of counting my calorie intake (especially when you’re single) and started eating cakes again. πŸŽ‚
  18. Got a job in Bulgaria, got fired and returned back to square one.
  19. Traveled for leisure when I had money. 🌴
  20. Read a few books. πŸ“š
  21. Organized monthly events for an international expat group. Met so many well travelled cool people! πŸŒπŸ’―
  22. Went to NYC alone, found an apartment from Craigslist, networked with a bunch of people, skipped parties to write my fucking job applications (!), sent job applications, attended job interviews, missed my flight back to Finland, stayed and sent more job applications, and finally FAILED. 😫
  23. Drove around in a tram/ bus to pass time. πŸ˜†
  24. Went shopping in random locations just to get out of the house.
  25. Tried to talk to Finnish mental health professionals but their arrogant white supremacist attitude and condescending way of talking to me, made me NEVER want to see another mental health professional in this country ever again. ☹️
  26. Helped my old retired relatives.
  27. Worked all shitty jobs not worth my Master’s. Funny how some people love to see you do their dirty work for them but whine if you actually have a real job. ( I have been bullied in every office job I’ve had in Finland.)
  28. Experimented with new cooking recipes.
  29. Ate too much cake and chocolate. 🍫🧁
  30. Sat home alone most weekends and wished that I was in NYC. πŸ˜”πŸ—½

I hope I inspired someone who is also job hunting, haven’t managed to find a job worth her/ his degree, all the singles out there and anyone who needs encouragement and tips how to handle excess time (in more or less productive ways😝). Remember to be grateful (because that will pay the bills. NOT.) Sending positive vibes to everyone in any case!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜¬βœŒοΈ

I have done A LOT of things to defeat boredom while job hunting (and being single.) Especially when the NGOs you volunteer for free don’t actually want to hire you for a real job. ( I applied to a few in Finland and they hired their white female friends instead.πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ) Photo: Sonia Jain

Before Buying Canned Soup, Consider Cooking These Healthy and Cheap Dishes

When you are single and unemployed, it’s difficult to eat healthy, because healthy food is generally more expensive worldwide. Especially in the States and Ireland, I noticed that healthy food is not first of all available in normal stores, but it also costs a lot more. In Finland food is generally very expensive (especially when you don’t have a regular job and pay all your food expenses ALONE plus your TWO Cookie Monster cats). Healthy food is easy to find here, but it can also be expensive if you don’t know how to shop or cook your own meals.

Here are some of my favourite cheap dishes to make when you are single and unemployed or just single/ unemployed/ a student/ retired/ saving money for your kids/ on a budget. I have included the estimate price for Finland. (the food prices are higher than in the United States and an average European country like France, so chances are you will make these dishes for 30-40% cheaper). My favourite top ten cheap and quick vegetarian/ vegan dishes for less than two euros per portion (2€ = $2,16):

  1. Indian dal with rice. Red lentils, brown lentils or yellow lentils. 0,70€/ $0,76 per portion.
  2. Finnish potato-leek soup. 0,55€/ $0,59 per portion.
  3. Finnish tomato soup. 0,50€/ $0,54 per portion.
  4. Indian Palak Paneer with rice. (Indian spinach tofu/ cheese dish). 2€/ $2,16 per portion
  5. Three Bean Chili in tomato sauce (vegan). 1,20€/ $1,30 per portion
  6. Thai wok with tofu. 2€/ $2,16 per portion
  7. Salad with kidney beans – you can add anything you find in your kitchen (vegan). 2€/ $2,16 per portion
  8. Pasta with tomato eggplant sauce (vegan without parmesan). 1€/ $1,08 per portion
  9. Couscous with tofu and (frozen) vegetables. 2€/ $2,16 per portion
  10. Vegan sandwich – bread roll, hummus, cucumber/ tomato. 1,50€/ $1,62 per portion

My doctor told me to cut down wheat, so replacing pasta with fresh salads is also a good idea. Pasta is however, cheap, easy and quick, so for men and growing children it is especially a nice dish to prepare yourself. I don’t eat meat (except seafood though it’s expensive) and try to avoid dairy products as much as I can, so that is why my dishes are vegetarian/ vegan.

If you would like to have the recipes for free (most of them are from Google), please contact me via my contact form on the Contact page! πŸ™‚βœŒοΈ

6. Thai wok with tofu. (2€/ $2,16 per portion) Don’t add parsley though if you want to save a buck. IT IS expensive (at least in Finland, one fresh parsley plant costs 2 EUROS (€) ). πŸ˜† Photo: Sonia Jain

How to Dress Well Without Money

Looking glamorous without money is obviously a challenge.πŸ˜„ The good thing is though that there are some tricks to maintain your glamour even when you don’t feel good, your confidence is down and you are surrounded by low class bullies and are totally penniless. πŸ˜‚

Here are 25 things I have done to maintain my glamour while being single and unemployed:

  1. Utilized my old good quality clothes. You all have probably some clothes you bought when you had a job in your wardrobe, but abandoned them when you lost your job. Get them out! πŸ‘—
  2. Bought clothes from flea markets/ second-hand stores. Some clothes are good quality, but avoid buying used shoes because of feet bacteria.
  3. Utilized sales sections in expensive stores.
  4. Bought clothes/ shoes online for a much cheaper price.
  5. Fixed my good quality clothes/ stuff myself. For example, you can fix a hole in a sweater or an umbrella yourself instead of buying new ones.
  6. Subscribed for high-end brands’ newsletters and received campaign offers and sales by email. (and they keep reducing the prices the longer you wait)
  7. Bought classic, clean cut timeless pieces of clothing. One good quality little black dress can last for even ten years and still stay in fashion. You can use it for different occasions too, such as work, party or vacation by accessorising this one dress differently.
  8. Took care of my shoes/ bags. Leather care is a must if you want to keep your leather shoes and bags looking good for years. Leather will last for decades if you take good care of it.
  9. Ignored the a-holes. Useless people will always talk, so to keep yourself glamorous, don’t engage in BS. Don’t lower your standards and values for crap people. That’s their goal, they feel intimidated for whatever reason and need validation. Nothing will make you look cheaper than lowering yourself to the level of the useless bullies. Even when the bullies have millions in their bank account and an expensive car, they make themselves look like cheap garbage with their behavior.
  10. Combined cheaper clothes with expensive items. You can wear a one euro T-shirt and look glamorous if you accessorize it well with more high quality items.
  11. Wore clothes that fit my body. Even if you could afford a 10 000€ dress, it will look cheap if it doesn’t fit your body type. You CAN look glamorous in a 10€ dress if it fits you perfectly. Don’t show too much skin, no matter how amazing your body is or hot the party is, because it won’t look glamorous.
  12. Maintained great hair. Great hair is the first step to looking glamorous regardless of your financial situation. In my opinion, all men look absolutely GLAMOROUS with a beard. 😍 Not a dirty hippie beard, but a sexy short lumberjack beard.
  13. Maintained my skincare and makeup routines. Even when I can’t afford expensive skincare products. Soap and a shower go a long way when you don’t have a choice. 🀣
  14. Bought good quality and comfortable shoes. It’s not very glamorous, if you can’t walk and your feet are full of blisters. You can buy good quality for a reasonable price, just look online, utilize sales and sometimes you can even buy clothes/ shoes with monthly installments. (Interest rate will of course be higher with monthly payments and you end up paying more in the end.. poor people’s problems. Sigh.)
  15. Ate healthy but cheap food. Instead of popping pills and vitamin supplements, eat fresh fruit and vegetables. Fresh vegetables aren’t very expensive either (compared to meat/ fish) and have all the vitamins you need for a healthy glow.
  16. Kept my nails short and natural. Many people seem to think long witch-like fake nails are glamorous, but I think it looks cheap. Not to mention you can’t do anything with your long nails and if you chip one, you look even more ridiculous. Then you have to constantly run to the nail salon to fix your nails and in my opinion, glamorous people don’t waste their time in useless stuff.
  17. Never tried (and never will) fake eyelashes. So many women think they look glamorous and posh, but again in my opinion (you don’t have to agree with me) they look fake and make your whole look fake. When you don’t wear any make-up, you still have your fake eyelashes on and it looks strange. Dying your eyelashes gives you a more natural look. Even if you have short eyelashes, dying your lashes will make your eyes pop out and of course a great mascara/ eyeliner. Natural eyes/ eyelashes make you look younger BTW!!
  18. Wore high heels, but not too high and accessorised them well. Who doesn’t love high heels?! They make you look glamorous, but only if you style them well and wear heels that fit you. Classic black/ nude pumps with 9-11cm heels are my favorites. You don’t trip over even if you’re a bit tipsy. πŸ˜‰πŸ‘ 
  19. Avoided hair extensions. Who doesn’t love long hair?! Men find long hair very attractive, but times also change. The modern woman can look amazing with a short and simple hairstyle. If you like to use hair extensions, try a different haircut instead. New hair color and style can make even thin hair look gorgeous and glamorous. Check how celebrities style their short hair. A new short look will also be cheaper to maintain than hair extensions.
  20. Avoided perfume/ men with strong cologne. Don’t get me wrong, I used to LOVE to splash on perfume. But now my financial situation hasn’t really allowed me to spend extra money on expensive perfumes. Think how much you will save and perfume is something nice to have but not a necessity. Deodorant, soap, shampoo and a moisturiser are MUST haves for men and women. Perfume/ cologne are not a must and especially if you use too much of it.
  21. Drank mocktails instead of cocktails. Nobody thinks being wasted is glamorous. Maybe when you are a teenager in a music festival but chances are you will end up vomiting and whatever glamour you had… ENDS there. 🍸 You can drink alcohol and be glamorous, but for an unemployed person’s budget it’s not really worth it.(Nightclub prices). One mocktail in a nightclub in a company you actually enjoy will do the trick. I used to have a bad habit of drinking a lot simply because I don’t like the country where I live.
  22. Took care of my mental/ physical health. Being crazy isn’t exactly glamorous even though Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence made it cool (and broke the stigma surrounding mental health) in Silver Linings Playbook. If you can’t afford therapy like me, do other things. Exercising is number one for both mental and physical health. Spend time with your friends (if you don’t have friends like me, get a pet). Do the things you love. If you can’t afford them, find cheaper options. Google it if you have to. Having a support network is crucial and the lack of it is extremely damaging. Go online to find a community you like or try to find a job in a new country.
  23. Wore good quality accessories. If you can’t afford it, don’t wear it. Fake bags and sunglasses aren’t very glamorous. Find a style that doesn’t require expensive brands. You can buy a good quality watch for a reasonable price if you avoid high-end brands and simple earrings will go a long way. You don’t need to buy gold and diamonds to look glamorous. Find jewellery that is timeless and simple, like pearls.
  24. Avoided making racist/ sexist/ mocking jokes. Racism might have been glamorous in nazi Germany in the 1940s, but it sure as hell isn’t glamorous anymore.πŸ˜† Nothing screams more cheap trash (regardless of your financial status, race, nationality, gender, country) than cheap jokes on others expense. Especially if you mock the most vulnerable people of the society such as refugees, minorities, handicapped, single mothers, gays etc. You can be the president of the country, CEO of a powerful company or have an elite business school degree and still look cheap if you make disgusting jokes. The only people it will attract is other disgusting non-glamorous people. Some super rich like to act like morons because they have so much money that they simply don’t care. However, the older they get, they start to realize nobody around them actually respected them at any point in their lives. Simply tolerated because they had to.
  25. Volunteered for different causes. Single and unemployed people have A LOT of excess time, so use it wisely. I will write a separate blog about boredom, but there’s nothing more glamorous than helping others. You can walk around with a 5000€ handbag or drive a 200 000€ car, but if you don’t help others, you are not glamorous. Selfishness in my opinion isn’t glamorous. Exploiting volunteers is trashy. Healthy selfishness in the other hand is glamorous. Don’t waste your time on people who don’t care about your help/ volunteering/ empathy and be glamorously selfish!! πŸ˜‚ ✈️
How to be glamorously single and unemployed. Step one, wear timeless clothes.
7. Sonia likes to wear timeless pieces of clothing, such as classic black pumps, a trench coat and fit pants. (Every item in this pic costs between 35-117€) The juvenile scooter, however, is NOT part of Sonia’s glamorous lifestyle. 😝 Photo by: Fernando Garza

Maintaining Your Hot Body HOT

One of the best ways to handle your mental health is to exercise, like I mentioned in my previous post. Of course, exercising is also crucial to stay physically fit and healthy. However, exercising and expensive hobbies can be a challenge when you’re single and unemployed, so what should you do? Eat less? Starve yourself so you don’t gain weight because you can’t afford a gym membership?!🀣

No need to go to unhealthy lengths. You can for example for starters find a cheap (or even free) second-hand bike online or through relatives, friends, university bulletin boards etc. Exercising outdoors is cost-efficient, healthy and you get your privacy. The amount of exercise you need is individual, but the minimum should be three times per week. Even if you exercise five times per week, it’s not guaranteed for a perfect body though. It’s especially challenging when you’re under constant financial stress, finding a full-time job and loneliness, because comfort food is just so good. In imperfect times, people tend to develop imperfect habits. Drinking, junk food, too much sugar, smoking, and too much TV. When you don’t have a regular job and someone to support you mentally (and financially), it is especially easy to fall for unhealthy habits. Stress can also make you gain weight. So if you like food as much as I do, try to balance it with regular exercise, especially when you have the time for it. 😊

Things I have done to maintain a regular exercise routine and a semi-healthy diet with my limited budget in an unsupportive country.

  1. I swear by SWEAT fitness app. Try the free trial first or do the exercises on Youtube before you purchase the app.
  2. MyFitnessPal app is free and I actually lost 7kg when I tracked everything I ate for eight months.
  3. Got a bike from a relative (old school bike without gears, so extra hard to cycle hills and stuff.πŸ˜„)
  4. Walked alone in a forest.
  5. Walked alone in a grave yard. (yeah I know my life is sad, but grave yards are good for walking because they are kind of like parks, but with zero people around. Well, alive people.πŸ˜†)
  6. Attended free yoga events. Outdoors summer yoga is amazing.
  7. Utilized free gym trials.
  8. Hunted down a gym from literally EVERYWHERE, countryside, little villages, hotels, spas, weird NYC neighbourhoods, Bulgaria, and if I didn’t find one, worked out from my hotel/ Airbnb room. Found some real random stuff too with my mini budget. The crappiest gym was probably in Malta (attended mostly by Eastern European bodybuilders). πŸ˜†πŸ’ͺ🏼
  9. Walked my landlord’s dog in Malta and NYC.
  10. Rented a cool city bike in different vacation destinations.
  11. Took a bike tour when I was travelling alone.
  12. Cycled to work instead of taking the bus.
  13. Drank sugar free drinks. Even if you eat cake, cutting down sugar from other things is still helpful.
  14. Took a dance class. (they are expensive so start by paying for one class first and if you like the class buy 10 time card etc.)
  15. Utilized a personal trainer offer at a gym.
  16. Utilized a free InBody body composition analysis at a local gym.
  17. Paid a personal trainer to make me a meal plan.
  18. Drank protein shakes/ ate protein bars/ protein rich food.
  19. Went to a zumba class instead of boring cardio like running. Some people are demotivated to exercise because it’s “boring” or too intense. So find something that makes it fun, easy to begin with and inspiring like dancing or yoga.
  20. Did pilates (when I had a gym membership). You can continue pilates at home if you can’t afford your gym membership anymore. You can check videos from YouTube.

I exercise a lot, but my body is not perfect because my diet isn’t that great. That’s the dilemma of unemployment/ single life, you have to stay fit/ healthy to find a job and a partner but then you are also under constant stress and pressure in trying to maintain your finances and sanity ALONE. Even though many long term singles are mentally much stronger than needy relationship people (who cheat/ bully singles), we are not SUPER humans either. Finding a supportive network of people is crucial for success, so try to find friends who have the same goals than you. Keeping fit is easier with people who share your goals. If you can’t find people (like in my case) then do it alone with an app. Then when the time is right, move to another country (warm weather helps you keep fit, you have limitless opportunities for outdoor exercising) and find your support network there. 🌞

Single lonely life walking in the forest alone.
4. Who needs people when you can just walk alone in the forest for seven years. πŸ˜† Photo: Sonia Jain

Managing Your Finances Like a Lady

It’s a tough world out there for single women, especially single unemployed women. You have to maintain your appearance to attract potential partners and to look representable for job interviews. Work wear is expensive and today’s job market requires you to look your best. So how do I manage without a job and a boyfriend to pay my rent, bills, feed my cats, feed myself, buy clothes, make-up and do my hair?

When your future looks uncertain, it is very important to keep your budget intact and save some money for the future. The unfortunate part of being unemployed is that you have no idea when you will get your next job. It might take a month, six months or even SEVEN years like in my case.

Who will buy me shoes when you have no income or a boyfriend? Who will even look at me if I can’t afford to buy make-up and do my hair? Do I need to go live with my parents again? Rob a bank? You get stressed and anxious, but sometimes you have to do things that aren’t that awesome. No, I don’t mean you should do porn, but find quick ways to cut your fixed expenses first. Here are 30 things I have done in the past seven years of my unemployed single life to save a buck:

  1. Lived with my dad for two years.
  2. Lived with random (WEIRD) roommates I found online in four different apartments in NYC and Finland. Communists, hipsters, bullies and one fashion model who only had jam and beer in her side of the fridge…and several more!
  3. Lived in an apartment hotel with random roommates.
  4. Lived in an apartment in a building that was under construction work (cheaper rent) and I didn’t have a window for six months.
  5. Bought make-up from the sales section.
  6. Bought clothes from second hand stores.
  7. Met people in a library instead of a cafΓ©.
  8. Haven’t taken a vacation/ traveled abroad in 2 YEARS.
  9. Used coupons to buy food.
  10. Asked help from the church.
  11. Talked to my cats instead of paying 120 euros/session (average price) for a therapist.
  12. Cycled 44km in one day just to save 13 euros in travel costs.
  13. Asked for a ride from neighbors/ friends to save a bus ride fair 2,80 euros.
  14. Cut down on alcohol and going to bars. I didn’t go to a single bar for 8 MONTHS.
  15. Gone on a date with a douchebag to get free food.
  16. Attended random events to get free food, such as a tech company’s training event for coders (I’m NOT a coder).
  17. Volunteered in random events to get free food.
  18. Complained about something to get a discount on food/ a cocktail. (Real reasons though, sick of paying from my pennies just to get crap)
  19. Taken sugar, salt and pepper home from restaurants.
  20. Fixed my old shoes instead of buying new ones.
  21. Cut and died my own hair. (After I got sick of vicious bullying hairdressers DELIBERATELY ruining my hair after I paid FULL price, SEVEN incidents in Finland!!)
  22. Stopped wearing nail polish.
  23. Left an empty bottle in a public toilet and after the event took the bottle for recycling to get 0,20e.
  24. Took my jewellery to the pawn shop to get money to buy one of my cats.
  25. Considered putting my rental apartment on Airbnb, but then realized it’s illegal (breach of contract). You could do this though if your contract allows it and stay with your relatives, friends for 1-2 months to save rent money and use that money to take a vacation!
  26. Learned how to change a light bulb/ clean pipes/ install washing machine instead of paying the maintenance guy to do it.
  27. Changed a gym membership to an fitness app and worked out from home/ outside (saved 40e per month).
  28. Learned how to cook at home instead of buying ready meals/ ordering from restaurants.
  29. Utilized free trials for pretty much everything available, such as LinkedIn, Adobe, a local newspaper etc. Just remember to CANCEL on time!!
  30. Actually have WORKED! Done different part-time, freelancer work 1-4 days a week (NOT every week though so I would actually have enough money to live), such as sold yoghurt in supermarkets, sold Oreo cookies in supermarkets, was a substitute teacher in an elementary school, sat in a church eight hour per day for two months waiting for tourists to stop by, and helped startups with social media marketing. Everything except work worth my MSc in International Business Management and prostitution. 😝

This is all for today,  more money saving tricks coming up later! 

25. Sonia figured that her British Shorthair cat, London, will help her lonely single life. (Bought her instead of getting a shelter cat because she didn’t have a car to drive 2h to a shelter AND pay the shelter fee 100€ for an adult cat, 150€ for a kitten. Abandoned cats can be aggressive too just in case you plan to have children whenever you stop being single.) Photo: Sonia Jain

I tried to collect some of the funniest things, but of course there’s nothing funny about my situation. However, all the entrepreneurs I have met so far, have had similar money saving tricks. So I guess there’s still hope for me. πŸ˜ƒπŸ‘πŸΌ