How to Make the Most of Your Unemployment: Part Two

Part One

Looking for a Job

This is the important part, right? Finding a job while you’re unemployed. But the entertainment industry isn’t as cut-and-dry as other careers. I can’t simply cold call every business and send resumes (though this is a part of it). I can’t look at the classified section or even career websites. I’ve covered this a little bit in previous posts about moving to LA, but never has it been more real than it is now. I’ve set myself a deadline of September 1 to find an industry job before I start looking elsewhere (nanny positions in particular).

Mostly I’ve been procuring letters of reference and recommendation, fine tuning my resume, reaching out to my contacts, and scouring the internet for the few positions that are posted. The day after my job ended I had the opportunity to apply for a position and got really close, but didn’t end up being chosen. One of the reasons being that the other person had more experience. Which is obviously frustrating because it’s an entry level position, so if I can’t even get an entry level position whose way was basically paved for me by certain contacts, how do I fare for other positions?

But at the end of the day I have to accept it wasn’t the right position for me and keep trudging on.

I’ve been lucky enough that a writer friend of mine has kind of been championing me. He’s been sending my resume to shows he’s worked on, to talent agencies (agencies are a great place to start at entry level), to basically anyone he can think of.

Beyond what I’ve been doing, the only thing that’s left is cold calling production offices and asking if they’re accepting resumes. I’ve been putting this off because cell service in my apartment is basically nil. So we’ll see how that goes.

Setting Myself Up for Success

(Honestly, I didn’t know what to call this section, so just go with it.)

I’m a writer.

At least that’s what my business cards say and that’s technically what this blog/web site is called.

More and more, though, I wonder if my skill set is more fit for something else in the industry. My previously mentioned champion has mused that perhaps I’d make a good producer. Which I know even less about getting into.

But I digress.

For now I’m sticking to the writer thing. Because of the cards. And the web site.

So this is a good time to write. I’ve got hours upon hours each day to write. Which is why I’ve started a Wall.

The Wall has six categories: Pilots, Specs, Web, Reviews, Blog Posts, and Essays. Most of those should be self-explanatory, but I will say that Web actually means ideas for web videos. Which could work well to marry the writer and producer goals. Reviews are reviews of books, movies, tv shows, podcasts, TED talks, web videos, whatever strikes my fancy. While blog posts will be more like this post. More the inner workings of my mind (and if you’re still here, more power to you.)

I jot down ideas on sticky notes (that aren’t actually sticky, but they look like sticky notes and I have sticky puddy, so it works out) and it serves as a visual reminder of what my goals are and what I should be working on every day. (Note: one of the notes just says “Aubrey Plaza” and really, what else do you need?)

So far most of my writing has been for this blog because that’s easy. It’s casual, it’s mostly off the cuff, and it’s low pressure because not many people read this (okay, it’s mostly me and my roommate and I think my roommate reads it more than I do).


Before unemployment, I had set a goal for myself. I jumped on the 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene. I cannot recommend her videos enough, particularly the 30 day challenge. Outside of this challenge, I didn’t set any other goals for fitness. I bought a rebounder and used that intermittently, but it was never a part of any goal during the 30 days. I didn’t do any extra cardio either. Just the yoga. The idea was I wanted to get more in tune with my body and more control over my body. And I wanted to finish this challenge, so I removed all other possible fitness obstacles.

And it worked! I finished the 30 days a few days ago and now I’ve moved on to setting some new goals. That’s what’s great about having so much free time. I can mess around with different fitness techniques and ideas. I can sign up for free trials at gyms and really devote time to exploring what they offer.

Or I can do what I did today: I can go for a walk just before sunset around my new neighborhood that I know little about. And now I know more about it and I got 30 minutes of cardio in. The sad part is half the steps I’ve taken over the past few days (according to fitbit) were taken during that 30 minute walk.

Basically I’m taking advantage of all this free time and implementing better habits. Because that’s definitely not going to happen when I’m working 12 hour days.

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