I don’t know what you should do, but I know what you probably shouldn’t do, based on personal experience.
DO NOT spend more than four consecutive hours browsing jobs.
If you didn’t see anything worth applying for in the first two hours, you probably won’t see anything after four, and they’ll all start sounding the same and then you’ll open up the same one three times and experience bewildering déjà vu and misery.
DO NOT get prematurely excited by appropriate-sounding job titles.
“Journal Editor”? No no no. What they want is a horticulturalist and chartered accountant with a PhD in politics and the ability to fly planes one-handed while performing brain surgery. MINIMUM five years of experience. Entry level salary. Working knowledge of acupuncture and the ability to speak Tagalog are beneficial.
DO NOT expect to be emailed or called back about anything ever, no matter how much you want the job or how appropriate you think you are for the position or how fucking amazing your cover letter was.
Just apply for the job and move on. Hope is the fertiliser in which disappointment thrives.
DO NOT eat almost an entire box of biscuits for lunch.
Coupling it with hot chocolate made with enough hot chocolate powder for three cups of hot chocolate is also not recommended.
DO NOT get back into bed after lunch when you feel like the day is a write-off.
If you manage to sleep at all, you’ll wake up feeling more tired than you were before, plus you’ll probably have a headache and you’ll hate yourself.
DO NOT sit on your chair for more than five hours at a time without standing up.
Your body will (justifiably) hate you and apparently it can cause premature death.
DO NOT support your head on your left hand for hours while you sit at your computer.
If you’re like me, it’ll just make your skin break out and also you might end up being stuck like that and have to walk around with your head cocked to one side for the rest of your life.
DO NOT neglect household chores because you feel like they’re taking time away from your job-hunting mission.
They’re not. Being unemployed in a pigsty is worse than being unemployed in a relatively tidy space with clean dishes and wearable clothes. If you can find the will to vacuum, more power to you.
DO NOT forget to shower.
DO NOT forget that you’re wearing your pyjamas when a delivery person knocks on the front door.
(Unless they’re really awesome pyjamas and not semi-transparent or covered in yoghurt.) If you’ve remembered to shower, then you’re probably not in your pyjamas, but sometimes you just have to put your pyjamas back on after you shower. I get that.
DO NOT spend too much time looking longingly at the LinkedIn profiles and/or Facebook timelines and/or blogs of (a) people you know, (b) people who have jobs that you want and especially (c), people you know who have jobs that you want.
It will make you feel like a tiny scrap of dried goose shit on the side of someone’s shoe.
DO NOT watch TV or play computer games for more than an hour during “work hours”.
It’s fine for a break, but too much and it ends up having the same effects as the afternoon failure-nap: headaches and self-loathing. Escapism is good, but don’t overdo it.
DO NOT spend valuable time writing shitty lists for your pointless blog when you should be looking for a job or writing your novel.
[The title is a joke, of course. I’m a privileged, middle-class person and the word “surviving” is really just for weak comedic effect or some such thing. For many, the search for employment really is something that needs to be “survived”, and I’m grateful for the food and shelter and privileges I have at this time!]
Good luck to all the jerb hunters out here! May we be triumphant and return to the village of the employed with fire in our hearts and juicy jerbs on the ends of our spears.