In the Meantime, Part 4

This post is the final part of a 4-part series based on Melissa A. Fallen’s Lost & Found: From Losing Your Pulpit to Finding Your Passion. Find the full series here.

Over the past 3 weeks, we’ve been exploring the various types of activities—hopefully life-giving ones—you may choose to fill your time with in addition to job hunting while you are in between jobs. This week, I encourage you to think back on your time of unemployment so far and use the questions I provide below to build some goals to help yourself structure your coming days and weeks.

One of the down sides of unemployment is that people think you must have nothing to do. You may get requests for childcare or lunch meetings or house sitting that you have zero interest in doing. You may also find it hard to refuse, particularly for unpaid favors for friends, but you do not want to go back to work being resentful that you spent your whole unemployment taking care of your friends’ problems. Be a good friend as much as you can, but also own your time.

I made a rule for myself that I would not spend money having lunch with anyone out of obligation. Some people thought they were being helpful in entertaining me during my unemployment, but the reality is that I had control over that time and wanted to fill it with events that helped me feel fulfilled and allowed me to give back in ways I enjoyed.

Questions for Reflection

1. What is the most helpful way for you to structure your days/weeks?

2. What opportunities, whether volunteer or otherwise, are available to you?

3. What new skills most interest you? What groups, organizations, or schools offer training or experience in those skills?

4. At the end of your unemployment, what do you hope to say about your time off?


Melissa Fallen is a native of Richmond, Virginia, where she has resided most of her life. She spends her free time enjoying the great outdoors, spending time with friends and family, and following her niece’s and nephews’ sports endeavors. She also enjoys coaching high school basketball. Melissa is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington and received both her M.Div. and D.Min. from Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. After working in both the local church and academia, she is currently serving as the pastor of Glen Allen Baptist Church. Her book Lost & Found: From Losing Your Pulpit to Finding Your Passion is available here.

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