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Some people think that when you’re unemployed, you have a lot of free time. I can’t speak for anyone else, but that’s not true for me. If I’m not applying for jobs, I’m scanning job boards for new postings.

Or I’m networking: reaching out to professional colleagues to see if they know of companies that are expanding and may need new bodies; contacting people in industries that I like and requesting informational interviews; or going to industry events where I might meet helpful colleagues or find out about new opportunities.

Or I’m writing blog posts to demonstrate my interest in industries where I’d like to work, and cross-posting them on LinkedIn or other places where potential employers might see them. Or I’m attending workshops on job-hunting skills. Or I’m doing any number of other job-hunting tasks.

Even when I’m not working, my time isn’t exactly free. The question “What more can I do to get hired?” and the command “Keep alert; you never know where you might hear about an opportunity” often poke at me.

My time doesn’t have the tight structure that it had when I had a full-time job; but it’s not free.