Unemployed In A New Country: How To Keep From Going Insane.

I moved to Australia.


No job.

No family.

No friends.

No clue.

How am I coping? Not so well. But, I’m making some moves to change that. If you’re new somewhere or just in a rut and don’t want to go full-on brain dead, I have some ideas that just might help you. They have started helping me and it’s my hope that they can help you.

Time-Sensitive Daily Goals:

I am a person that needs a schedule. If all I have to do in a day is go to the grocery store and I have all day to do it, then I will wait until 20 min before the store closes and then rush out of the door. I’ll also probably forget everything I needed to pick up, because I have been wallowing in boredom for the majority of the day. So, it’s a double loss.

What has helped me is to make goals that are time sensitive. Mine started with joining a gym for the soul purpose of taking their boxing classes. I really want to box, so I knew that this would motivate me to at least go do this one thing. And, as many people figure out, it is much easier to keep the momentum going if you at least have one thing done.

Find something that you enjoy doing, that can’t be done any other time than at that specific time and join it.


  • going to a meet-up group. There are tons for expats, learning languages, parents, and outdoor enthusiasts. Find something that meets regularly and make the first step!
  • gym classes (that you actually like)
  • meeting a friend for coffee (you cant really dilly dally with this one or you’ll lose friends, right?)

Learn A New Skill:

When I was living in Germany, I was planning on improving my German enough to go to Uni there and study Computer Sciences/ Software engineering. I wanted to make a career change and do something that I could travel with and something that would translate into a job no matter where I ended up.

Well, I kinda fucked up on that, because, now I am in Australia where I am literally qualified for nothing and Uni is HELLLLLLLA expensive until I get permanent residency. So, what can I do?

Well, I stumbled upon Udemy.com and have been taking classes on there. They had a sale (they are always having sales BTW, don’t feel pressure to buy a class right away) and i decided to purchase a few classes relating to topics I was interested in. I am currently taking a class on Website development, Java, and I took a class on ESL teaching.

These classes have given me a reason to get up and are exercise for my brain. Otherwise, I think my mind would have turned to mush a few weeks ago.

I also really like Codeacademy.com if you’re looking to go into tech. I usually take 1/3 of a class on Udemy and then go to Code Academy for the same subject as a way of practicing more.

Learn/ Brush Up On A Language:

I studied German and Spanish as my minors in University and had a pretty good handle on them after travelling to South America for 6 months and living in Germany for almost 3 years. Now, I live in an english speaking country and I’m worried that I might forget everything that I have learned.

So, every day I get up and I sign into Duolingo and I do one exercise. Just one. If I want to do more, then fine, I’ll do more. But, I only feel obligated to get one exercise done (in German and Spanish, so 2 in total) a day. This keep my languages from deteriorating and is actually making me want to learn another language or even (dare I say it!) make friends in Sydney that speak these languages so I can practice.

This is something that is simple, free and easy to commit to. It’ll be one little step to feeling like you aren’t a worthless potato taking up space in the world.

Cooking More Creative Meals/ Taking Your Time:

One of the things I actually like about staying home and not working is the fact that I can take my time cooking and eating. Back in Germany and in the States, I would always just grab a few eggs or a can of beans and just eat that, because I didn’t have the time or energy to think about meals that hard.


I have all the time in the world and nothing to spend it on. So, now I cook full meals with more than 2 ingredients. I am experimenting with Keto, vegan, low-carb and asian dishes to name a few and I am actually kind of surprised. I always thought I just couldn’t cook. Turns out, I just didn’t allow myself time to actually try.

Join A Gym:

This is my least favourite one to put on here, but is the one that actually helped me the most with feeling like I’m not a total garbage person.

It’s not actually the act of working out though. It’s the going and the staying there for 30 min and then leaving. I’m currently doing a recon mission for some classes that I want to take. What this entails is me going to the gym (before a class I am interested in starts) and going to the closest treadmill to observe the class.

If you’re thinking that that sounds crazy, then you probably don’t have some weird anxiety that eats away at you and for that I am happy for you.

As I mentioned before, I want to take a boxing class, but I don’t like surprises. So, I go and watch these classes before I every take it. I see how many people are in them, how do they set up, and what they do. I KNOW it sounds insane. But I have already have a panic attack this month and I really don’t want to have one at the gym right across from my apartment, so these are the steps I take.

In order to do this recon, I need to be at the gym at a certain time and stay for an amount of time. This gets me out of the house, on a mission and technically I’m being a “fit/healthy” person, because I entered the gym.

So, find what motivates you (even if it’s your crippling social anxiety) and get out there!

Do you have suggestions of things I can do to not go insane? I am job searching, I started pet sitting (starts next month), I do all the things listed above and actually did yoga this morning and I still NEED MORE. Nothing really exhausts you like job.. I gotta find one of those.

Leave me recommendations, please! 🙂


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