I just wanted to write a little something about being unemployed. Let me paint the picture, I am 23 years of age and I haven’t had a colourful working life nor have I had a lot of experience in job hunting/hopping/seeking… (you get the basics). Anyway, I have been unemployed twice in my life, the first was circa 2012/13 (ish) and I simply couldn’t be bothered to work, not really – at least until all my friends got ‘grown up’ full time jobs and my then-boyfriend was working all week earning money. I had no motivation, no get-go, no money, my CV was as bland and boring as plastic cheese. Nothing about me was employable nor was I helping myself. I would wake up – usually late, go downstairs and rifle the cupboards and eat everything, usually followed by stalking YouTube for mostly anything and came across the whole 4 seasons of Footballers Wives (yay!) and watched that nearly all day, then wait for either my mum, sister, dad (not always), or my fella to be done at work so I could be around people and have the ‘what have you done today?’ conversation which usually ended in tears and self loathe in the fact I knew I had done nothing to help myself and my parents damn well knew about it (HOW DO THEY KNOW EVERYTHING?!) Now, this may seem the life however when my dad and I clashed heads (near everyday of my lazy life) and he tried to drum into me how important it was at my age to be working. I began to realise, how on earth was I supposed to fund my ‘free nights out’, how to be independent, and own my own money, how would I fund my car, how would I move out?!
It hit me big time on my sisters big Birthday night out, I was chubby, unhappy and miserable. I was waiting on my friends arrival to the club (*note the bouncer told me to cheer up – how about f*ck off you truth telling doorman) when they turned up and my friend Beth said immediately ‘whats wrong, something’s not right’ and I burst into tears and whinged about my boring unemployed life pretending to enjoy the Monkey Head cocktail that taste like a sugar stick. Luckily my friend Rhea was around at this point and said ‘well actually, we need a general assistant around our office, I’ll sort you out’. Just like that, the following Monday after sending my CV over I got a call from the so-called HR Manager, went for an for an interview to basically start straight away *jumps for joy* (my 3 years at BOFA were an emotional rollercoaster, my last year was a year of self discovery and learning a lot about myself – yes my Manager was an actual Guardian Angel, more on that another time). Everyone was so happy for me and it was great, finally I could be perceived as an adult and have a 9-5 life and earn my own money – hell friggin yeah and all that.
The second time I was unemployed, was as of, well – just over a month a go. I left my BOFA stepping stone, and braved a new path – Sales. Oh the joys of Sales. Don’t get me wrong it can be the Holy Grail of money making and setting yourself a good stead of a career with plenty of carrots to chew on and a little less ‘stick motivation’ (usually the commission is the best fishing bait/self-motivator) anyway, I digress – I tried it, gave it my all for 5 long months and after tears and turmoil I decided to leave. Just like that. I had a plan and it didn’t go quite to… plan – when does it ever – I was home around 11:30am on the day I left, got straight on the Mac and updated my CV so it was squeaky clean and contact the Agencies I knew and trust. I honestly thought I would be back into a new role within 1-2 weeks no problem.
1 month and a few weeks later I have only just found a new job that I am due to start o the 26th June (woot woot!) What I am really trying to say, is, that it’s nothing to be ashamed of if you hate your job, or even if you’re due to be, or currently are, unemployed. I used the time I had to really think about what I want out of my career path and what I truly enjoyed. I could mind map where I wanted to see myself, how would I get there? what steps do I need to take? There is no rush, really have a good fish in the job pond and if you see one you like, apply, take that interview, don’t say yes to the first job your offered (unless its utter perfection for you, then go for it darling!) make them wait, weigh up your options and give yourself that chance because hell and high water you deserve that chance.
It’s totally A-OK to not have everything figured out for yourself, you could be the ripe age of 40 and have no clue what you really want to do, change your mind, and change it again. Try different industries and job roles and experiment! Don’t be afraid, and also don’t be afraid of what others have to say about you, or your choices. It’s your life, not theirs. Yes they may care, thats lovely, but at the end of the day you need to do ‘you’ and do things for yourself, sod the rest.
If you feel you need help then take it, sometimes it’s not what you know it’s indeed, who you know. This is something that you need to do for you though. I was so surprised at my parents patience, not once in this blip on unemployment did they push, moan, or keep on my back for not working. As a matter of fact they were super supportive and asked the right things and kept positive tabs on me and were there with tissues and hugs when I felt super shit about not having a job. My dad stepped up and reassured me that it’s part of life and he has had moments himself like this and it’s fine. Sort of the reason why I am wiring this, I will be that virtual shoulder of reassurance for you. Everything will be okay and all is fine.
So, don’t be worried, take your time and find what’s right for you. It’s more than okay to be unemployed for a bit – take a break, rest up and start again. Don’t see it as a set-back, just think of it as pressing the reset button, go on, I dare you, press the big red button… (we all have that fear, just face the fear and do it anyway).
My little life saving tips to help you if you are unemployed and need to save your brain from totally melting from boredom –
- Keep a routine, get up at a good time and keep your day going
- Use the first week as a ‘break’ do nothing, or do something, whatever it is sometimes you need R&R
- Keep your phone on you if you have contacted Agencies, keep in contact with your ‘rep’ and keep the communication going
- Use the day/afternoon to exert energy, if you do nothing all day you may find yourself awake at 2:05am thinking of that embarrassing moment you had at school and how could you have handled it better….
- Go to the beach/park/forest and take a walk, you won’t feel so alone and it’s SO good to get some fresh air
- If your worried about money, then see if you can get some part time work at a cafe/pub during the day. Or, if not and you still find yourself bored – volunteer at a Charity shop! People! Yay!
- Keep in contact with your mates, they will keep you sane!
- Treat Fridays as Fridays. Do something productive until 4/5pm then you will still have the Friday feeling and feel you earned that well deserved beer/wine/cocktail
- Take a look at what hobbies you could do in the day, love dogs? Check out borrowmydoggy.com – meet new people and make a new best friend borrowing peoples doggos!
- Set yourself a realistic goal to get a new job, and make job hunting fun not a chore!
I hope this may give someone out there a little reassurance that it’s okay to have these life moments, not having a job is scary and worrying and can be a little disheartening – remember you had a job before and you will have another one, you are an awesome person and any company deserves to have you, you. are. EMPLOYABLE.