Are You Unemployed?

Today I was given a moment to think about how I handled a year of unemployment as an anti-theist. No prayer for me, no sir. A close friend of mine will be unemployed on Friday. At first, it’s natural to have a positive attitude. Then you slip into a haze of wondering what you are supposed to do all day. Then there are moments of depression and anger, even rage. The money coming in is to little and there is fuckall you can do about it till you get a job. It’s tough. Very tough.

I remember a time when despair was the up-side, the good feeling of the day. Somehow I never stopped believing in myself, never stopped believing that a good deal with come through. In the end it did. I had to borrow some money to get to that end, but it happened.

If you find yourself unemployed I have this advice. Remember that I’m not a lawyer, psychologist, or doctor. I’m just an anti-theist.

  1. Stay positive, no matter how hard that is. A brave face on a bad situation makes it more tolerable – Unbelievable, I know, but it does work.
  2. Keep looking, ask friends what they did, don’t give up. You are literally only moments away from the contact that will get you the job you want and need.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Recruiters benefit from placing you, ask them how you can be better represented on paper etc. They might even have a class on interviews and interview techniques.
  4. Get your unemployment right away.
  5. Yep, the longer it goes on, the harder it can be. Remember, anger and depression are not unwarranted so don’t get upset of you go there. Calm down, think it through. Many others have survived, so will you. When you’re angry, take a break, then get right back at it.
  6. Get up every morning and treat looking for a job as if it were your job.
  7. Look for help. There are many sources to help. Don’t be afraid to ask.
  8. Prayer won’t help you. Stubborn, obstinate, even anal retentive  refusal to accept defeat will.
  9. Nobody but you can get you that job. If you’re not in the game, you can’t win. It won’t fall into your lap.
  10. Finally, though it may at times feel like the end as you pare down your expenses and regroup your resources, it is not the end. It’s just a new adventure. Not one of those nice ones, but an adventure it is. Revel in it if you can, When you get employment again you have won. Play the game. Edison found 10000 ways to not make a reliable light bulb before he found a good one. Success is not luck, it is hard work.

Keep at it, it will pay off. Friends and family may not understand how you feel on any given day. Play along if you have to, keep at it… don’t give up. It is a very difficult thing to do for many. Do not think yourself less or incapable. The world is not out to get  you. When the economy shifts people have to move around and change jobs. This is life. Apparently it’s your turn to do some shifting. In general, it takes some time but everyone gets moved on to a new position. Stick with it, statistically, you will find work. The harder you look the better your chances of finding it soon. Don’t forget to relax too. Some of us get wound up tight and stress through the whole process. Don’t do that. Relax, no stress. Stay busy looking, things will get better.

If any of this sounds like wishful thinking… maybe, but it is what got me through a year of unemployment. You are not ‘less than’ so stop thinking it might be true. Don’t second guess it. All those companies have a lot of stuff to do and few are efficient in HR processes. The world does not hate you. It simply is trying to bear up under the pressure of all the work it has to do. You are important, but not to everyone. Don’t sweat it when someone seems unimpressed or acts like you are not important. They have a lot to deal with and probably don’t have the energy or resources to treat everyone kindly. Don’t get angry at them. Just keep at it. Its a kind of whack-a-mole game and you can’t get them all. Just keep at it.

You’ll find that most people are sympathetic but don’t really know what to say to you. They don’t know how to make it better so don’t expect that they will have magic words to sooth you. You’re in this on your own for the most part. Not because you don’t have friends but because they fear the situation you are in and have no real words to offer you, no real help. Don’t let this bother you. They are the same if you said you have cancer…. except this is not a death sentence. Rather, it’s a short vacation and some work looking for a good company to work for. Yes, you are smart enough to find one. Keep at it. Do not listen to nagging doubt, keep at it. Soon you will be a 9-5 slave again, able to pay your bills, able to enjoy life more fully. No, seriously, you will get there… trust me. Even when it doesn’t feel like it will happen, I can tell you it will if you refuse to give up.

Good luck!

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  1. Mal,

    Hmm…somehow I changed the context from unemployment to unhappy with the game.

    I will use your unemployment pointers for pointers in finding a greater game inside the game. Very interesting in how well they correlate.

    Thank you for this.

    ~bri

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