Everyone will hit a stage in their lives when they are unemployed. Some may be lucky and find the right job straight away but for a lot of us, this is just not the case. “I am unemployed” is a phrase that no one really wants to utter, as being on the unemployment wagon is a scary place to be. For those of us who land in this category, we definitely feel judged for it as the majority of society depict us as ‘bums‘ who are not working hard enough to get back into work. The frustrating fact is that this is simply not true! Finding the right position as well as company is actually pretty tricky, and what people do not seem to realise is that this takes time!
Since having recently come back from travelling in Asia, I have come to understand just how emotionally difficult being unemployed can actually be. The majority of my working life has been within the recruitment sector, so what I find quite bizarre is that once upon a time, I was on the other side of the fence! I used to be the recruiter, wading through stacks of CVs desperate to find the perfect candidate for each of my roles. Sitting back now it has really dawned on me that the majority of my job used to be, not handing people a position but rejecting them! The amount of competition and size of the talent pool these days has become so large, and therefore standing out as a candidate is an absolute must!
As a candidate, you automatically assume that you will get the first job that you apply for, as who could not be more perfect for the job than you right? The reality however, is, unfortunately, a different story! Most of the time we don’t get the role we want and are unsuccessful, which can lead to feelings of upset and frustration. Of course, the right thing will come along in a matter of time, but waiting for it can make you somewhat impatient! Time is the one thing in unemployment that you have far too much of and that you ultimately end up hating!
To those of you slogging away at work, working your five day weeks, unemployment may seem like a dream come true, as you daydream about putting your feet up and catching up on your favourite Netflix series. To those of us who are not currently working, it is an existence of boredom, no structure, and frankly feeling like you have no purpose!
Waking up at 7 am used to be the norm for me. My body clock would automatically wake me up on the dot, and this even happened on weekends! I used to not know what a lie in was anymore and definitely made the most of my hours in the day, but rather embarrassingly I will admit that this has now changed somewhat! When you are unemployed you can forget what day it is, as every day feels like the weekend! You find no reason to not drink that extra alcoholic beverage with your friends, as tomorrow’s early morning start does not exist, and you stay awake until the early hours of the morning remembering your university days as a student! You also binge watch Netflix series’ and get bored of TV, something I would usually look forward to and wished I had more time doing. Now I have far too much time on my hands and no longer appreciate my free time!
My bedroom now feels like a prison, the four walls that surround me make me feel claustrophobic and my get out of jail free card includes my many days strolling into Manchester, sitting in coffee shops where I blog and apply for jobs. I have now discovered new favourite coffee houses and know which places have the best wifi as well as the tastiest coffees and croissants. I mock friends about the grueling Monday morning blues but to my amazement have now begun feeling secretly jealous and have started to miss them!!!
The constant preparation for job applications and long interview processes are also really stressful!!! When you are rejected from a position when knowing just how much hard work you have put in can be extremely disheartening and can leave you feeling rather flat! Everyone who is unemployed will hit a stage where they feel like tattooing ‘please hire me‘ across their forehead in hope that it will help, and will panic apply, sending their CV across to roles they don’t even want. The job hunt is an emotional rollercoaster with many ups and downs, where you just do not know where and when the right one will appear.
The truth is, finding a job is hard! Sadly we cannot be everyone’s cup of tea and we will be rejected far more than we will be successful. It is a matter of waiting for the right opportunity to arise and as frustrating as it is, unemployment is all about having patience and remembering that the wait is worth it! You need to have the belief that you will find the right job for you, and that when you do, that company and their colleagues will feel lucky to have you! For all of you, who like me feel frustrated and emotional at our ongoing job hunt, remember what Eleanor Roosevelt said. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”