The shame of being unemployed. Part 2

Here’s the second article I wrote on being unemployed.

Being unemployed really isn’t fun and the days can easily get long and very boring. It doesn’t have to be like that. I personally started off my days as newly unemployed after losing my job due to its relocation by sleeping in, watching TV and generally being quite lazy. It was absolutely wonderful for the first couple of weeks. I did have a social life to, so it wasn’t too bad, but suddenly I found myself moody, restless and getting more and more depressed every day and I figured that something had to change.

First of all, I sat down to identify what I missed about my working life and my main points were:
-social interaction.
-the feeling of having achieved something and being counted on to achieve it.
-Relax after a long day of work.

So, I came to the conclusion that I somehow needed to recreate this in this temporary stage of my life. And I highly recommend these tips if you are currently looking for work and need some purpose to your day in the meantime.

In my previous article I praised volunteering because it gives you a sense of having a job even though you don’t get paid. To get some ideas on what you can do, please read it:

Get a morning ritual. Yeah, it may sound funky and a bit new age, but it really works. I am a Christian, but realised I don’t know the bible that well. So I set myself a challenge to get up no later than 07:30 every morning to do some reading, reflection and praying. And I had a deal with one of my working friends to text and see if I was up. That way I was accountable to someone and this morning ritual has given me lots of positivity plus more time to do job hunting, writing, record my music etc. Also, I know a lot more about my faith which is very helpful in my position as a Christian youth leader.

Your morning ritual can be whatever you want. It can be writing a diary, do some exercise, anything as long as you feel like it gives you a boost. And if it includes some kind of self reflection, it’s even better. Reflect on things like your goals, your dreams, how to reach them, how far you have come in reaching them, anything, but keep it positive. Otherwise this is counterproductive. Having someone in the beginning to be accountable to is also good because it will motivate you to see it through.

Take up a new hobby. I like the feeling of accomplishing something new and therefore I decided to learn a foreign language. Audible have many good ones if you find classess inaccessible, or there are plenty of other things you can do out there. A Thai cooking course, singing lessons, or learning to play an instrument. You might be unemployed, but the good thing is that now you have the time to get good at something you’ve always wanted to learn, maybe even something you can add to your CV? And it inevitably makes the day more fun.

Socialise. You are not the only one who is unemployed and chances are you have a friend in the same situation. Why not meet at each others house and do applications together? You can help each other along the way and two is always better than one.

Finally, get organised. Sure, you’ve got the whole day, but taking breaks in the activities you are doing or not planning them will result in you only doing half the things you planned to do. So write a timetable or a to do list including how much time to spend on each thing that needs doing.

These are all simple little tips that will make a massive difference to your day and your purpose, confidence and security.

Life as an unemployed is not something you should seek, but do all these little things and your days may not be so bad after all.

2 thoughts on “The shame of being unemployed. Part 2

  1. Your posts are very inspiring. My feelings on work are the same as yours. Working helps us on all levels. I have tried much of what you have suggested on my own before reading your post, such as keeping a diary which is essential to me especially in between bouts of pain and blindness. Blindness and the pain of contact with the sun affects all of my bodily functions including heart rate, electric current-like body zapping pain, nausea, and disorientation. My diary keeps me on target and I sometimes dump out all my frustrations into the diary so I dont take my frustrations and problems out on other people. It helps me get in touch with my past positive emotions as well. And, I like writing. I am teaching myself to play guitar. I have never had lessons and due to my recent injuries from a fall I now have to play it one handed. Because I have had no lessons on guitar, but did play the piano when I was young I play the guitar as if it were a piano. I dont do well copying other peoples work so I compose my own. The guitar has filled many lonely hours when I am blind and cannot stand any light to reach my eyes, not even a 40 watt bulb. At such times the slightest light will feel like searing swords poked through my eyes. Based on my own experiences, your advice is very sound and logical and needed for those of us in similiar predicaments. In defense of sighted people, I think it is very difficult for them to understand what it is like to be blind or partially sighted. I think that as annoying as it is to have to answer what seems like stupid or even insulting questions I think that it is a positive thing and they are asking questions in an effort to try and understand and be friendly which sometimes is better than being ignored or treated like a pariah. (However, sometimes we do wish to be left alone, or at least treated with some understanding.) I live near Phoenix Az in the US, and I think it is marvelous that the Internet allows us to exchange information like this. I have a masters degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling from California state university that I earned after the car accident that has forced me to use a motorized wheelchair and have a bachelors degree in early childhood development and nearly a 2nd masters degree in marriage, child and family counseling. I have also taught pre school and student taught kindergarten and 1st grade when I was young and healthy. I cannot stand the fact that all this education and knowledge I have is going to waste. When I am not in pain and am sighted, usually between midnite and 5 am, my brain works quite well and I am able to read on the Internet some as it is backlit. Reading a regular book is more difficult. I can still learn new things and retain all of the things I have learned in school for the most part. I would like to learn how to be a freelance writer and volunteer in some way to help others. Unfortunately I am so poor right now, the volunteer work needs to pay a little in order to enable me to afford to do it; and I can only leave the house after dark. I thought I would write you for suggestions and also to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading what you have written and to encourage you to continue writing your much needed blog.

  2. Hi Janine,

    Thanks for leaving encouraging comments and I’m glad you find my writing of inspiration.

    You certainly seem like a very capable woman who has a lot to offer and the will to do something with what you’ve got, and I sincerely hope that you’ll get to do so one day.

    Voluntary work is a bit of a catch 22 situation in that it’s useful for developmental reasons meaning if you do voluntary work connected with what it is you want to do, as well as for wellbeing. But it’s the harsh truth that in order to live, we need money and much as offering your abilities up for free, you have to think about how to get food on the table as well. Finding some work which has a basic pay is a nice compromise.

    I agree that it is positive for sighted people to ask questions. However, I often find that people need to be a little more sensitive as to when they ask. It’s not always a good time. I often find that if I am riding in a cab, something I either do very late at night, or for certain work reasons, I’m not really in a mood to answer questions on whether I’m born blind etc, to a random stranger, the cabby. I also think that in certain social contexts, it’s wise to leave the questions to a later point in time.

    I’m not saying there should be rules for when to ask and when not to, but that it is important to assess the situation and context you’re in before asking.


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