Unemployment 101. You’re not alone.

Since the recession hit in December 2007, it is currently estimated that over 15 million people worldwide are unemployed. Yet somehow, when you got up this morning (for those of us who actually bothered to get up), you felt it was just you.
It is not.

Welcome to unemployment. Join the club. Unfortunately the club is surprisingly and frighteningly large and you don’t get anything for joining.  It just sucks, big time. Take it from someone who’s been a member for a while now. There isn’t an honorary status before you ask. How long you’ve been in or frequently you come back doesn’t make a difference. Membership is non-discriminatory, open to anyone, from anywhere, of any colour, class, creed, race, height, social, financial or spiritually background and where you did or didn’t go to school doesn’t matter either. Here, we’re all the same. Broke.

Rain Drops in Puddle

In the beginning it’s not too bad. Sort of like a mini-vacation. After-all, you’ll be working again in no time so why not enjoy the break. You stay up and sleep in, eat when you feel like and generally do what you like. Day time programming is exciting. At first. You take yoga, eat ice-cream, and browse the classifieds being very selective, looking for that perfect job. At first. Then the bills come in and the funds get low and the daytime programming gets to be too familiar and boring. Staying up late is silly, only re-runs show and you’ve seen the re-runs too many times now. Before you know it, it’s been months. And some of those jobs you may have glanced over get your full attention now. And then you start sleeping in. Waking up is harder and less frequent. And no-one else seems to get it. People who love you want you to get out of bed, get dressed, come out, watch a movie, laugh a little, be yourself and other such drivel. All you want to do is disappear. See it’s all very confusing. Your world doesn’t make sense anymore, it changed without warning and it’s been too long now to still have faith, but somehow, life seems to have gone on.

For those who still dare to venture outside (careful, someone could see you), just walk past a news-stand and see covers with Stars still showing up on red carpets. All the best glossies are still printing the evidence of this fact and hark!, dare to tell who they wore and worse yet, who they arrived with. Staying in? Me too. But turn the telly on and find the wrong channel and a super cute and wonderfully insensitive host will help you recreate one of those same red carpet looks for less. Less? Seriously? I’ve got less and it isn’t enough to help me look like that. Not that I can afford to go anywhere.

Of course the reminders that you’re not in the land of the gainfully employed are evident in little things too. Instant coffee has replaced the morning double double espresso from the café. Flip flops drag around instead of heels. Nail polish is chipped, hair needs a trim, designer liquid soaps are replaced with the economically sensible bars and steak for dinner means burgers.  Your Facebook account is so private you’re the only one who can see it and you don’t Tweet no more.

Feel like a loser yet? You’re not. You are someone who has lost but you’re certainly no loser. Some of us lost one thing or two as a result of unemployment and some of us lost a whole lot.  Jobs, then furniture, light, heat, phone, water, furniture, cars, homes, spouses and every combination of the above.  And all of it hurts. Hurts bad.

Inhale, one long, deep breath…now exhale.

Whatever your loss, it’s time to start moving on. Every day won’t be the same. Trust me. Some days you’ll get up and others you’re still going to want to sleep in. Go with it. You’ll still be hurt, maybe angry, you may cry. The key thing is not to be down on yourself. You’re not a loser. And there’s over 15 million of us, you’re not alone.

Embrace what it is. By not going to the café you can drink your Jamaican Blue Mountain brew without saying false hellos to people you don’t like. Walk past the newsstand without looking. But should you have to glance, remember they’ve all been airbrushed anyway. Flip past the silly channels but if you can’t, only watch the commercials. Stick buttons on your flip flops and start a new trend or just wear your heels to the supermarket. Trim your own hair, if it goes wrong post it on Facebook and start a new style. Bars of soap keep the bathroom scented and let’s face it, burgers rock! Oh, and about that Facebook page, you don’t have 3,000 “Friends”. You really don’t. Keep the essentials and block or delete the rest. Hey, unless they’ve been helping you pay bills, buy food or stay chipper you during this time, you don’t need to care what they think about being deleted.  Tweet happy thoughts and stay positive.

When all else fails, find a fellow member to talk to. If no one else gets it, I do.

Reference source: BBC News

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Laugh loud, love hard and live in the sunshine.

4 thoughts on “Unemployment 101. You’re not alone.”

  1. Well written, provocative and evocative. Even though I left my job voluntarily and have not regretted a day, I get the questions, “Soooo when are you going to look for work?” “Who leaves a job in a recession?” And like you, having pared away to the bare essentials, I now live a life of filled with essentials because all the fluff is gone …


  2. Well written and interesting perspective, I guess having been able to crawl out that hole, I might have to change the perspective.

    I have heard 2 thoughts that have stuck with me for a long time

    Don't let ur ego become attached to your job.

    Don't as how much you earning from your job, but who are u becoming. Because if you become the person you need to become, you will have the things you need to have.

    I know it sounds far fetched, but its interesting how many people working with the bare essentials can run circles around those other people.

    Excited to see where this grows to. I wonder what post 100 will be about?


  3. I must say: well written. I think it's helpful for people out there who feel like they're alone, whether you continue to offer good advice or a little mirth, keep it up


  4. wow!! I stumbled on this blog yesterday and I felt like crying … almost because…. I was there. I am so glad to be able to use past tense.

    I lost my job and initially I was upbeat. I applied for jobs all over no matter the scope made the attempt to contact old employers and co workers in the hope that they would remember me in case of a opportunity.

    And then I got disheartened. I had to apply for unemployment and that first time. Hurt. They asked why I lost my job. There is no way to avoid or be euphemistic in such a direct question. then I had to go back every 3 weeks…

    I restricted my fb like I was the cia!! deleted my msn. and stopped taking calls from “unnecessary” and yes nosy ppl.

    I am happy to say I have a job now but I am still in the process of climbing out of the loser mindset that sat with me for those months.

    Its still hard…

    Thanks for this blog and when you get a job keeep blogging,,,


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