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So you have been stuck without a job for what feels like an eternity. For some it could be a couple of weeks, others it may be months or years. Whatever it is for you, you have hit rock bottom and sadness, despair and self loathing have kick in. It’s hard to find motivation to do much of anything. You wake up late, and prefer to nap the day away. Sleep has more appeal than your life, if anything it eats up the day so there isn’t too much time spent thinking about your circumstances. Rejection is taking its toll and really you wonder if you should have chosen another profession or why you liked this profession in the first place.
I get it. I really do. Your brain has probably turned on you a bit and berates you for this position you are in. Somehow it could’ve have been prevented, “only if.” The self talk is gettting more and more negative. This can be one of the most challenging parts to turn around. But that negative asshole in your head needs to be shut down. So you are going to have to fight it and recount your greatness. You have strength to fight it and talents to rub in its face. You have skills and passions and heart that make you amazing to be around and experience. Yes, I know the first thought is if I am so great why don’t I have a job. To this I say, you are not the only great person who has had to struggle and wade through shit to get where they wanted to go. Remember that you not having a job is a not a statement of your character or your ability to do good work. This does not define you. Don’t let the negative thoughts take hold.
Get Out of Your Head
Sometimes the best thing todo is get out of your head. It is hard, but necessary. Make plans and keep them. Get out of the house. Get some fresh air and sun. When its time to job hunt, focus only on that and don’t be distracted by anything else. When its time to other things, it is time to turn off your brain about the job hunt and be present to whatever else you are doing. Give yourself other tasks like planning a birthday party, organizing and help someone clean, cooking complicated dishes. Have your brain occupied by other things.
Talk out your thinking loop - call a friend, mom, or mentor. Have someone really put the legitimacy of whatever is negative, playing on loops in your head. We all need a smack in the face some times, when we have been unnecessarily hard on ourselves. Have someone provide that for you.
Would you be saying the same things you say to yourself, to a friend in the same situation?
keep moving forward
Frustration can be a big deterrent to even trying, by telling yourself that the same outcome is going to happen again. I wont even look for jobs because there are none out there. I wont apply to the job because there is no way I will get it. It sucks and cuts your pride down to size, but you have to keep trying and keep pushing ahead. The right position for you will present itself.
Keep applying and keep trying. You don't apply or network, or get out there then, yes with 100% certainty you definitely won't get a job. These rejections will only help mold you and help teach you what you need to show and provide to get there job that you want.
have a plan
Make sure that you are setting realistic goals for your future plans. You want to have goals for how many jobs you are going to apply to or how you will network. Maybe you will apply to 10 jobs a week or 1. Maybe it is reaching out to 25 people to network with in a month.
Sometimes you will need to take time off and not job hunt, like holidays and weekends. That is okay and healthy. People know that applying for a job is a job in itself, you may not feel that you deserve a vacation or fun, but you do. Moral and spirits are kept high by keeping a balanced life, which means rewards, breaks, and fun.
why did i choose this profession
When you begin to question whether or not you are pursuing the right position or job reassess the feeling that you want to feel with this job. Remind yourself of why you have chosen this profession and what joy it brings you and others. You are on the right track, you just have to keep chugging.
This type of feeling is normal and happens to everyone. It happened to me. I really dived in deep to learn more about what I truly wanted to do with my time and it wasn't what I had been applying for. Maybe you need to pause and hit the reset button on your job hunt. If you know your passions and interest are elsewhere then maybe it is time to follow them. If not, know that doubt slips in for everyone.
self-care during unemployment
You need just as much self lovin' and attention when you are unemployed as when you are employed. Self care is essential during the emotional and mental strain that unemployment can turn into.
Keep moving. You now have plenty of time to workout.
Working out and eating healthy should be at the top of your to do list. Burn off the anxiety and stress and get some endorphins to liven up your day.
Maintain healthy thinking habits.
Journal everyday to get the crappy stuff out of your head every morning, leaving room for positive thoughts during the day. Try it for a month.
Get creative. Learn something new.
Tap back into that creativity that you haven't used in a while. Use it and nurture it. It is a part of you that you can foster, grow and feel new purpose and development with.
If you are already creative on a regular basis, learn something new. Open up your mind to a new hobby or a new skill for work. The focus on something new can help you see the positive attributes in yourself. CreativeLive has a classes on many creative avenues, like photo and video, art and design, music and audio, and craft and maker. They also have courses on writing, improving your career, personal development and money skills. The best part is you can watch live courses taking place for FREE!
I encourage you to go check out some of the live courses. Get inspiration to try something new or dive into something old. One of the first live classes I watch was a woman making jewelry out of copper. It was inspiring and had my creative juices bubbling. I wanted to try something new, also.
You choose your path
Unemployment can become emotionally exhausting and draining. When you are applying to 10s of jobs a week and feel every rejection as an attack on who you are. Know that you are not alone. This season will pass in time. Balance your job hunt with caring for your needs. It helps the process and the continues dead ends that you hit.
Continue reading the How to Survive Unemployment Series.