Unemployment: The big scary word that surely haunts many adults. However, let’s take a step back to understand what it actually means.
Since our society has led us to believe that our work equates to our life, I know it can be difficult to think of unemployment as anything other than a curse. We have been wired and brainwashed to see this world as a landscape of professional opportunities. Promotions and interviews now hold more weight than prioritizing one’s own peace and happiness.
It’s a sad way to live, and I’m frankly tired of it.
Being unemployed can be terrifying — I won’t deny that. But there is so much potential there that people can’t see. People could travel the world, take a step back to relax, or pursue even bigger dreams by furthering their education and more — and the best time to do that is when there are no other responsibilities holding them down. There are numerous choices to be made but unfortunately, we’ve been conditioned to focus on the negatives.
I am also guilty of that mistake.
When I just graduated from university, I was so stressed about finding a full-time job that I didn’t truly take time to enjoy my summer. In my mind, getting rejected from countless companies meant I was incompetent as a writer, as an adult, as a human being. I needed an acceptance email to tell me I wasn’t worthless.
Many other adults feel the same way, but we never talk about that. And I could apply that same sentence to post-grad life.
Occasionally, we’ve heard that the process of finding a job after university is very difficult, especially in this challenging economy. But that’s where it ends. We are never given advice on how to get through it, nor are we given words of encouragement from those that have gone through the same journey. It’s an isolating, frightening time, and it baffles me how nobody talks about it.
Why aren’t we normalizing this struggle?
For the longest time, I saw myself ashamed that I hadn’t found a full-time job. I thought people would judge me and say it was embarrassing that I had gone to school at a great institution, only to be unemployed three months after graduation.
The current economy is at its worst. Employees are getting laid off for no apparent reason, and it is absurd to have qualifications this high for even entry-level jobs. Applicants are expected to have years of experience, even though most of them are recent college graduates. And even after several interviews, rejection emails are impersonal and lack any constructive feedback.
I understand that some companies may want things to be different, but it’s practically impossible due to the economy. What I don’t understand is why I haven’t heard anyone talking about this, so that those going through this process will feel less alone. That reassurance was something I needed, and I know many have or are still in the midst of the same thing.
I was finally offered a full-time job back in October, and while I am relieved and thankful, I can’t forget the past few months of stress, uncertainty, and isolation. It was something I was wholly unprepared for and unfortunately, I let that toxic mindset get the better of me.
So, if you’re looking for a sign of sorts, here it is: you’re not alone. And no matter how hard it gets, keep moving forward. It’ll be worth it in the end.
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