Highly Educated and Unemployed Life Journey. A blog about navigating the realities, struggles, and frustrations of life while unemployed—with a positive outlook. Opinion commentary pieces on unemployment and hiring plus informative articles & tips on life learning, career, well-being.
When you have a desire to work but can’t find a job, unemployment can especially be hard.
But, it’s important to control your response to this challenging situation. Being unemployed, for an extended period, can result in bitterness or brokenness, if you’re not careful.
I recently read a blog post, published on LinkedIn, entitled, Why Being Unemployed Ruins You and How to Stop It. The writer references the results of a personality study, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, which found: long bouts of unemployment can change personalities. These changes can, in turn, make the job hunt harder, according to many, so the piece includes a few tips for “the retaining of core traits” while transitioning.
You explore and research companies of interest, apply for targeted job positions, follow-up on submitted resumes and employment applications, interview for these positions when called, follow-up post interview, and do it all again (with continual learning and improvement)—hoping to land a job offer.
Despite your best efforts, however, you usually receive one of two responses from prospective employers: a rejection letter or the silent treatment.
And, you’re struggling to hold on to your faith and uplift your spirit. You’re struggling to maintain your motivation. You’re struggling to keep up your enthusiasm.
I gathered tidbits—from articles I’ve written—I thought would be helpful when looking back on 2017 and looking forward to the New Year. And, during the past week, I shared them on the now-defunct Serenity Amidst Frustration Facebook page.
We’re now in the second week of 2018, but I’m posting them here, in case you missed them. Following are the tips I shared.
Monday’s Tidbit and Explanation.
It’s easy to focus on your struggle to find a job—and forget what you’ve done in the past. But I encourage you to:
“Take time regularly and do the following: remind yourself about your accomplishments. Think about the compliments you received in previous roles and jobs. Think about the people you’ve helped along the way.”
A few days ago, I read a blog post on job hunting, written specifically for ‘unemployed job seekers.’ What I found most problematic about it was: its unsolicited advice and argument—out of work persons shouldn’t stop looking for jobs for anything, including the holiday season.
Certainly, nothing’s wrong with the blogger/writer/”expert” advising her readers to continue their job searches during the holidays. But, something about this piece of content screamed insensitivity. Insensitivity toward the plight of those who are activelyunemployed. Insensitivity toward the humanity of adult persons who are going through unemployment, despite their desires to work. Insensitivity I’m all too familiar with from my own experiences. Insensitivity I’ve gotten better at mentally handling but still find disturbing.
Priscilla’s Disclaimer: Some content in this article was originally published in October 2014 and has been republished here with the addition of new content.
Upon publishing a previous article entitled, Oh, The Wait, I received a comment from Mr. John N. Frank of Always Be Job Hunting, which served as the inspiration for this article. He wrote:
“Long-term unemployment is so tough, but keep fighting the good fight. And always keep believing in yourself.”
Now, while his comment was encouraging, it also left me wondering: Do I still believe in my abilities and the value they’ll bring to a potential employer?
An Example of Self-Doubt During the Job Search: My Experience
Sadly enough, upon pondering, I confessed: self-doubt, defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “a feeling of doubt about one’s own abilities or actions,” had left me doubting my ability to get hired.
The latest (July 2017) research by The I Z A Institute of Labor Economics reaffirms something we’ve known for some time now – from past labor and employment research and (possibly) experience: the longer you’re unemployed, the harder it is to find a job. But, it also goes one step further, providing insight into the thought patterns of those in hiring positions.
The lab experiment study, conducted by Eva Van Belle, Doctoral Researcher at Ghent University and other researchers from Ghent University (Professor Stijn Baert), KU Leuven (Professor Ralf Caers), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Lecturer Marijke De Couck), and the University of Oxford (Postdoctoral Researcher Valentina Di Stasio), evaluated the length of unemployment – using fictitious job candidates (differing in gender, educational attainment, work experience, and social activities) and participating HR professionals – on one’s chances of being hired. The participants, for the experiment, not only made hiring decisions, but also rated these qualified candidates based on their perceived characteristics: general signaling theory (lower motivation, intellectual and social capabilities), skill loss (or depreciation), queuing theory (lower trainability), and rational herding (based on the belief: if unemployed job applicants were productive, they would’ve been hired).