Upon becoming unemployed, I entered one of those “waiting rooms of life.” And, while waiting to land a job offer, I gained the understanding of an important word: patience.
Interested in knowing the average length of long-term unemployment these days? Some found a duration of about 40 weeks.
Now, remember 40 weeks is just the average. For many, however, the length is longer.
When I think about my length of unemployment, I am shocked. Would you like to know how long it has been for me? Almost two years ago, I officially became unemployed.
I’ve given my all but still failed as a job seeker. And, I’ve never been so discouraged in my life.
Though I’ve failed to secure a job offer so far, I keep going. Those weeks quickly turned into months and now almost a couple of years, but I still continue my job search efforts – despite the frequent fights against discouragement along the way.
Unemployment has been one of the most uncertain changes in my life to date and has challenged me incredibly.
In addition to other issues with unemployment, I am a job seeker, amongst many, seeking an opportunity at employment. This is no easy situation.
In fact, moving on with researching, applying, following up, and so forth – giving it the best effort that I can – is hard – only to continue waiting and praying that a job offer comes around.
When you’ve been unemployed for a significant amount of time, this becomes harder because of the possibility you may “never become employed again.”
Altogether, for me, some days have been better than others. I was drained by it all at first. With the passage of time, however, I learned to manage through the strength given to me daily.
Unemployment and a frustrating job search process bring feelings of hopelessness – at times. For instance, unsuccessful job seekers (those unable to land a job) are always informed of ways we’ve gone wrong in our job search. This in and of itself can take a toll on the unemployed.
Would you like to know what happens over time to someone on a long-term job search bombarded with these things?
We doubt ourselves. We feel worthless. We feel like failures. We believe something is wrong with us. And, some of us give up.
I have a message for those that have given up based on what I’ve learned during this time.
You can do it! You’re not worthless. You’re not a failure. I know it’s hard to believe in such a hardship, but it’s true.
Please ignore the negativity telling you otherwise. Please don’t stop trying no matter how long it takes.
Your value doesn’t come from this situation, so keep pressing. As touched on in my Job Search Position: No Full-Time Hours Required post, you have value in your life outside of an employment title and status, and it’s important for you to realize it.
Practical Tip for You: Reevaluate Your Life
Side Tracking Moment : Initially, during unemployment, I felt like I wasn’t doing anything with my life (i.e., career wise). If there was some kind of “fast forward button” available to move past this life scene to the next, I would’ve pressed it.
However, over time, I realized this time hasn’t been wasted. As weird as it might sound to you, I am actually thankful to God for the experience.
Back on Track: Prior to my unemployment period, I hadn’t taken the time to stop and think about the value of my life. According to society, our value comes from the “good things of life” such as, our careers and job titles, our social status, and so on.
Without realizing it, you get caught up chasing after these things. In other words, we try to live up to the expectations of our society and lose ourselves in the midst.
Through unemployment, I had no choice but to stop and see what was going on in my life in relation to these short-term expectations.
Our society places a lot of emphasis on getting a good paying job with benefits – occupation. It’s a MAJOR achievement.
Am I right?
So, for a couple of years too long, I focused a lot of my time and attention trying to achieve this specific “traditional mark of adulthood.”
Now, please don’t get me wrong. A job is a great way to provide our needs and others, so it matters. But, I focused too much of my time on this, which caused me to live in the future instead of the NOW.
Nowadays, my perspective has changed. Two things happened through my reevaluation in this area:
- I accepted the fact I may not be a part of the field I studied for in the way I planned.
- I accepted my status, whether employed or unemployed, doesn’t determine my identity in life.
Guess what? I am freed. My priorities have been reorganized to what’s truly important.
Encouragement For You
Even though it’s been a long wait for many of us, we must press onward. We must not live miserably and edgy but rather patiently and eagerly. We must move forward believing this is TEMPORARY for us.
From Me To You: Waiting isn’t easy, but we must wait eagerly and proactively!
How long how you been unemployed? Have you reevaluated your life in any area during this time? Share below.