In a Reverb Press op-ed piece I came across last week, Lorelei describes being unemployed in the following way:
“Being Unemployed Is Like a Slow-Motion Heart Attack.” – Lorelei, Reverb Press
The writer presents an accurate reality of unemployment. So accurate, I can’t deny it.
You can check out more by clicking the link below:
Lorelei, Being Unemployed Is Like a Slow-Motion Heart Attack │ Reverb Press
Still, I decided to make the most of my unemployment time. I decided to continue my growth and development as a person.
Reflecting upon this growth, I’m aware of the qualities I’ve strengthened (and am strengthening) throughout this period. Qualities beneficial to me now – and will prove beneficial in my next position also.
Below, I’ll share these 8 qualities. I hope you find them relevant and useful for pursuing in your situation as well.
I’ve referred to resilience several times on this blog. As a resilient person, you don’t run away from these challenges – though you might want to escape them at times.
You know you must make changes to your perspective and keep moving ahead. Persevere.
With resilience, you’re able to bounce back quicker from job rejections. You’re able to bounce back when life doesn’t go as planned – and adapt. You’re able to remain focused and hopeful in this tough situation.
In my case, for example, I no longer worry about what’ll happen if I don’t get the job I applied for. Why? Because I believe there’s an opportunity somewhere.
I no longer worry what my future will look like. Why? Because I believe everything will work out fine.
I’ll confess something, however: I’m still strengthening this area. Building resilience isn’t easy, but it’s an important part of this journey.
I’m sure you’ve heard the following on more than one occasion:
Persons experiencing unemployment are considered unemployable after being out of work for 6 months and longer.
Companies are reluctant to hire the long-term unemployed.
It takes courage to not give into the following belief: you’re unemployable. It takes to courage to remember you’re gifted and skilled – regardless of others’ beliefs and a lengthy period out of the workforce.
It takes courage to face the challenges of unemployment and job searching daily. It takes courage to do what you can to better yourself.
It takes courage to preserve gracefully through this challenge of uncertainty. So, why not profess this courage and practice it daily?
You need tenacity in order to survive unemployment and the job search. With so many rejections and disappointments, it’s easy to lose your motivation to continue looking for a job – and seeking out alternatives.
You experience frustration – especially in the job search, but with tenacity, you’re able to work through this frustration. You won’t let these employment rejections bring you down.
Tenacity assists you with moving forward. The determination is there, and you keep going.
Positivity – Attitude and Outlook.
Long-term unemployment is hard. It’s challenging.
But, you shouldn’t let it get you down – and hold you back. Dwelling on how you became unemployed and what you could’ve done to prevent it won’t allow you to move forward like you should.
Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with awareness, but you can’t focus on these things. You also can’t focus on the bleakness of the economy.
Maintain a positive attitude and outlook instead. Continue working toward accomplishing your goal of securing your next position.
Practice gratitude daily.
Stay away from negativity, which includes your negative self-talk. Realize everyone won’t empathize or encourage you. Don’t, however, let criticism get you down.
Don’t stay in those discouraging moments – get past them and continue moving onward.
Will it be easy to stay positive while unemployed? No. Remember, I’m speaking from the position of a prolonged job seeker.
But, I’ve learned negativity doesn’t help. I changed how I viewed myself from the failure perspective and see this whole situation as a learning opportunity.
It all comes down to this:
Your attitude and outlook matters in transition.
Will you choose to move forward positively or negatively? I suggest the former.
While looking for a job, your best efforts are required. You must commit to activities associated with finding a job (periods of research included).
For the diligent job seeker, the focus is on quality as opposed to quantity. She/he understands mass applications aren’t the answer and won’t land her/him a job quickly.
She/he also knows laziness won’t cut it.
Diligence is worthy of pursuit.
I’ll add something here:
Contrary to popular belief, many people experiencing unemployment understand this.
Not every unemployed person is out shopping or at home watching TV all day. Not every unemployed person is picky or just don’t want to work.
Many of us going through unemployment engage in job search activities, learn as much as we can about job searching, and focus on improving as a job seeker – where necessary – because we know we need a job.
Many of us are struggling to find a job. Who would’ve thought it’d take so long to land one?
In the beginning of my job search, as I’ve mentioned before, I felt this rush to secure a job. I desired to provide my needs and meet my financial obligations – right away.
This rush led me to overreacting. I spent too much of my time engaged in job search activities and burned out.
Though I no longer overreact, the results remain the same:
No job offer.
Rejection after rejection.
Let down after let down.
Despite a targeted approach to finding a job.
Have you set a goal of having a job by a certain date, but didn’t get the desired result?
And, I learned: Patience is required. It’s part of the process.
You need patience to remain optimistic in your job search – believing something will come along in one way or another.
Patience to remain optimistic in unemployment – believing things will work out fine – at some point.
Patience to see this situation through.
Upon becoming jobless, you lose the structure associated with a job or academia. In order to avoid inefficiency, you should add structure to your day.
Consider a daily routine with organized plans – allowing room for flexibility. As suggested in a previous post, you can create a morning schedule for job searching and an evening schedule for investment in other activities.
Or vice versa.
I must note: Efficiency requires staying away from the mass applications approach. If you want to be more efficient, you should focus on finding the right career opportunity for you and customizing your application materials accordingly.
Another note: Efficiency also requires taking breaks when you need them. After job searching for so long, you must disconnect daily. I learned the hard way.
Engaging in activities outside of the job search is an important part of your self-care during this time. Step away to do something positive, such as reading, writing, exercising, cooking, cleaning, or something else you enjoy.
These things will bring more effectiveness to your job search – and your life.
Don’t neglect resourcefulness while searching for a job. It’s helpful.
Instead of focusing on what you can’t control in your job hunt, focus on what you can.
Remain proactive and take action where you can. Being resourceful includes:
- Improving your job search strategies through evaluation – where necessary.
- Identifying organizations of interest and applying to jobs matching your qualifications.
- Seeking feedback from interviewers for improvement in job interviewing.
- Updating your resumes and cover letters. Consider allowing your voice to speak through.
I suggest these things to you because these are a few ways I’ve been resourceful.
When you’re resourceful in the job search, you also give yourself the best chance to at least interview for targeted positions.
From Me to You: If you haven’t already done so, then I hope you’ll pursue these qualities as you move forward through unemployment. Don’t let this challenging situation keep you from growth and development.
Strengthening these qualities has proven useful for me as I’ve been moving through unemployment and the job search. I think they’ll prove beneficial for you also.
Evaluate them and see!
Disclaimer: This article contains an outgoing link to the work of Lorelei on the Reverb Press website.
P. S. What qualities have you developed throughout unemployment? What would you add to this list? Please share by leaving a comment.