Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Highs and Lows of Unemployment

First of all, thank you for all the sweet notes of congratulations!! I feel very, very loved. :o)
I've gotten a couple questions about coping with unemployment and everything that goes with it. Since I now consider myself experienced in the situation, I thought I'd give some insight to the highs and lows of it all.
Let me preface by saying my situation was hardly tragic. I was laid off from a job I was very unhappy with and in all seriousness, the way everything happened was the best case scenario. That being said, I was never "happy" to be unemployed. Relieved not to be in a miserable position anymore? Yes. Happy about not having a job? Not so much. That being said, here's my insight to being unemployed and how (or how not) to handle it!
*Expect for everyone to know someone. When you're unemployed, everyone wants to help. But not everyone has the resources to do so. Appreciate people's efforts and take everything with a grain of salt. If you want something done, you're gonna have to do it yourself. It's your responsibility to find a job, not anyone else's.
*Expect frustration. Unemployment is hard position to be in, end of story. Realize that depression comes with the territory. I hated having all the time in the world to travel and no money to go. Lots of time to do projects and no money to do them. All the time in the world to shop...and no money to spend. If you wanna talk about throwing someone over the edge...
Life is a Catch 22. People who can afford to buy things get them for free, large families can only afford to live in small houses while the couple with no children can live in a mansion. It makes no sense and definitely makes me think God is a man. :o) Give yourself time to feel sorry for yourself then pick yourself up.
*Expect advice...and lots of it! Whether or not this is a bad thing will depend on your mood. Everyone means well. But the pressures of unemployment are hard to understand unless you've experienced them. If you don't want to talk about it, tell people. Friends, family and acquaintances just want to help and sometimes the best thing they can do is not ask about it.
*Accomplish something. Go to the gym, do stuff around the house you've been meaning to do forever. Use this time to get into good habits. Trust me, there were many days the only thing I accomplished was making my bed or doing the dishes. But at least I accomplished something, which on bad days, was better than nothing at all.
*Be realistic. These are hard times people. Anytime I was a Drama Queen, I was quickly reminded that a lot of people are in this position. Does that help pay your bills? No. But it may help you feel not so alone. I come from a very loving and accomplished family. It's easy for me to feel like the failure. And anytime I went there, I got a "Jennifer Madeline!!! That's ridiculous and I will not listen to you talk about yourself like that! Now knock it off." If you're not getting calls for interviews, I promise 1,000 other people aren't either. And that sucks. But realize these are tough times and even when it feels like it won't ever happen, it will. Eventually.
*"You're gonna find something. It's gonna be okay." If I had a penny for every time I heard that...I started to follow up this statement with "really? when?? Do you have a crystal ball I can look into b/c quite honestly, I don't think anything will ever be okay." To say I handled myself "ungracefully" somedays is an understatement. But comes with the territory. Expect it.
*Last but not least, I'd be lying if I said I didn't take advantage of some of my many days at home. I spent a lot of time on my couch, cuddling with my dog, drinking a glass of wine at 1pm, meeting friends for a cheap lunch and laying out by my pool. Think of the things you wish you could do when you're sitting behind a desk all day...and do them. God willing, this is the only time in your life you'll get to experience this. So take advantage. Then at least you'll be able to agree with the people who say they're jealous you don't have to go to work everyday. :o)


  1. Great blog, Jen! Now try to apply the advice to all other areas of your life!

  2. Ok, this belongs in a magazine somewhere. Or an online blog that generates revenue from advertising, which means they could pay you per word or something. So well-written and insightful. :)