Written by Anastasis Knight
Illustration by Izzi Fitch
At some point in your life, it’s likely you will face unemployment. Whether it’s; struggling to find a job post-graduation, taking a break from working in the corporate world or maybe you were just fired – this is an opportunity to discover what it is you truly want to do.
At the beginning, being unemployed might seem scary, but it’s a time where you can reflect on what you want to do for the majority of your life, or even just the next few years. These five steps might help you during this time whether you are currently unemployed or will be in the future.
Give yourself some time
Remind yourself that you don’t deserve to be stuck in a job that you don’t want to do. Take your time to catch up on sleep, watch those Netflix shows you’ve been putting off and let yourself rest. This is key to truly understand what you want to do in your career because it let’s your mind relax and gives you clarity to think about what you want next.
This could be to go back to university to do a Masters or PhD, start your own company, or find your dream job in the corporate world. Giving yourself some time is something not to feel guilty about but to use effectively to reflect on what you want.
Avoiding the ‘funk’
Make sure you’re staying mentally and physically active throughout your unemployment. One thing is to exercise on a regular basis if you can. To begin with, it relieves a lot of stress and frustration about being unemployed, it helps you feel your best and gives you a more positive outlook on what is to come. As well as this, gyms can be some of the best places to network, meeting new people might lead to new opportunities.
Another way to stay out of the funk is to gain some new hobbies or reignite old hobbies, for example, painting or musical instruments. This is a good stress reliever and also gives you something to do during breaks between lengthy job applications.
It can also increase your skill set and build your CV like learning a new language – there are many different pages on facebook and free apps you can now get that help with language learning. They aren’t without their faults but it is a positive place to start if you’re worried about not developing your skills while out of work.
Don’t rush into any old job
I know a lot of us aren’t fortunate enough to live at home rent free so this stage is the most difficult of them all. But if possible, while you’re still thinking of your dream job, if you have savings to help with day-to-day expenses you could volunteer at your local charity, or a charity that is close to your heart. As well as being a worthwhile cause it also bolsters your CV to show what you did with your time off and, who knows, it could be the reason you get chosen for your dream role.
If this is not possible and you need a job to pay for rent it is possible to find part-time work that may help while still giving you time to reconsider what your dream role may be.
I feel many people may pass over this step. While you’re at work it’s often hard to keep in contact with everyone that has come into your life, but with the extra spare time you now have it’s a good idea to socialise more.
Not only is this a good morale booster as you could find that you’re home alone a lot now, but it also expands your networking circle. One of your friends might give you a lead to a position in your dream job. Even if this rekindling of friendship doesn’t lead to anything, having a strong support system around you is vital whilst unemployed.
It is extremely easy to get into a depressive state when applying for jobs you want and deserve but no one seems to be getting back to you. When this is happening, it may be because you don’t quite have the right experience for that specific role or maybe someone else was more suited.
It’s important to stay positive and motivated and have the self awareness to re-evaluate. Think of ways to acquire the skill-set needed, perhaps begin a new course if this is a possibility for you. The other option could be to apply for a less advanced role and work your way up within the company or sector. We’re still in our twenties so there’s plenty of time to keep learning and bettering ourselves with experience.
I hope these five steps have helped you while you’re unemployed or perhaps thinking of leaving a job without a back-up plan. It’s important to understand that there are many people in the same position as you and they end up finding what they want to do after being fired or quitting.
Look at Oprah, she was fired as a news anchor and became one of the most powerful women within the TV industry. With tenacity, perseverance and drive, you can achieve the role you desire.
Anastasis completed a degree in geography at Aberystwyth University in Wales. Post-graduating, he has travelled and worked in admin for a law firm. Currently, he is taking a break to apply for his more desired job.
Edited by Stephanie Kleanthous