5 Steps to Surviving Unemployment
My next door neighbor from childhood tied the knot over the weekend. The priest (I believe that is the title) made a remark I found bizarre. He said as the couple grows in their marriage, they should learn to rely on God rather than each other. Who said romance is dead? it seems like a cop out to me. If they lean on each other with grace, respect, and understanding they will be love solvent well into the century. Let God be a leaning post for the poor, hungry, and crying. The day after the wedding reception I called a studio and tried to sign up for dancing lessons. They asked if I had a partner. After hanging up and asking out former high school crushes using Facebook, I called back and told them to reserve a spot in the next available break dancing class. The next wedding I go to, “Shout” is going to get a revamp; and my shyness will hopefully not get in the way of showing off to former love interests as part of my architecture of expectations is concerned.
Seeing your friends and maybe enemies get that awesome job right out of college is sorta annoying. While you are happy for them you still wonder where and when that perfect opportunity lies for you. The first real job you have (real as in full time with insurance widgets included) will not be the same one you will have further down the road. Mobility is more American than debt; never forget that. But if that first job remains allusive, here are a few tips from personal experience that make unemployment productive and maybe even enjoyable.
1. Reunite With Family
Unless your parents are dicks, show them some love. I read one article after another that makes going home after school worse than insider trading. If your parents paid for school and kept your home warm while you lived their, be thankful and not worried that you have to move back home because you are poor and jobless. Be their friend now. Tell them about your life as an adult. You will be surprised what your parents can be like when you approach them as the adult you have become. (If you still act like a kid after school join the army and don’t go home) Show them respect and you will receive. Use this time to explore your options while connecting with these people as equals.
As i have written before after spending time with the homeless in Longwood, Florida, the base population of homeless are in that position because their families want nothing to do with them. The comfort of a loving family is priceless. Before you create your own family, connect with your parents in a way that makes up for all those stunted dinner conversations that started with “How was school today?” followed by OK and then dinner was over. This may have been only the experiences of myself but the parent-child relationship was a complete different dichotomy before college.
Even if you have very little money, not having a job is a perfect time for travel. Arm yourself with some pepper spray and make a few calls to friends that have settled in new states, and go meet them. This is not for everyone, but if you seek adventure take the plunge across state lines. You will learn what you are made of. Some of the characters you meet while traveling are more interesting and their words will stay with you longer than any others you have heard before. Hitch hike , drive, fly; do what makes you feel confident and safe and get going before you are tied down to the work week.
3. Create Art
Write, paint, draw, manufacture, start that company. Now is the chance to make your dreams come true. If you start a creative project, know what you are getting into by doing the proper research. Don’t waste your time. Use this opportunity to create something truly great. Anything you are interested in includes trade magazines and a plethora of trade publications. Work hard so that when you are finished you have something that will be worth the time and energy you have consumed. Don’t give up because it is hard. Once you start if will be hard to give up. While your friends are working away at entry levell positions, you may just create something that gets sold or published, and from there your future worth to the economy is based on you as a person, your creativity, and your passion to re-imagine the meaning of success.
If there is a job you want but you feel under qualified for, maybe because your major did not include the sort of in depth study or anything like that, than use your free time to learn a trade you are interested in. So that when you receive an entry level position you are ready to become a leader. Keep up with current events and news in your industry. Make contact’s and network. Reach out to editors in your industry and bloggers and ask if you can do a guest post. Build your publication credits. This could also include volunteering and giving back to the community. Karma for president.
People would blame the economy for their steak coming out medium rare instead of medium. Blame is bull shit. If you are blaming not having a job on the economy then follow the first step and sign up for the army. Plenty of oil rigs need workers. If you are too proud to work in fast food or doing construction go sign up to be lion food at the zoo. The economy is not producing what we want but people are. Get up and look for a job if you want one. If you don’t and just busted your ass in school or another job before you got laid off, it is acceptable to relax. If will make your work all that much better later in life. A stressful friend is a bad friend, an inept lover, a closeted alcoholic, gossip addict, drug fiend maniac. Relax and don’t complain, if you do complain, start a blog and write about it, at least you are doing something
Not having a job can be a fantastic moment to endure the pain of having little, getting back to basics, re connecting with family, and unleashing the second chapter of that elusive first novel.
Even if you do not agree with the direction your tax dollars are going or you think certain groups need to pay more or that social programs need to be increased or reduced, being unemployed is a rude existence only if looked at in a bad light. Turn the lights off, put up a lamp, and get started on the next chapter of life.