Let me preface this post by saying two things:
I am not a psychiatrist or psychologist or whatever doctor might be an expert in this situation, but I think my extended time being unemployed makes me a little knowledgeable. Not to mention I wrote a paper in school on the emotional effects of unemployment. SO THERE! Take that!
Being the super private person that I am, I hate personal post, but this situation has been real for me and figured I can help someone else going through the same thing.
Those who know me personally know I’ve been unemployed for the last year. What most don’t know is how it has been a trying, stressful and somewhat crazy time in my life. I’m pretty good at putting on a smiling face and hiding my true emotions while in public. Meanwhile, at home I might be an emotional mess. I’ve only shared my emotions with a few people, because most people just can’t relate and I’m not really looking for pity. So anyways, over the past year I’ve gone through several emotional stages and wanted to share. You never know whose going through the same thing.
My first few months of employment, I took a “chilling” period and focused on taking some classes to complete my Bachelor’s degree, rather than finding a new job. To be honest, I needed a break. From the time I was 16 to 26, I always had two jobs. I was either a full time student working two part-time jobs or I worked a full time and a part-time job. So I needed a lil break #dontjudgeme. Nearing summertime, I started looking more steadily for a job and came across what I thought to be a great job. The owner “seemed” nice. Notice the quotations around seemed. They are there for a reason. (insert major side-eye here) The job was supposed to be temporary with a possibility of going permanent. #aGiftandaCurse
The job was good for the experience I gained (additions to the resume – YES), and also I met some great people who I still work/collab with and keep in touch with now. However, the week of the event, we were worked like slaves. The scene from Amistad #GiveUsFree kept playing in my head. During events, you usually have some long nights and early mornings, but I had never experienced anything like this. Imagine working a Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. the next day. And then turning around and working Sunday from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. after that. INSANE. After that experience, I was second guessing my career choice like “Do I really want to stay in events?” But that experience was not normal and was due to some major disorganization. Once the event and my assignment was over, I was elated. I could go on and on about that experience, but let me get back to topic.
Dealing with unemployment can be rough. You go through different emotional stages and can cause stress between yourself and the people you love. Most people experience the stages below.
Additional stages: Freedom, Panic, Enjoyment, Exploration, Bargaining and Concern
For me personally, my emotional stages have gone like this:
- Freedom – I was doing the running man after I found out. I had honestly wanted to leave my job for months. Although I would have rather leave on my own terms, this was the push I needed.
- Enjoyment – I enjoyed not having to do my hour+ commute every day and sleeping a little later each morning.
- Anger – This did not come until I had to apply for social services like food stamps. Seriously, having to go to the Social Services office will make you angry.
- Self-Criticism – This also came after my first visit to the Social Services office. I kept thinking “#thisCantBeLife” “How did my life get here?” “Maybe if I had a degree I would have kept my job?”
- Depression – This came in waves for me and didn’t really hit me until the money (savings & unemployment) ran out. For the majority of my life, I never experience depression, so this was something new and unusual for me.
- Panic – After the unemployment ran out I started working on a non-profit project that brought in some money to pay my bills, but when that was over and I realized I didn’t have money for rent, that’s when ISH got real.
- Worst depression/Withdrawal – I became a MAJOR negative Nancy and super emotional. My mom would call and say “Am I going to get the happy girl today or the mean girl today?”
- Acceptance/Game Plan Time
I still haven’t found a permanent full time job, but I have found a part-time and a full time temporary position. In the meantime I have been regularly applying to jobs, taking phone interviews during lunch and working on my game plan on how to never be in this situation again. I’m a serial entrepreneur, so I will continue to put in work on my businesses and hopefully soon they will be able make enough money so I don’t have to worry about a 9-5 again. I have big plans for the next year.
In the meantime…#oneDayataTime
Check back next week for my tips on how to cope with unemployment. #TruthThursdays