Five Reasons why Unemployment Isn’t as Bad as You Think. ~ Jamie Morgan

Via elephant journal
on Oct 14, 2012
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Photo credit: stuartpilbrow

Nothing ruins a meet-and-greet so much as the dreaded question: “So, what are you doing these days?” when you’ve got nothing to say but, well, nothing.

I know this to be true, for I myself have been the victim of (shudder) unemployment in a recent turn of events. It hits like a ton of bricks, leading to a seemingly bottomless pit of black holes that forever hold our future. At least that’s the vision that’s haunted me in recent months.

Whatever the reason, when the capital “U” storms our lives, we crumble under the wreckage of words like failure, incapable and hopeless. We lose all sense of self-worth, self-expression and self-dignity. And we are completely unrecognizable in its wake.

It has happened to me, and I know it has happened to you or someone you care about. Without going against the purpose of the piece and sounding too pessimistic, I have yet to see an end in sight for this epidemic of unfortunate career-world mishaps.

For this reason, I think it’s valuable and essential to realize there are in fact positive outcomes from getting the boot, blindly changing careers or looking for that first foot in the door after graduation.

Here are five things that I’ve found can make the time away from work a little less daunting and a lot more rewarding.

1. Exploring your interests. Without the endless projects and tedious commitments of your former 9-5, there is both new-found time and mental space to consider what it is you would love to do. Maybe you’ve always wanted to work with people, give a hand to the environment or pick up on an old hobby you were once passionate about pursuing. It could turn into a part-time job, a volunteer opportunity or even a brand new career. It is never too late to start over.

2. Reconnecting with family and friends. By having the “luxury” of minimally stress-filled days (aside from self-induced panic, of course), you will be more open to the lives of others you may have taken for granted. You can spend time catching up, getting involved in once overlooked activities or gatherings and really growing close with the support system you’ve created over the years. If you are lucky enough to be surrounded by people that love and encourage you, you can more than make up for lost time.

3. Reflection and “you” time. This has been and always will be a struggle for most people, including myself. If the choice of unemployment was indeed yours, self-contemplation is key to figuring out where you want to go next and what will truly make you happy. On the other hand, if it wasn’t, this gives you the chance to consider new options that may better fulfill you in ways you would have never realized in your former position.

4. Making changes. Whether you’ve been looking to kick an unhealthy habit, make more of an effort with your spouse or kids, or once and for all write that tell-all book you’ve been plotting for years, this is the perfect opportunity to do so. A shift in perspective, an attitude adjustment and previously unknown freedom are the building blocks to finally take the plunge into something desirably different and creatively extraordinary.

5. Appreciation. In the first stage of unemployment, your life will come to a halt…and I mean stop. It’s an exhausting process, an emotional experience full of what-if’s and I’m-not-good-enough’s. But beyond this initial stage, you will learn to step back, appreciate the many things you do have and channel all that pent-up frustration into relaxation, to breathe, to make a step forward. It can be an eye-opening occurrence in which we come to see it doesn’t have to be the end of the world and that there is more to life than our job title.

Hopefully the above tips can help you as they’ve helped me: a glass-half-empty kind of girl growing into a believer of the best in a bad situation.

An aspiring writer, fashion enthusiast and lover of all things yoga, dance and green, Jamie recently ended a far-too-short glimpse of the world spending her days as an English teacher and soul-searcher in Madrid, Spain. She is completely fascinated by languages and cultures and won’t be satisfied until she’s seen it all. And so it begins.  



Editor: Kate Bartolotta

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5 Responses to “Five Reasons why Unemployment Isn’t as Bad as You Think. ~ Jamie Morgan”

  1. Yes, it can be difficult to talk about when you're (temporarily, always remember it's temporary) unemployed, and yet learning how to talk about the work you want to find now is a GREAT opportunity to network, or, you could call it an opportunity to connect and attract a contact, a job lead, an inspired idea for a new direction or answer to a perplexing job search question etc. etc. .. .

    I am a resume writer &job search coach, so believe me, I feel the pain of being out of work for any period of time as I hear about it regularly. I find it is a challenge for some people in this situation because others in their lives just want them to 'get out there & find a job' without understanding just how it FEELS and how hard it can be to be unemployed.

    I also fully agree with your suggestions for how to enjoy and benefit from the time that is opened up, and see it as having it's own gifts, too. Absolutely! Nice balance in the article of suggesting actions and understanding & validating how it feels to be unemployed. Sharing your post on my Facebook page, thanks!

  2. DontJudge says:

    What is it about Miss Morgan's bio that screams trust fund? None of us have any idea as to what situation she is in; she is simply providing us with a way of thinking that has worked for her during her time of unemployment. She is not telling anyone to sit around, doing whatever one may please while not applying for jobs. She is simply reminding all of us to look at the bright side. And, this article, in my opinion, provided a very positive outlook for those who are caught in an unfortunate "between jobs" state. One cannot sit around and mope, thinking "woe is me" during unemployment. It is important to remain positive as you continue to search for employment opportunities. My fiancé has been between jobs for approximately a year now and he absolutely loved this article. He has been quite depressed lately because it seems no matter how many jobs he applies for, none of them seem to lead to anything. Miss Morgan's article gave him a newfound sense of confidence and self-esteem.

  3. […] instead of physical survival, we are often focused on emotional survival. Financial survival. Social survival. Many of us take it for granted that we’re going to live to 70, 80, even 90 […]

  4. […] The belief that I am a person of worth who has something beautiful to offer this world, regardless of my employment status. […]

  5. Natascha says:

    I would like to give words of encouragement to you, BeenThere, to transcend any hardships,
    I've been there too! Not only unemployed, I did face homelessness in a foreign country.
    And I hope you could lift yourself of the dark attitude you sprayed over an article and writer who clearly shines with sincere intention.
    Reading such an article on Elephant journal made me feel passionate to continue fullfilling my happiness despite the rapids that toss my life and my welfare. Jamie Morgan's words are mindful and easing. The light she sheds and assurance she offers empathises to even the severely suffering unemployed of economic crashes.
    It is essentially the positive mind-set depicted, transcending odds with high spirits, which is applicable even to my case- as one of the many who ran away from violent or instable countries.
    Reading your comment to this article was like vividly experiencing stale, bitter catpiss staining the page- without constructive feeling and senseless

    To the producer of this written inspiration: thank you Miss Morgan.

    My story:
    I escaped Zimbabwe's struggles after highschool with a job opportunity in Switzerland. Sheer drive and luck brought me to a job and hope of a future… but when the crisis beat down on Zürich my employment was delayed on the eleventh hour. It was a shock for me and my family far away and I was not told how long I had to wait till they could hire me. Living became rationing food and trying any small job anywhere. I remember all the invaluable people and strangers who inspired me and supported me with a little care while I hunted- unemployment wasnt as bad as I thought. It can happen again… still, as they say, what doesnt kill you makes you stronger and it's always coldest before the sunrise