Being unemployed is hard especially when the world is moving fast and most people seem like their lives are moving whilst you’re stuck. The point is you’ll need motivation, friends, a support system to help you pull through. That’s theoretical in my case, people tend to disappear when you need them the most. It starts with you being unable to hang out because you don’t have the money to spend, then it goes to people ignoring you because you don’t have money to spend until you’re forgotten. Questions arise of your worthiness. Am I enough? So I’m only loveable when I have something?
Also Read : Lessons from unemployment
You begin to feel ashamed especially when those who were in your class seem to be advancing. Trust me, motivational talk wouldn’t help if you feel like it’s not coming from the right person. What I have realized is people have different destinies and paths in life, elevation in our respective careers is different.
In the year 2020, it seemed like getting married was a TikTok because damn most people are now wives and husbands (Congrats!). Not that marriage is an achievement but when you feel like you’re stuck and life isn’t going well for you relationships will be like a fantasy.
Also Read : 20s are hard and lonely
Life has no formula because if it did I don’t think we would wake up every morning chasing something new. We unlearn our bad habits, try new things/food/routes etc because it’s always evolving. I lost friends but I guess it’s because goals and destinies weren’t aligned. That’s okay because we grow and life moves on.
I also feel like people rarely talk about money stress and unemployment shame. Will address the mental health later, let me start with these two. When you are back to your home which the last time you were in it you were a secondary school student with no expectations from them, getting back as a graduate and a grown up who society expects should be contributing is kind of stressful. Your parents may not raise an issue but just knowing that you don’t have the money to pay bills or afford your needs cause you are a broke adult is heartbreaking and discouraging.
What about family pressure, now that you are a graduate they expect you to have figured out your life, get married or something, do something with your life other than being in your room all day. That too is hard to deal with.
Unemployment shame is something that no one should feel but we all do. Somehow our careers are attached to who we are, that’s why people ask ‘what do you do for a living?’. I don’t think it’s a right question but so just like that you find your career an important part of who you are as a person and if it doesn’t exist you kind of feel like maybe you living is not meaningful. When all of your friends get jobs and you are the only one in your street unemployed, there’s a little shame you might feel, you know you shouldn’t cause it’s not your fault and you are doing everything you can to land a job but you still feel shame.
You may end up feeling depressed, disappointed and rejected and all the other negative emotions most days. We rarely talk about mental health and unemployment, but unemployment has a way to take on your mental health. You lack peace, you get depressed, isolated or isolate yourself cause you are broke, worries about finances and future etc.
There’s also change. You were used to a routine when in college now all of a sudden you have nothing to do, you have been moving all your life from secondary school etc and now all of a sudden all of that has stopped and you are back to your room with no schedule. That change is huge, that change is painful, exciting and disorienting at the same time.
Did I talk about relationships? Yeah sometimes/most of the times this is when your college relationship ends, this is when you and your partner end things. I don’t think it’s unemployment, maybe its just the stress, everyone is just worried about their future, and maybe the distance as well.
I think the best way to deal with all of these struggles is self care, finding joy in the space and time that you are in, also allowing yourself to feel the emotions that comes with being unemployed. I also think be patient and find something meaningful to do while job hunting, something meaningful to focus on like blogging maybe. It is also important to focus on your own path, be content with your own life, compare less, be grateful for the things you have like a degree for example knowing that this life is your own, it may go a different route from what your friends are going through.. everyone has their own path in life, our timing to do different things is different.
Written by Kudzanai Matilda Kurotwi, blogger at https://blackmwanasmemoir.wordpress.com/ and Eunice.