Unemployed… jobless… out of work… so many adjectives used to describe unemployment. These all give a connotation of someone lolling (in the traditional sense of that word), about the place with nothing to do. Sadly, this idea is very, very far from the reality that faces most people in that situation.
Instead of sitting about catching up on the latest developments in Soapland or following the dramas of Jeremy Kyle, most unemployed people are out there trying to find employment in one way or another. In fact, finding work during a recession as deep and as protracted as this one is by far one of the hardest jobs anyone can do… ever.
Jobseeker is a far better adjective in my opinion; it highlights positive action, the act of being out there looking and searching for work instead of focusing on passive, helpless, victimhood. The fact is, the vocabulary we use to define or describe others and ourselves has a normative effect; meaning if we refer to ourselves in a negative way it will not be long before we see ourselves that way. Then slowly we may end up stuck in that rut.
The following are some tips to help jobseekers transition into “job-havers”.
Be and stay positive
Clichéd? Yes. Simplistic? Certainly. True? Absolutely. Looking for work is extremely tough when there are so many others out there competing with you. So, rejection has to become second nature. Remember that a refusal for a job is just that – a refusal for one job. It is not a valuation of your worth as a person. If you keep your positive attitude, you will write better applications and impress more in interviews.
After a hundred applications, several interviews, and even more PFOs, it is very easy to just give up or even go on a pause. You shouldn’t. Always keep at it. The perfect job (or at least one that pays) could come (and go), on any given day. You don’t have to be hunched over job sites constantly, but definitely try and aim to send in one application a day. Remember that applying for a job involves skill, and that the more you do it, the better you get at it.
Broaden your base
Don’t think you can only get a certain type of job. Just because you have a degree in art history and classical studies does not mean you are restricted to only working in a museum or gallery! Many companies, particularly those looking for graduates, want people from all different disciplines who can demonstrate hard work, not just people that have learned off a few course specific ‘buzzwords’ in college. Jobs are hard to come by, so there is no point in arbitrarily reducing yourself to an even narrower pool.
Applying for jobs shouldn’t be all you do, the rest of your mind needs stimulation! One way to engage those spare brain cells is to volunteer. Many charities are in dire need of help at the moment, due to a decline in philanthropy. Why not put that college education, or labour experience into good use by offering your services? It’s not all about selflessness either; volunteering will give you experience and references that can help you to establish your career.
Have a life
This can’t be underestimated! You are more than your job, or lack thereof. Friendships, family, relationships and general personal growth are all extremely important, so don’t neglect them! You may not have all the money in the world, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have all the fun in the world.