Everyday NhanSense – Day 32

Everyday NhanSense: Each day, I will blog about something that comes to mind. My goal is to practice writing about my hobbies, my interests, my opinions and so forth.

Day 32’s Topic: Overcoming unemployment.
To follow up on yesterday’s post, I would like to talk more about that yucky, and oh-so-hated, unemployment word.

Not having a job sucks. There is no sugarcoating it. There really aren’t a lot of ways to justify unemployment when you’re young and need to get some money in the bank to pay the bills. I am perhaps very fortunate that the bills I have to pay are minimal compared to a lot of other people. For instance, my student loan debt is quite low (it’s only four digits long), and I will pay off the rest of the debt without any stress or worry.

Other young people may not be as lucky. There are lots of college grads who leave school with a degree in hand and a mountain of student loan debt looming behind them, just waiting to crash down on them the moment they can’t keep up with the hefty monthly payments with that fixed interest rate. Is it no surprise why some college grads never really pay off the debt in a timely manner?

But what can you do? Well, most people have to get a job. And to follow the reasoning behind getting a college degree, you should get a “good” job that pays enough money to chip away at that student loan debt/other financial responsibilities. Of course, the college degree is supposed to grant you the means of getting that good job because it’s all magical and stuff.

Five years ago, being a naive moron to put it bluntly, I thought I could nab a decent and reasonable job with all the benefits in the first few months. All of my friends and peers at the time seemed to make it look easy, so I thought I was due for my own time to shine.

No sweat, I thought. I was fresh from college, eager and ready to chase after my dreams. Any employer should have welcomed me with open arms. I was just one e-mail or phone call away from getting that fateful interview that would get me ready for a “big boy” job in the real world.

It never happened. I tried. Believe me. I tried and tried. But nothing materialized. I had my chances, but I screwed up here and there.

I could blame it on my social anxiety. I could have blamed it on a lot of things. In reality, it happens. Regardless if you happen to be the best possible candidate for any given position, no matter what field, it happens. Sometimes, as a sad truth, you just slip through the cracks.

Before I sunk into a deep depression, I rejected the possibility of “settling” as some would call it. I didn’t want to waste time doing some random job any person, especially ones without a college degree, could be hired for and replaced.

I thought I was too good for that, and this in itself was part of the problem.

When I was unemployed again for two whole months, during this blog’s hiatus no less, I was starting to experience the worst feelings of the depression I felt five years ago. It was like going through a familiar nightmare that I thought went away, but it was coming back in full droves.

I think my rough outing with the first case of unemployment made me strong enough to get through this one. Yes, at first glance, some may scoff at this notion of just finding a random job. But seriously, when you just moved to a new town with limited resources, it can feel like the most challenging thing in the world.

I overcame this unemployment by trying day-after-day, always looking online or in-person to see what was out there. Eventually, I got a bite and was finally pulled away from the awful, just incredibly horrible, “jobless” situation.

When I could just set aside that crap like being a college grad and worrying about what others would think of me for getting a restaurant job, everything has been fine. In fact, they are great.

Is it worse to have a “bad” job or no job at all?

The answer is always the former, and you can take that “bad” part out as well. Even if you have to end up digging ditches by the side of the road, it’s still better than not having that j-o-b.

And I mean this with all due respect. I don’t want to sound unforgiving or harsh toward people who already feel miserable for being that sort of bum. Because you know why? I have been that kind of bum myself before, and for literally an accumulation of YEARS (notice that it’s plural) within these past five years.

The kicker? Those unemployed years were all because I didn’t want to “settle,” which I still have to put quotation marks because it’s apparently sandbagged with such a stigma of shame. Yes, it’s so shameful to go to work and earn a living. It’s so shameful to have extra cash to burn because you put in the time to clock a few extra hours on the weekend.

Yes, oh yes, it’s so shameful. But seriously, it’s not.

I wish I could just go back and slap myself for being stupid. I should have found a just-for-now job sooner, and maybe then I would have saved myself a lifetime of depression symptoms.

Who knows? Maybe had I done that, I probably could have been a professional journalist or something else entirely by now.

Instead, I had to muddle through months of having no direction, no purpose … just nothing to make me feel like a living person.

It’s kind of cool at first when you can go to bed whenever you want, while watching all your favorite shows and movies, while playing all of your video games to your heart’s content, but there’s a point when trying to convince people the novel/screenplay/whatever-it-may-be document that happens to sit on your desktop isn’t going to fool anyone anymore.

If you’re not earning money from it, you’re not working. If you have a moment to dink around, you have a moment to fill out an application or resume.

So for those of you who have that unemployment status and want to stop being part of that icky statistic, you just have to keep trying. Just keep looking. Never stop the hunt.

Remember. If you have to “settle,” it doesn’t mean you are letting yourself run into a dead end. Dead ends are those mornings you sleep in past noon because you lose your sense of structure with day-to-day life. If anything, “settling” is going to set you up for further success. Think of it as just another part of the journey, while being unemployed just means you aren’t moving.

Like I said in my previous post, I have not given up on my true goals or anything like that. It’s just smarter to work whatever you can get at the moment while letting your other stuff develop on the side.

Because honestly, do you think you can just make it big out of the blue? Statistically, it’s basically impossible to bank on something like that, whereas just getting a job to keep everything afloat is much more plausible and understandable.

Your job with your name on it, for your given situation, is out there if you look hard enough. And I am not saying this to be an upbeat, platitude-spouting optimist. That job, that ticket to your own salvation, is waiting for you. Search high, low, sideways or do whatever it takes to overcome unemployment.

“Get good. Be better.” – Nhan Fiction


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