The worst things about unemployment.

Photo from motherjones.com

Anyone who has found themself unemployed for any period of time can absolutely understand the struggle that it takes to just get through each day. It almost feels like you’re in a downward spiral staring down the choices of a lose-lose situation and there’s no possible way to dig yourself out.

There’s a lot of shitty things about being unemployed. The following being some of those things that I find to be the worst:

Family and friends who don’t know what really happened assume that it’s your fault. They believe that whatever lead to your unemployment was your own doing… that you’re the one who’s difficult to deal with, because if you weren’t, you would still have a job. Having signed an NDA means that only the people you trust most in this world get to really know what happened… and that, well that’s a very small pool of people. I can count those on less than five fingers.

Potential employers hold your lack of employment against you. There are A LOT, not all, but a lot of potential employers who form judgments about your unemployment and use that against you. Without ever asking why, they’ll simply breeze over your lack of employment and move on to the next candidate. Or, if they go so far as to ask, they won’t accept your reasoning as you’ve provided it and say something like ‘Yeah, but…’.

People think that you’re lazy and entitled if you cannot find work. With an Bachelor’s degree and nearly a decade of experience working in professional circles, when I take my resume to places like Wal-Mart and McDonalds, they ignore it. They presume that I’m just going to leave right away so I’m not a worthwhile investment in hiring. Because of this, I continue trying to apply for professional, career positions and continue making it to the last round of interviews to not be selected. People don’t see that, though. They don’t see the behind the scenes. All people see is that I’m not going to work each day and they judge me for it.

It wears you down. It’s extremely disheartening. Rejection after rejection after rejection is hard to take. The fact that you never actually get a legitimate reason for the rejection only makes it harder because you never actually get to know what you did wrong. I would really love to know what I’m doing wrong. If for nothing else but to improve my chances at the next round of interviews for the next job.

Everyone has a different opinion of what makes a good resume a good resume. As much as I love and appreciate help, everyone seems to say something different. With so many people having so many different opinions of what makes something good, how do I know what format I’m supposed to go with?

It becomes really easy to think that you’re the problem. Because, if I wasn’t the problem, I would have been hired by now, right?

I want to work. I want to contribute. I want to succeed. I know that bring a lot to the table. So I find myself feeling as though my talents are being wasted away with each passing day that I’m playing the ‘Will you please hire me?’ game.

99 thoughts on “The worst things about unemployment.

    1. Thank you ❤

      My passion is writing. I think that's how this blog was born. That being said, I'm not in any way, shape or form good enough to be making money off of that. Not trying to talk down to myself, just trying to be realistic knowing my analytics and habit of horrible spelling and grammar. I can fix my spelling and grammar if I spent more time editing, but I still need more traffic.

      I tried writing for the paper and I'm a liberal in a very conservative town and people don't really like that or want to agree with me or read what I share.

      I sound like I'm whining. I'm sorry I didn't mean it to come across that way.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. As the Leo ♌️ said to the cancer ♋️
        “ don’t talk about yourself like that!”
        I’m on a similar boat, I don’t think the goal is to make money, but it will come if you let it. I think you have potential, especially with your niche
        I say dive into your passion 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you for the suggestion. I volunteer my services – marketing, design, writing and social media for two charities that host four gala events each year (two each) as fundraisers. I’ve been doing it since 2012 and I really love it. I love that it continues to grow, that I can give them a voice and that it’s one less cost for them to worry about so that much extra money can go towards their cause.

        It’s not really something I talk about, it’s just kind of something.. you do, ya know? There’s that negative connotation that if you talk about your volunteering then you’re doing it for attention, and I didn’t ever want it to come across that way.

        I definitely agree, it builds a professional portfolio and looks great on my resume!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I feel this SO hard.
    Don’t worry, some of understand being situationally unemployed and wanting – but not being able – to work.
    It’ll happen. It took me a long time to figure it out and then go my own way…away from the paycheck/resume builders and toward my own fulfillment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You ❤

      It's taking me a long time to realize that this is where I need to be. I'm hoping that my next step comes soon. Maybe it'll hit me like a bolt of lightning. Maybe one day things will just fall into place. Here's to hoping anyways…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been in Corporate America for a number of years….not having a job sucks…seen it happen to others and been through it myself. Not the best feeling in the world…I found the best thing to do is try to not think about it and keep trying to push through. No doubt that is easier said than done. I’ve see coworkers get laid-off that were head and shoulders above my talent level…so trying to find rhyme or reason in management’s thought process is pointless…hang in there…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I hear ya! My husband was laid off 2 months ago…he’s had no luck with anyone calling him back. He is so depressed. Not to mention, I literally lost my job the day before (I was on disability for the cancer, but I messed up some paperwork and it ended). 2019 has not been a good year. I will think of you and wish you much luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What I don’t like most is the assumption that you should suffer when unemployed, living your best life while unemployed really bothers some family and friends, who don’t even know why you’re not employed. “you should be using this time and money to look for a job”…. How about you mind your business for a change!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree. As much as I realize they just want what’s best for me, I think they need to take the time to understand what’s best for me. I feel like that’s something everyone struggles with. People definitely need to mind their own business more often.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it most certainly can. It can be hard in so many aspects of life and those you’ve brought up I haven’t even touched on. Thank you for adding.

      Like

  5. On that point of people judging unemployed people as lazy & not wanting to work, I think that comes from not being able to put themselves in other people’s shoes & of ignorance. There’s a lot of ignorance about the challenges of being unemployed & a lot of prejudices out there. A lot of people seem to lazily rely on stereotypes to pigeon-hole people in (even people who’re middle-aged, they seriously need to grow the F up). What would be an interesting social experiment is to put a lot of those high-horse people who hold those views into similar situations and see how they like it. I think it would teach them a lot of humility.

    RE the resume situation; this was something I was stuck on for ages. Different people giving different advice, I ended up feeling confused and overwhelmed & not knowing what to do. Fortunately, I’ve settled on a format.

    Also, there’s the mental health parts of being unemployed; the social isolation, the feeling useless, the feeling that talent is going to waste. Things like that. For some bizarre reason it’s considered socially-acceptable to judge people by their employment status. Last time I had someone with that high-horse ‘unemployed are lazy’ attitude I quickly put them in their place by explaining what emotional needs work meets, and that when out of work we’re more likely to feel depressed and not be our best, how would you be in that situation? That seemed to shut them up and get them thinking differently.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You seem like a wise soul.

      I would say that you definitely understand the struggles with respect to mental health. Reading that paragraph you’ve written about social isolation and talents going to waste has resonated hard with me this afternoon.

      I do think more people need to really be put in this situation so that they can understand what it’s like. Maybe they’d quit with their judgmental ways if they truly knew what it felt like to simultaneously be too good for half of jobs and not good enough for the rest of jobs, to be consistently caught in the middle and to feel like you have no options.

      Here I go, ranting again. Sorry about that.

      Thank you for reading and for leaving me a little pep talk this afternoon. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I haven’t tried this myself, but have you ever considered calling an interviewer after a rejection to ask for feedback on why you weren’t chosen? If they are willing to spend a minute giving you some constructive criticism, it could turn out to be really helpful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I make it to the last rounds of consideration, when I know I’m one of the final candidates and I don’t get selected, I do ask every time. Mostly I get cop-out responses from them, or they just change the subject. I’ve never actually been given a real answer to the question.

      Someone on this blog told me a few months back that’s because they need to cover their own butt because a candidate could use their feedback as discrimination against the candidate and come after them legally. I’d never thought of it that way. And, while I do understand that perspective, I just feel like… it would be just sooooo helpful if they could tell me what I did wrong, or what I didn’t do, or what I forgot.

      I think if I ever am in the position to hire someone, I’ll be sure to provide feedback. Knowing the situation I’m in now, I know, people need feedback in order to improve.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I guess it’s important to see things from all perspectives. As much as I hate it, it’s a logical reasoning for not providing feedback.

        And thank you for the compliment! I think it’s important to be the change. There’s always room to change and be better.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. A friend of mine works at a Major Canadian airline and he says for every position, even janitorial positions, they get between 800-1200 resumes. I’m like… 800 resumes… I’m never going to get seen or recognized at that rate. So I definitely know what you mean when you say they miss out on fantastic individuals.

      Sending you some luck and positivity for your search. I hope you find something that’s right for you soon ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve only been unemployed for three weeks (although I was told two weeks before that), and even though it was a layoff and not a firing, so what happened is clearly not my fault, I think the hardest part so far is not knowing when or if someone is going to want to hire me ever again.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was very fortunate that when I lost my job during the last recession I had enough of a network to get me in the door of another company. As a former manager who hired people I recall many meetings about potential candidates for roles ( I was apart of a hiring committee) and several people did look down on those who were unemployed. You are 100% correct there. I wish you the best of luck, you’ll find something.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It sucks, the judgement. Because like… they don’t know what lead to my unemployment. Legally, I’m not allowed to tell them. But oh boy, if I told that story… let’s just say the tea would be spilled…

      Thank you for your luck. I need it and I appreciate it ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Consider submitting your work for publication? A local newspaper might be interested in a column. Are there any hobby or trade magazines you read (easier than start out in general circulation)? A byline would give you something to wave at family & potential employers. ‘I’m not unemployed. I’m a working writer.’ $0.02

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your suggestion ❤

      I would love to work as a writer. Unfortunately, I'm in a small town right now. I was hired for a job in June that was at the local paper and the job offer was rescinded in July. Being small town and the gossip that goes around, I don't think that going to them and asking about a column would be a viable option at this point in time.

      I have thought about adding ads to my wordpress blog. But, I need a lot more traffic or the dollars would be $0.02. And the cost is what, like $15 a month or something like that in Canada?

      I'm not sure. I'm exploring options for making money online. I just haven't seemed to find something I see as reputable.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, phooey. I’m no help for making money online. The majority of my writing career was dead-tree. Work it the other way? Find a reputable media outlet you like & then see what they do online?

        Like

  10. Your a fantastic writer and I really enjoy the content you produce. I know you’ll land on your feet. It’s a struggle though, I’ve been there before several times. Keep pushing and don’t take a position that isn’t worth your talent.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re a kind stranger and a good soul for giving me a pep talk this afternoon ❤ And thank you for your compliment about my blog and it's content. I appreciate your reading.

      Like

  11. I fully relate to the comment about McD’s or Wal-Mart. I tried twice to get night-fill jobs, stacking shelves part time at our local supermarket. They won’t even look at me because I’m overqualified and they think I’ll leave in a week for something better. My last day of paid work was July 1st 2016. And it’s now September 2019. I quit my last job to travel for 6 months so it’s my own fault and I had such a wonderful time that I really have no regrets. But now, looking down the barrel of my 60th birthday, and only looking for part time, not full time work – it seems that I am virtually unemployable. Plus, because I am not seeking a full time job I don’t qualify for any sort of unemployment benefit. Thankfully my wife found part time work so that pays for the basics. I have turned our lawn into productive fruit and veg gardens to help feed us, I do the housework etc and work on my writing so it’s not actually a bad life.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That sounds like my parents. My mom works at a Laundromat and my dad grows the most epic gardens each summer and basically keeps their house running and whatnot.

      I’d say that they’re happy but I also think they’re searching for something more as well. Something to excite them.

      It’s so baffling that you can’t even get a job stocking the Supermarket overnight. You would think that’s the easiest thing to do but potential employers can be real stupid. I think they take advantage of the terrible situations unemployed people find themselves in.

      Like

  12. I met this afternoon with a friend who is also out of work…..she has her master’s degree in accounting. She has been overwhelmed and embarrassed…and because of that she has felt almost paralyzed about looking for work….even though she did not lose her job due to anything related to her work (just budget cuts.) I’m trying to help her based on what I have learned in this process. One of the first things I told her was that she needed to tell everyone her situation because they can’t help her if they don’t know.

    It hasn’t been very difficult for me to be unemployed yet (even though it is eight months now), but it does get harder as time goes on. And there is certainly discrimination based on not having a job….which is certainly annoying. Hang in there and keep your confidence level up. Listen to what different people say about resumes and then pick a format you like. I suspect that a company you would fit in with best may have similar thoughts as you do as what showcases you best.

    Back when I used to hire people, I learned there is a certain element of randomness in who gets hired. I remind myself of that from time to time. The best person is not necessarily the one hired.

    I’m ready to work, but also spending some time taking advantage of having the freedom to pursue things I love. I’m not at a point yet where I am willing to settle for less in job or salary, so some of the waiting is due to that. I did open up location…..for me that was less important than those other two (even though I love where I live.) When it gets down to it, I know I am good at what I do and have a strong work ethic. I suspect the same of you. Eventually we’ll find something! In the meantime, keep filling out those applications, remind people you are looking, and take time to smell the roses.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for sharing your story. I really love hearing the stories of others, it helps me feel better about what I’m going through. Not that I am trying to capitalize on other’s struggles, just that it’s nice to not be alone.

      I agree with what you say that I should be trying to take advantage of having freedom to pursue things I love. I have a boy in Calgary that I’d like to be closer too, honestly. I think that’s where my sense of urgency comes from. I don’t have the budget to be in Calgary without the job. And I want so badly to be back there. I love Calgary and it feels like home. But I’d be open to other places if there was an opportunity. I’d even be open to working here if it got me a pay cheque for a couple months,

      I don’t know what to do about that.

      Nevertheless, thank you for reading. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for your kindness ❤ I'd love to tell everyone about what lead me to this situation but I signed an NDA, so the actual truth has to stay with me and those couple of people that I can trust to never say anything so I don't get in trouble legally. That's how you know an employer is not on the up-n-up. You have to sign an NDA in order to get severance from them… I think if people heard I had an NDA and then saw how much severance I got for what I was doing, they'd be like 'Yeah, something fishy is going on with your former workplace'. Oh, I'm rambling again, I am sorry.

      Hold on tight and do what you love in the mean time. I'm sending luck and positivity your direction as well as your friend with her Master's. Sounds like she could use some luck right about now too. She is lucky to have a friend like you.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I missed seeing a few messages and now are catching up! I had to sign things for my severance, too. No NDA, thankfully. I do have a non-compete agreement that means I can’t work on my former accounts with a competitor. That’s not a problem to me, though. They always have other accounts and it is only for two years….nine months which have passed.

        Like

  13. I too, painfully empathize with your situation. I know it is of little comfort and does not practically help when you realize that you (we) are not alone. However, I also hope you can see through so many comments that it is a very different world out there, and it is not “just us.”
    That being said, I feel your pain. Sending you my warmest wishes. I will try to ‘hang in there’ too. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the tip. I do have my resume on LinkedIn. I also have a Premium account… which is more than I want to spend each month, but I’m telling myself it’ll be worth it, at least until I find my next career move.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Back in 2016, I was unemployed for around three months and it was incredibly frustrating looking for work but no one hiring. I remember my bank account staying at 51 cents for the longest. I have a job now and I hate it and like before, I send my resume out and no one wants it. I’m looking into getting into blogging/writing/drawing full time, so I don’t have to deal with bosses holding work hostage and lousy resumes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish you much luck and success in your quest to go full time into the blogging/writing/drawing realm. I absolutely know how you feel being scared about the money, or lack thereof, in your bank account.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Looking for a job is a viscous cycle. It is almost impossible to come across as calm and collected when you are desperate for work. The more you look for work and get rejected, the more you feel like you need to prove yourself to the world, so you try harder and harder thus resulting in some kind of burnout or exhaustion.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Real question though – if I made you a hoodie and mailed it to you would you wear it? I’m making some new shirts soon and I’m making them for my friends in Vancouver and if you were willing I could make one for you too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I just make them for me and my close friends that look at this blog. It is kind of like a walking advertisement though, that’s why I always ask. You never know how people feel about stuff like that.

        I’m thinking I might make a few more before Christmas. If I do, I’ll get your size when I make them.

        Thank You!

        Like

  16. In the same boat as you. A day goes by without me feeling inadequate and hopeless, even with my skills and qualifications. I’ve recently realized having a Master’s degree is both a blessing and a curse, the latter being many entry-level jobs will turn you away for being “overqualified.” I wish employers would understand that it’s better to have someone overqualified than not for a position, especially when getting a job nowadays is just near-impossible. But I know that there will eventually be a decent job out there for me, and it’s just a matter of continuing to push on with the job applications, acquire some hard skills, and take care of my health to be good in work once I get it. Keep on pushing, despite the crappy situation!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re so right. That education line on your resume is both a blessing and a curse.

      You’re also absolutely right about how it’s better to have someone overqualified than not for the position. At least if we’re overqualified they know we can do a damn good job.

      It’s hard to take care of your health when you feel so defeated all of the time. That being said, I know it’s important and I’m going to try and take your words to heart. ❤ Thank you

      Sending you luck and positivity on the job search as well. I know you'll find the right fit for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. In the UK we have what I term the forgotten unemployed.

    Normally they are over 40
    Unemployed for 6 months or more
    have some sort of university degree

    They are forgotten because as soon as anyone looks at their CV they are over qualified, if someone manages to look further they then wonder why they hell they have been unemployed for over 6 months completely ignoring about point one, most employeers bin their CV for being over qualified.

    I really hope you find work soon, I know what a soul destorying task it can be

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I am not over forty but I fit that mold. That sounds like me to a T!

      Thank you for wish of luck, and for reading. I also hope I find something soon. I appreciate your response.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. “Family assumes it’s your fault…etc” Omg, yes. I was laid off in 2016 because the non profit couldn’t afford me, but I could see judgement in all their eyes. It’s that conservative family thing we talked about. The worst was like, “oh *wow* I wish *I* could have 5 months off too” Uhh, F**k you, mr. brother-in-law. “Potential employers…” Yes, unfortunately. See, I’m not like this. As a Recruiter I’m like, “Hell yes, they can start sooner!” but I have had to ARGUE with senior management members who see unemployment as a bad thing. Here’s another one- “job hopping”. They get judgey about that and I”m like, “Dude, this isn’t 1955… employers don’t take care of them but you expect them to stick around more than a year or two? If they do stick around beyond 2-3 years, that’s amazing and it must be a good employer….” I’ve spent a lot of time coaching middle and senior management on these issues. “Opinions / Resumes” – listen to the company recruiters. Not the ones who work for an employment agency, the HR Recruiters who work for a specific company like me. You can e-mail it to me with your fake name on it this weekend if you want, and I’ll take a look.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, my dear. I love your pep talks.

      My resume and cover letter have definitely had a lot more hits since your looking at it last time. I’ve also had three people unrelated to hiring (just nosey people in my life) say that my present layout looks ridiculous and it’s not going to help me. FYI – I haven’t listened to them. Because if my resume keeps getting hits, then it’s obviously working in it’s current layout and it’s likely my personality that needs to change. You know what I mean? I don’t mean that in a harsh way talking about myself, just that I keep making it to the final round of interviews and not getting selected – I don’t think that’s my resume, I think that’s my personality.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When you said in one post that you have resting bitch face and stuff I wondered if that’s coming across in interviews. We know you are a fantastic person, so your personality doesn’t need to change at all. But if you think you’re coming across shy or stand-offish in interviews, that’s def something to work on. The only way to get through something like that is to do a mock interview with someone. Although it’s kind of awkward and hard to do. Anyway, I just now saw this message and I hope things are going well!

        Like

      2. Yeah, I’ve had Knight help with ‘Mock Interviews’ before. But he works in a totally different industry so he can’t really help me with industry related questions – he can just tell me to sit up straight and smile and whatnot. You know what I mean? It’s a mock interview but it’s not quite a mock interview.

        Like

      3. But, that’s what matters though for Mock interviews! Not the content of the interview questions, but they’re supposed to let you know if you’re frowning too much, slouching, etc. Anybody can do it. Do a few more and tell him to be brutal ;).

        Like

  19. I’m unemployed and looking as well, but I think what I’m finding the most disheartening isn’t the rejections, its the quality of the offers I do receive that really hurt. Potential employers see my resume, with fourteen years of experience in my field and six years of exclusively office work, and they think “This guy would make a good, entry level, unskilled minimum wage machine operator”…
    I’m literally getting worse employment offers than my first job out of college :/ My self worth has really been taking a beating lately.

    Like

    1. Oh, I completely understand that! The job offer that I accepted in June, that was rescinded in July three days before my start date, it was a $10,000 pay cut from my last job and a huge cut to my job duties and responsibilities.

      Potential employers think they just… can take advantage of people who find themselves in these shitty situations. And it sucks! I am sorry for you, I know how frustrating it can be.

      Like

  20. I’ve been in that position and it truly sucks. I hope you find something soon that you will love!

    I don’t know if you use LinkedIn but there are lots of jobs on there, I’ve had a few phone calls about jobs from there xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Firstly, I am very sorry for what you are going through now! I know that even a thought of potential unemployment, or being benched as a consultant puts a lot of weight on you. However (I am a person of action, you remember?) I urge you to find somebody who is in your field and who can do some mock interviews with you. If you were in my field, I would go word by word over your last X interviews and would find, what turns potential employers away. It’s not like something is wrong with you, but you might be literally using one word instead of another.

    When I give a candidate a no-go, I can always tell what exactly didn’t work, why I decided to pass on this candidate. There should be people to help you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am thankful for your suggestions and I do absolutely know that you’re a person of action.

      I don’t really know anyone in the field that I could ask. Do you think it’d be weird if I asked strangers? I’m not even sure where I’d look, who I’d ask. I do agree that it’s a good idea, I Just don’t know how to go about it. I’m in a town where I don’t know anyone right now…

      Like

      1. I would try to explore moe your professional network. You have some now, and you should grow it more regardless. They do not have to be from your town, especially if you are looking to relocate. I which I could help more. You are not the only person in my circle who is looking for a job in marketing …

        Like

  22. Being unemployed is definitely a horrible feeling and experience to go through. I agree – the companies that bypass your resume simply thinking that you’re either overqualified or under qualified without giving you a chance is BS on their end. I’ve had interviews where I was told that I should’ve moved on up or felt that my current title at a “unicorn” company should’ve been suffice. Sending you good vibes and love your way. I know it’s hard but…don’t give up on your search. I believe in you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for understanding and for your support. I hate when they just base their judgment on you from what your last job title was. Sure work history matters, but that’s one tiny factor in what/who a person is and what they’re capable of. Ya know?

      Anyways, I’m rambling. Thank you for your support. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I’m sorry to hear that friends & family are unsupportive. I ended up doing voluntary work to give myself something to do & to try to fill that void in my cv. I hope someone recognises your potential soon.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s certainly some comfort in company & while it may seem that your friends have their lives together I doubt they all do. It’s only recently that I’m becoming aware of how many other people are struggling. Best wishes,

        Like

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