Monday, 15 July 2013

I'm out of work and I want to cry

Looking for work sucks. Whether you've been made redundant, you're fresh out of Uni, or you're just between jobs and looking for a change, we've all been there!
It's a lonely time and frankly, whether you liked your job or not, searching for a new one is probably more boring than the lot of them put together.

It can feel even harder if you're not entirely sure which direction you want to take. But don't stress, this post is about finding a way to use this to your advantage. After all this is probably the most time you're going to have on your hands for a while, so make the most of it!

Call me Mrs Motivator! (Or not..) Here's some tips and suggestions from survival methods I've picked up over time:

Self evaluate
Write a list of all the things you've ever wanted to do in your life. Footballer? Actress? Lawyer? Hey, I'm not dissing your ambitions, this could be anything. When you're working 40+ hours a week it's so easy to forget you once had a life outside of work, so get some perspective, look at what it is you want to be doing and where you want to be; set yourself goals and work towards them, however ridiculous they may seem at the time.
And, if you really don't have a clue, check out this ingeniously fun website for endless hours of inspiration!

Learn a new skill
I'm such a skill hoarder. I love learning new things but my downfall is sticking to them. Still, being out of work is a great way to teach yourself something you've always wanted to do but never had the time to. Learn another language, teach yourself guitar, get acting lessons, or start cooking crazy recipes! Aside from being great brain trainers when you feel like you're loosing your mind on job sites, learning new skills also adds more depth to your character and makes you far more interesting when you do finally get that those job interviews rolling in.

Bit of a controversial one here, but I've heard it work for a lot of people. Some say it's a waste of time you should be spending looking for a 'proper job', but temping for me is great because you're constantly learning and adapting to new environments. You meet new people, pick up (even) more skills, you get paid a fairly decent wage, and if you impress them enough you might even get a job at the end of it. Win win!

Put yourself out there
So many people put their successes down to being in the right place at the right time. It's much easier to dazzle potential employers with your charm and wit when you're actually in the same room as them, as opposed to sat in your dressing gown at home typing out pages upon pages of desperate sounding covering letters. You need to stand out from the crowd, and the best way to do that is to network and really get yourself out there. Go to meetups, public speaking events, networking socials, gatecrash a party if you have to! (No, don't do that. But you catch my drift). Always carry personal business cards with you, always be friendly and enthusiastic, and always be as interested (and interesting) as possible. In time you're sure to meet someone who knows someone, who works for someone, who runs a company, who's eagerly awaiting for someone just like you!

Go self employed
More and more people these days are ditching the 9-5 and deciding to be their own bosses.
It has it's drawbacks of course, no pension, no paid holidays, less stability, and the dreaded self assessment tax return once a year. But once you've gotten past that, being your own boss means you can choose your hours, choose exactly where you want to work, how you want to progress with your own career, and basically only have to answer to yourself, your contractor at the time and, occasionally, HMRC (*shudders*) Don't expect instant results or an easy ride, but the flexibility, longterm job satisfaction and pride in your accomplishments will all be worth it in the end.
You can find more info for registering as self employed here and here.


Easier said than done believe me, I know. Being out of work can feel so depressing and make you feel worthless if you let it get to you, but it's important to keep focused, be positive and continuously take inspiration from all the wonderful things around you. It's so easy to slip into depression when you feel like everyone else around you belongs somewhere and you're never going to have money or a sense of belonging ever again but you will. The universe isn't that cruel.

I want to go back and slap my sad, cereal eating (why always with the cereal?!) unemployed self round the face and say pull yourself together! Because the more you start seeing what you CAN do, as opposed to what you feel you constantly keep getting knocked back for, then you can start to rebuild yourself again. Find what works for you and make it happen. Keep yourself busy, allow yourself to be inspired and please remind yourself- It won't be this way forever!

I'm going to set up an 'Inspiration' tab on this blog soon enough, so hopefully I can pull together all of the things that have helped me along the way so far and share them with you too!

I hope these have helped a little. Share your stories and your advice below!

*All images courtesy of

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Where was this when I was unemployed? No just joking you gave me good advice. I think temping is a great way to get back into work esp if you have been out for a while, in my case I ended up with a long term role which is better for me as I didn't love going from place to place. Very important not to get depressed although it is hard if you are not getting out much and getting lots of rejection plus just the general tedious job searching but good to stay positive focus on other things and still go out and see friends doing something cheap/free. Good idea to try to gain new skills, I went on a couple of courses (interview skills and job searching)and even that was nice to get out of the house and I felt like I was doing something proactive, also good to have hobbies for if they ask you about interests in an interview like they did with me.