It’s been almost 10 weeks since I was made redundant. If you read my tweets you will know that after a few interviews, 100’s of job applications and what seems like 10000 registrations with recruitment agencies later the chances of me finding a job are slim to none, even if it’s one I hate. I am quite surprised that even temp jobs require experience; I mean how hard can it be to do reception work when you’ve worked in a Call Centre for three years?
I thought I would share with you some of the things I hate and some of the things I love about being unemployed. Let’s start with the bad stuff first.
Nomophobia (the fear of being without a mobile device)
I can’t go anywhere without my phone. Like literally, before I would have to left my phone at home when I went to the gym, turn it off at night, leave it at home if I’m popping to the shops but now I sleep with it next to my pillow because of early morning calls from agencies that I am scared I will miss. On the upside people used to moan about me not getting back to them and now I reply too quickly and expect people to do the same! I think it comes down to paranoia, what if I miss a really exciting opportunity. Well they can always leave a message if it is that important and you can call back.
No Disposable Income
I have had to stop going out that includes trips to the cinema, nights out, cancel my gym memberships, lovefilm and everything else that costs money. I have gone to the pub now and then and my poor friends and family have bought me wine and lunches. Thank you all! You know who you are and I will treat you as soon as I get a job. It is quite disheartening. I try to treat myself now and then but it is very sporadic and I hate saying no to people when I get asked to go out and I can’t because I simply can’t afford to. I don’t think people realise the strain not having a job puts on your resources when you have daily costs like petrol to pay for. I recently had my MOT and even though it passed it needs new tires and an oil leak needs fixing. Also my Road Tax was due and the cost for both just horrific. It even costs me money to go to the Job Centre!
Lack of Motivation
Sometimes as hard as you try, you can’t motivate yourself to apply for jobs. For example yesterday I literally applied for 20 jobs, rang all the agencies I have been in contact with since June to beg for new opportunities and today I just got up late, went for a walk and wrote this blog, I just wasn’t motivated to apply because it is exhausting. This isn’t a good thing because you might miss out on a good opportunity. But you need to keep yourself sane so a day of doing nothing here and there is okay. I think this is something also to do with boredom. You can get tired, fed up, frustrated and utterly bored of looking for jobs online, looking for jobs at the job centre, calling agencies and trawling through newspapers to search for any open opportunity.
Busy busy busy!
I have been lucky in the sense that I have a friend who is also unemployed so have been able to pop round there and help her with some marketing stuff for her new business venture. I have had my niece and nephew staying with us and a family wedding which have kept me very busy in between job hunting but now that the wedding is over, the kids are back at school and everyone is starting new jobs it gets a little frustrating just doing nothing but job hunting so it is important to keep yourself busy. I must say there is only so much time you can dedicate to yourself, only so much day time TV you can watch, only so many films to watch, books to read and my nails have never been so manicured!
The Low Phase and Irritation
There are other small things like becoming irritated at the smallest things. Having those days when you feel low. Your self-esteem is obviously knocked when you have been out of work and rejected from interviews but those days will come and you have to accept it. There might have been a person with a year’s more experience, who has a master’s degree or was just liked better by the employer. Accept them, smile and move on.
Ok, now the good parts
Learn something new
You have plenty of time to develop your skills. Lots of places do free or very low cost courses so using this time to learn something new is ideal.
Spend time with family
My niece and nephew come to stay with us for two weeks a year during their summer holidays, normally I am at work but this time I was able to spend time with them, as the weather was nice take them to the park and teach them how to play badminton. Also my cousin got married so in the run up to the wedding it was nice to be involved and post wedding in the days leading up to their honeymoon while my cousin was at work I was able to bond with my new Bhabhi… (sister in law) over wine of course.
Lazy days and catching up with nature
Remember those bags under my eyes, well because I have had so much sleep and my skin is super healthy and the bags have disappeared. Duvet days have been a plenty, lie ins, late nights; normally they would’ve been a worry but those days are nowhere to be seen so I can’t do anything but take advantage.
Since I have had to quit the gym I have taken up running (well jogging/walking which then turns into a bit of running) near the embankment (in Nottingham, not to be confused with an area in London with the same name) it has been lovely to run by the river with fellow runners, this really inspires me. I do miss pin class and the cross trainer though!
The world is your oyster (card)
I have been able to catch up with friends when I do have a tiny bit of cash. When I was in London it was easy to jump on the tube and meet people but I realised the costs do mount up so have tried to combine meetings with employers and meetings with friends on the same day. I can meet friends and family for lunch on weekdays and not worry about rushing back to work.
Also I have been meaning to catch up with people; one in particular is a friend who lives in the North West. I wouldn’t usually have had time to visit on a weeknight but seeing as no night is a school night (for me anyway) I can take a drive up, have a wander round the Trafford Centre ( not buy anything!), catch up and come back at my leisure.
In the nicest way there is nothing stopping me from moving literally anywhere; London, Leeds, Bristol, Birmingham, Leicester, Manchester, Newcastle as well as of course Nottingham are all places I have applied for jobs. The main dream is still London but it would be stupid not to apply for jobs in big cities and look at them as stepping stones.
I just want to thank everyone who has been there for me. I only decided to start writing this blog today and it has turned into quite a major piece. Friends, family, recruiters and even strangers on Twitter/Facebook if you have supported and helped me in even a small way I salute you.
The next step is just to keep going and in the meantime Christmas temp jobs are coming up so I might even start applying for those!