To be honest, being unemployed isn’t very attractive. As a fresh grad from journalism school, I spent the first few months finishing internships at certain big-name radio stations, which did not keep me in the end, partly because of corporate budget cuts (One program I was working at had 6 people in the team, excluding me, when I first started, when I left, they were down to three); partly probably because I wasn’t good enough? (yikes!)
I spent a month and a half traveling / taking a course overseas. I did an English major in university and I’ve always wanted to study English Literature in Britain, which I did this summer. I went to Oxford to do a Shakespeare course for a month, then took the opportunity to go to France and Italy afterwards.
Summer was glorious, and like everyone else, I did not want it to end. But here I am, back in Toronto, job-less and not a student anymore. It’s been about two months making sure I send out a certain number of resumes every day, trying to keep up with current affairs and meeting up with friends to make sure I don’t slowly rot away in my apartment.
Life is hard, but not that hard at the same time. I have to say I’m a very lucky girl. My parents are willing to fund me while I’m still looking for a job. Not to say that I don’t feel guilty. Not at all. In fact, guilt is mostly the only feeling I get for spending money these days. No more getting that latest fashion item once it goes on display at store windows. No more eating out when my friends ask me to. No more going to concerts (had to miss The XX and Sarah McLachlan in Toronto *wails* ).
So how do I go by life without a regular work schedule / career / income? I drop by at the gym every so often, make sure I get myself physically moving, that has an effect on re-energizing my otherwise stagnant mind as well. I read books that I haven’t got the chance to finish yet. I volunteer at my church a lot, which has always been something I wanted to do, but never had the chance to because I was in busy, hectic journalism school for the past four years.
Not having a job puts a person in a weird and peculiar state of mind. I feel like I’m on vacation at times, because I could sleep in and invite friends over for home cooked dinners (and that occupies my whole day at times). But then, I know that I shouldn’t be stuck in this position, that I should devote hours a day to sending out resumes, networking, building my writing portfolio, etcera etcera.
Finding motivation without a set schedule is hard. But it is in moving that we experience life. Continuing to brush up professional skills, going to meet-and-mingle events, connecting with new business contacts, even looking at various job opportunities online. That could all be really exciting.
Being unemployed doesn’t mean that you can’t move on with life. It just means that it’s a time when you can reevaluate yourself and discover what you are really passionate about in life. And work towards that.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
- JANICE YEUNG