04/04/2014

SURVIVING UNEMPLOYMENT

During my degree I was well aware that I could face unemployment once I graduated. It petrified me and after watching my Dad spend over a year unemployed following redundancy, I vowed to myself and was absolutely adamant that I would not be without work, no matter what it was doing. Unfortunately this ended up being easier said than done as I became very unwell during October 2013 and I ended up having to leave my job in December to focus on my health. I became full on unemployed with no projects to work on, no prospect of work and I didn't even qualify for Jobseekers Allowance so I had quite literally no money to live on. This was my life for four months and to say it was difficult would be an understatement. Looking back on it I honestly don't know how I got through it; there were many many days that I would just sit and cry or scream/punch pillows. My lowest moment was when I found myself getting a rejection email from a job at McDonalds (and I mean just a general team member role, nothing fancy!) I remember sitting at my dressing table with my head in my hands thinking I have a 2:1 degree and yet I can't even get a job in McDonalds, what the fuck am I actually going to do?!

Thankfully I have some exciting things happening now and am actually starting my new job on Monday (eeee I can't wait!) but I thought I would share a few tips for anyone facing or currently experiencing unemployment. It's without a doubt the hardest thing I've ever gone through and I truthfully think you can't understand what it is like to be unemployed unless you've gone through it yourself (my Dad was the only person who really got what I was feeling) so if you're reading this and you're not unemployed, maybe it'll make you think twice about what those are dealing with that are :)


(1) GET YOURSELF SOME KIND OF POCKET MONEY:
The worst thing for me about unemployment was living on nothing. I realise this isn't the case for everyone as most people do qualify for Job Seekers Allowance, but I tried to explore different ways I could get myself a little pocket money. Signing up to be an Avon Rep seemed a perfect option to me as it doesn't cost anything to join (unlike so many of it's competitors!) You pay a £16 admin fee but this is taken from your commission so you don't have to find the money out of your own pocket, and as long as you're willing to knock on doors with the catalogues and sweet talk your friends & family into ordering their toiletries with you you have the ability to earn pretty good commission for very little effort. Another option is dropping some babysitting/dog walking cards around your neighbourhood and mention to anyone you can think of that you're free any day/evening of the week they need you. I also sold loads of my clothes on Ebay and old CDS/DVDS/Books on websites like Music Magpie. Even if you only make a little bit, it's better than nothing :)

(2) IT'S OK TO HAVE A BREAK FROM JOB HUNTING:
When you're unemployed you become so obsessed with spotting new jobs as soon as they're advertised and feeling like you have to apply for every single job you see advertised that could be vaguely appropriate for you that you can forget to take some time to do something happy. Reading endless job adverts, pouring your heart and soul into your application and then not getting a response or being rejected is the most soul destroying and emotionally draining experience, and I would sometimes reach a stage where I just couldn't bare to do it. Some days it is more beneficial for you to do something you enjoy and take a break from the job search so you can get yourself refreshed and prevent yourself from becoming overly depressed by the whole process. Job searching should be seen like a job; you get given breaks and days off from work for a reason and the same applies when you're unemployed - you have to take some time for yourself. My favourite 'me time' things to do were having a long soak in the bath with a good book, having a Harry Potter/Twilight/Disney marathon or loosing myself in a TV series (I've been through The O.C. Desperate Housewives, Made In Chelsea and half of Gossip Girl these past few months!!)


(3) FIND A WAY TO SOCIALISE:
It's so easy to shut yourself away from the world and become completely secluded whilst you're unemployed because frankly you can't afford to go out and have fun with your loved ones. However there are so many ways that you can keep yourself social without spending money, such as chatting to people through social media like twitter and facebook, having a skype chat or phone call to someone you haven't spoken to in ages, sweet talking a family member into having you round for dinner and also email/message anyone you can think of that don't know you're unemployed. You'll be amazed the power word of mouth can have and how much people are willing to help you/offer ideas, particularly previous work colleagues.

(4) DON'T GIVE UP AND NEVER LOSE FAITH IN YOURSELF:
I realise this one seems a little cheesy and it can actually be the most annoying thing to hear when you're getting constant rejections. However you have to find a way to keep yourself positive and believing something good is around the corner because it will be. You will not be unemployed forever (no matter how much it feels like you will) and whilst it's frustrating you have to just wait for the right opportunity. When you get a rejection or you don't hear back from a job remember you often don't know the reasons for this. I applied for one job which I was so sure I would get an interview for as I had a family friend putting in a good word for me; I was gutted when I didn't hear back from them but I then found out through the family friend that the person whose job it was had decided not to leave in the end. There could be a million and one reasons and you also have to remember most jobs will have hundreds of people applying to them. Although it completely sucks sometimes you have to just accept it wasn't anything you did wrong on the application, they just had too many people apply. I went three months without getting a single interview and I was reaching a pulling-my-hair-out-I-can't-go-on-like-this-stage as I couldn't go on any longer without an income, then I found out I had a fantastic work experience opportunity, a job offer and an interview for another job all on the same day! I relied a lot on inspiring quotes to keep me positive and believing that something good was around the corner and I ended up making an inspiration folder on my iphone of them all. Even though things are a lot more positive for me now I still like to read those quotes every day as they remind me of where I was and to be thankful for the good things in life every single day.




Love Holly x

14 comments:

  1. What a really lovely and inspiring post :)

    Love, B x

    www.lifemadewonderful.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much, I'm really pleased you enjoyed it :) xxxx

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  2. This is such an amazing post holly- I'm sooo happy you're starting a new job on Monday!! Xxx

    www.megsboutique.co.uk

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    1. Thank you Meg :D I'm so happy & excited, really looking forward to it :) xxxx

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  3. Very inspiring, and great shout about Avon! Congrats on new job - good luck!

    Josie xoxo | Fashion Mumblr

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    1. Thank you so much :) I'm really enjoying Avon, I love their products & think the company is brilliant :) xxxx

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  4. This is such an amazing post and you have hit the nail on the head. It can be a vicious cycle of wanting to find a job - not being able to finding one - feeling depressed - then back again. There's so many good tips in here that are really useful and should help anyone who is finding it difficult at the moment. xxx

    Miss Stylicious

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    1. Thank you so much lovely, we've chatted on Twitter but I'm really pleased you enjoyed it & found it helpful :) my heart really goes out to anyone in the same situation <3 xxxx

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  5. congrats and good luck on your new job :)
    hopefully I can find a job as soon as possible once I finish my degree!

    Vivi xx
    www.daintyhummingbird.com

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    1. Thank you so much, I can't even explain how happy I am :D really good luck with the rest of your degree & finding a job afterwards, I would definitely advise starting to apply to jobs a few months before you finish :) xxxx

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  6. How inspiring and helpful! I'm still at school so i don't need to worry about this for now, however I'm sure it'll hit everyone at some point :)

    Beauty Soup | UK Beauty Blog

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    1. Thank you so much Charlotte I'm really pleased you enjoyed it :) I definitely hope a few of the things I've said stick in people's minds if they do ever find themselves in this situation :) xxxx

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  7. This post is exactly what I needed to read this morning. I have just been rejected by 2 o my dream jobs even though I did so well in the interviews. I feel so defeated and hopeless. You give me hope that it will get better! xxx

    http://confessionalprofessionaldramaqueen.blogspot.co.uk/

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  8. Hi Holly,
    I have just came across this post and I have been unemployed for just over three years, not by choice but I had to leave work due to being diagnosed with cancer. I have been unemployed since and my diagnosis lead to a lot of complications resulting in myself having a bone marrow transplant. I am 22 and feel hopeless without a job, luckily I am accepted by ESA so I do receive some money but still living with my parents and feeling very useless. Your tips are very useful. I have tried to return to work but due to my weakened immune system and the treatment, I suffer with Chronic Fatigue and muscle pain so it seemed almost impossible.
    These tips are very useful and I will keep them in mind when applying for jobs again. A very positive and hopeful post :)
    Thank you :)
    Elisha xx
    ASpoonFULLOfSugar

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