Friday, December 3, 2010

People matter

If there is something that you must learn about being unemployed, it’s that being bitter about it is not going to get you further. Sure it may motivate you to push harder with your search, but ultimately learning to accept unemployment as something that is happening to you, instead of what you are, is important to staying centered. It doesn’t hurt to surround yourself with supportive people.
When I began my job search, I was crushed, to the point of not moving off the couch for days, because I didn’t get “the” job. I felt like this was why I went to college. This was the job I wanted when I began school. It had to be the one! I blamed myself and couldn’t understand what I did wrong. Did they not like me? Did I fail the test they make all prospective employees take? I was crushed as most young people are when their first love rejects them, (spoiler alert: do NOT read this next part if you still believe in the Easter Bunny) or they find out that there is no bunny that jumps around leaving baskets of candy for every boy and girl (I told you not to read that part, if you are upset it’s your own fault, also consult your parents).
It was probably a week later that one of my friends was talking about how they were going to “sell out” and take a job for a company that didn’t stand for what they believed, but it paid well. She was going back and forth, not knowing if she should stop the job as she had originally planned, since she was hired as a temp, or continue through the summer to possibly a permanent position because the money was good, and after all she was lucky to have a job when so many people (such as this girl right here) were struggling to find work. I could see that she was just as tormented as me.
She then said something to the effect of how she hoped I didn’t sell out and followed my heart to do what I wanted, which was to help others. It was then I stopped mourning the loss of the corporate job that I had thought I wanted, and decided it was time to focus on what I really wanted. Here I was looking at her like she was so lucky to be in a situation of deciding to stay or go, doing something she did not want to do, but was good at it, and she was looking at me like, “go get your dream don’t sell out!”
I always say I have the best friends. I’m lucky. They aren’t the friends that say they want to help but never do. They are the friends that saw job listings and sent them to me. They are the friends that never leave me out of anything. They are the friends that want to create traditions. The friends that came to my graduation, bridal shower, bachelorette party, and wedding, stopping in the room before the ceremony to give me a drink and a hug.
You will have days when you feel alone even with the best of friends by your side. You will feel like they have no idea what you are going through, and chances are they don’t. Why would you want them to know the struggle and pain of unemployment?! But, they are the friends that when you say you don’t have the money to spend say, “let’s all meet at my house and do potluck.” People always say how optimistic I am about my “situation” and to them I say this, it’s all about the company you keep and perspective you keep on life. I have friends who believe in me more than I believe in myself. I also have my best friend of a husband who won’t let me give up even if I wanted too! I’m very lucky. I know there are a lot of people out there who get a lot of negative feedback because people assume you did this to yourself. Tune it out. You will beat the odds, I believe in you.

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