The Truth About Unemployment

You may have been wondering where I have been. For the past 3 weeks I have been unemployed. I handed in my notice at my job and finished on the 9th August. My plan was to start a PGCE course in Primary Teaching. I managed to secure a place at UCL for the course, to start on the 2nd September. Unfortunately, I have had to defer this offer as myself and Bradley go on holiday next week and I would be unable to get the time off.

I am hoping to start this course next year and I am currently in the process of looking for jobs back in the world of marketing. All of this means that I am unemployed at this present moment. This is the first time I have been truly unemployed. I began my job before I had graduated university, therefore I did not have the post-uni unemployment period.

When I was working full-time, I longed for a day off. I begged for days off to just chill out and not have an alarm waking me up in the morning. Now that I am unemployed, this dream has become a reality, however it feels more like a nightmare.

With unemployment comes a huge amount of guilt and anxiety. Since finishing work I have been non-stop. The first couple of weeks I focused on my university PGCE applications and prepared for my interviews and skills tests. This was a crazy couple of weeks and it felt like I barely had time to breathe. When attending these interviews and finding out that the start dates were earlier than what I had previously been informed, this was a massive barrier to my future plans. I soon learnt that I was unable to start the course this year, and I had to go back to work for another year and re-assess my choices in the near future.

This was a scary moment in my life. I did not know what I was going to do next. I felt like I had made a massive mistake and wasted all of my time. However, when I have expressed this to Brad, he reminded me why I left my previous role, and how I now have the possibility to look for something new and exciting. He is constantly reminding me to use this as my time off, as I never truly had a break after university/school.

Despite wanting a break, I can't help but feel guilty for having time off and not working. Thankfully I am in the position where money is not an issue, as I have been privileged enough to be able to save most of my income. Regardless of this, I still want to get back out there and get working. I am the kind of person who needs to ALWAYS be doing something.

I have learnt a lot since being unemployed, with the main thing being that it's not all fun and games.

So, here are 4 key truths about unemployment: 

1. Loneliness

There is nothing I hate more than waking up to an empty house. I got so used to seeing my friends at work everyday, that I now miss that element of communication and socialising. Thankfully, my nan and grandma regularly visit, my grandma has even helped me redecorate my room, which is something I had been wanting to do for a while. I have also been spending a lot of time at the gym with my friend Katie, which I have surprisingly enjoyed.

2. Not wanting to become that stereotype

When you think of unemployment, you think of someone lying on their sofa, eating and drinking everything in sight, whilst watching trashy daytime TV. Don't get me wrong, I have had the odd day where I have done that, however I have tried my best to use this free time wisely by getting active, redecorating my room, getting stuff sorted for my holiday and also looking for jobs. I really don't want to fit into that stereotype.

3. Feeling worthless, useless and ashamed

Following on from my previous point, now that I am unemployed I feel like I have no purpose. When I had a job, I had a purpose. I was needed on a daily basis to help run accounts for clients. I am now worthless, and that makes me feel ashamed to be unemployed. I feel that I am not contributing towards anything. This is why I am trying to fill my time with blogging, redecorating, exercising... literally anything to make me feel like I am actively contributing towards something.

4. Anxiety about my future

As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, I really find it hard to have a break. When I stop, that's when my mind will start to over think. Recently myself and Bradley have been speaking about our future and what we want to do with our lives as a couple. We have been speaking about moving in together within the next year or two and also plans for the near future. Now that I do not have any income, these plans have slowed down.

All of this has made me really anxious about the near future. I do not know what I will be doing in a months time, two months time or even a years time. I am constantly looking for the next thing to do and forgetting that I need to slow down and give myself a break. On top of all of this, there is the pressure from people asking when I am going to get a job. Over the next week, I will be packing for my holiday and putting the finishing touches on my new room. Once I have come back from Gran Canaria, I will be applying for the jobs that I have seen.

I need to remind myself that a short break is ok and I will hopefully get another job within the next few months. I left my previous job for a reason, and I have no regrets. It's time for me to now look for something that I will truly enjoy for years to come, and hopefully build a strong and happy future for myself and Bradley. Unemployment is not all fun and games. With unemployment comes great anxiety.

Am I alone in feeling like this? Have you been unemployed? Do you have any advice for anyone who is currently feeling like this? 

Let me know in the comments below, or tweet me @petalsofperfect

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