Monday, 10 March 2014

Unemployment, A Personal Perspective

When I was made redundant at the end of November last year I optimistically thought getting a new would not be too much of an issue.

After all I am relatively well qualified, plentiful in terms of experience and a person with a lot to offer many different firms. Unfortunately the reality has been somewhat different and so I thought it worth sharing my thoughts on the experience so far.

The whole experience is mentally challenging. Many times I have myself slipping deeper into frustration and a sense of worthlessness, thankfully I can, usually, recognise the signs of when this is happening and manage to readjust my thinking but I imagine there are many people out there, in the same boat, who do not realise what is happening and that their mental health is becoming seriously challenged.

One reason is the apparent invisibility that you take on as an unemployed person. Endless applications seem to be swallowed by a black hole where you receive absolutely no acknowledgement of your application or any response, even to tell you that you do not have the job. The rare occasion that rejections are actually received they are so impersonal, automated messages that leave with no idea of why you have been rejected. Without this knowledge it is difficult to know what to do in the future to try and at least secure yourself an interview.

The more you fail to generate any sort of responses the more you feel invisible, frustrated and, at times, even stupid.

Added to this obviously is the pre-election fever by Government politicians keen to tell us that the economy is growing and more jobs are being created, well if that is the case where is mine! Or, if you are in a darker mood, why can’t I find one of those new jobs, why does nobody want to employ me?

Added to this is the technological age’s job searching methods that prove to be frustrating and exasperating. There are so many jobs websites nowadays and there is a need to check many of them just to try and ensure that you miss nothing yet at the same time many of these sites overlap so you find yourself looking at the same job a number of times because all sites are carrying it. The when you do try to apply you are redirected a number of times only to find that you don’t have all the criteria they are after anyway!

The worst of the sites is, undoubtedly, the Governments own Universal Jobmatch. Although it has been in the news for allegedly offering sex jobs it is also a haven for multi-level marketing jobs which disguise themselves with an imaginative variety of different job titles to lure you in. The site also fails in helping you match work to your skills, currently it is recommending, for me, a Head Chef role and a Veterinary role, despite being qualified in neither!

Obviously none of this is good for the soul and the longer it goes the more soul destroying it becomes.
Yet despite that it must be treated as a learning experience and I encourage anyone sinking in the same boat right now to put your lifejacket on and not get dragged down by the feelings of isolation, worthlessness and rejection.

To fellow job hunters – good luck and keep positive. To everyone else “I can do that, give us a job”


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