Unemployment, Your Friend In Disguise

Unemployment pretty much conjures up negative thoughts.

No job. No stability. No income. Nothing.

It’s the word that many people simply try to avoid.

But that’s it. Unemployment forces you to reevaluate yourself. It causes you to stop in life and think about what is most important to you.

Imagine always being employed forever with the same job. What does that do? It only gives you a false sense of stability. Your mind and creativity may also lack any ability to develop further.

When you lose that stability, you think of what is most important to you in your life.

On the dark side, you may go through a time where you hate others. You may start to blame others for your joblessness. And then you may begin to complain and blame the government or that bad interviewer for screwing up your chances on landing a job.

It doesn't matter what your background story is leading up to your unemployed self, I’ll tell you straight up. Just STOP.

If you need to vent, let it all out on a punching bag, or scream at the top of your lungs in an empty room. Venting and letting out the emotions is good.

But don’t point fingers at anyone else. Because no one else is responsible for your career and self-development, but yourself!

When you understand the above point, then you’re well on your way towards moving yourself out of unemployment.

What’s next? Now that you are taking control of your own interests and career, you’ll start exploring other options.

Your mind wants more, and you’ll get more. You’ll find new ways to network. Or you’ll find new places to travel. Or you’ll find new passions that you only had dreamed about doing, but now have the open time to do.

Now what about money?

I understand the need to pay your various bills, student loans, car payments, or monthly rent. But during the unemployment period, you will have to make some sacrifices, as painful as it sounds.

For saving on rent, my tip, suck-it up, and ask your parents nicely to move back in if there is no other place where you can stay for free. Yes, some may look down upon this, but honestly, its a great way to save money, and start planning your next big move. I did it right after I graduated from college, and stayed there for over a year, while traveling, building upon my interests, and networking with creative & business professionals, before I ended up finding a job.

If you can’t stay at your parent’s place (or you absolutely don’t get along with them), stay with friends for sometime, and be extra nice to them ;).

As for your other daily expenses, I’d recommend becoming a minimalist.

You’ll just have to eat out and shop for clothing less often. Unemployment teaches you to value your money, when before, you might have not thought twice to buy that expensive leather jacket at some department store.

The points above, touched upon having money, by saving & cutting costs … but what are some “actual” ways to earn income?

Whatever you decide, do it! Don’t worry about failing, or wasting your time.

While I was unemployed, I took crazy chances, buying an unlimited flight pass for $499 with JetBlue to travel across the United States, and connect with like-minded travel enthusiasts. That’s when I discovered I loved traveling, and immersed myself with the travel community … and discovered Couchsurfing, and even won a free flight to Europe. Unemployment, was truly my friend and blessing in disguise. It woke me up.

And I hope, it wakes you up too!

Overall, during unemployment, you know the feeling of being mentally and emotionally tested. I won’t need to dwell on that more.

Many break-down. Crumble under the pressure of failing many times. And give up.

But you just have to pick yourself up and move on towards the next opportunity. Be strong. The faster you learn to pick yourself up and not dwell on the failure, the better you will get at finding that right opportunity.

Harrison Tsai, Chief Information Officer at Lawrence Blake Group International. Learn more about Harrison at www.lawrenceblake.com/executivestaff