My eyes creep open to the single streak of sunlight cutting through the room announcing the day has already begun. Clearly I didn’t shut the curtains properly last night. There is a calm about the house. It has settled itself after the firstlight frenzy that is the rush to work. Still snuggled within my bedsheets I toy with postponing the day further still. Afterall, I do not need to be anywhere today just like yesterday and the day before.
Yet… no. Somewhere in the depths of my mind the best version of myself stirs and drags my half-awake self out of bed. The hardest bit is over now. I may have no place to be and so little money it makes leaving the house seem pointless but I do have plenty to occupy my mind. What I find has escaped me however, is the motivation to do any of it. It seems I have full blown job search blues.
It’s a common affliction for those who find that their search for a new job becomes their actual job for an albeit pitiful amount of compensation. That is if you ever receive your payment. I am 6 weeks into my claim and still no money – rest assured I will be on the phone tomorrow morning.
The optimism that races through your veins at the beginning of the job hunt that fuels your extensive searches and research and the thirst for filling in multiple applications per day has dissipated. That potential future you saw is as elusive as ever. You are completely fed up of companies ghosting you (yes this happens) and repeating the same lines to recruiter after recruiter. Frustrated that despite the positive interview feedback you get, you are still jobless the question creeps into your head.
‘What is the point?’
The most dangerous of questions with no real answer. Yet ask it too often and you risk finding yourself in a dark place. It’s no surprise that a study in 2015 found that unemployment was responsible for an average of 45,000 deaths worldwide, per year, between the years 2000-2011 (you can find the study here).
I made a pact with myself a while back now that I would do everything in my power to never return to that darkest of places. I have ventured down that road a few times since then after finding my path blocked. Piled high with rocks, boulders and fallen trees with a mass of tangled branches and vines. Seemingly impenetrable. I’ve learnt to recognise that uneasy feeling, you know when your gut tells you that something isn’t quite right, and to fight. To fight hard if needs be. To leave that path and carve a new one, a better one. Better than any of the other roads that I have travelled so far.
That is what I must do today. Fight on. Yes, the thought of trawling the internet and newspapers for jobs does not excite me but if I give in now then there is no chance of finding a job that will. Instead I set myself 2 goals for the day. Just 2 because even on the darkest of days I can fight my way to completing 2 tasks. I then feel like I have achieved something and the day wasn’t a complete waste.
Before returning to my soft, fluffy pillow haven as the darkness of the night settles I make sure to count the days wins. Even the smallest of wins like getting dressed or answering 1 email. They all add up to progress. Moving towards the place that I want to be and while the darkness of the night now surrounds me, the darkness in my mind is a little lighter.
This post is part of the Job Hunting series.
Other posts in this series include;
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