Unemployed and Happy

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Written by
3 years ago

Why won't I be happy? When I don’t have to pay taxes! LOL, just kidding.

Don’t get the headline twisted; the happy part has nothing to do with my unemployment status. It’s just that I have adapted to my current situation and learned to find joy in the little things of my life amid my job search.

It's been three years since my graduation and I’m not yet employed, perhaps I’m not good enough or not qualified for the several positions I have been applying to. Each time I get rejected, sometimes with the promise of reaching out to me when there is another vacant position but to date, nothing positive has come from my years of job hunting. I haven’t given up, and I won’t wait around till one comes. I have found a way to adapt till when something better comes.

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How can I be happy when unemployed?

Unfortunately, being unemployed is often associated with feelings of rejection, worry, anxiety, fear, and unworthiness. And after months and years of unemployment, many will feel like they have lost all purpose in life.

I had negative feelings of worry, unworthiness and fear in my first year of job searching without success. I felt rejected and like I have lost all purpose and control in life. For two months, I gave up job hunting and practically stayed indoors most hours of the day, somewhat ashamed to go out, in order not to be mocked by my peers and foes. After a while, my action was hurting my family - mum and siblings became worried. And no income was coming in. I had to wake up from my slumber, make new plans and goals for myself. I continued my job searching - I put in application whenever there is job offering and also engaged myself in some gigs to earn money for family upkeep. I didn't do it alone, I had my mum and a close friend who were advising and encouraging me not to give up.

Now, I'm into several daily gigs that earns enough to provide essential needs for the family. Though we live on less, I can see happiness on the faces of my mum and sibling. Their happiness is mine.

Being positive and productive in unemployment is not as easy as said. I had help - the support and words of encouragement from my family and friends, as well as the desire to provide for my family.

Many unemployed people who are struggling with the status fight hard to stay positive for the people around them, but who fight for the unemployed? Who helps them?

How Do I stay positive?

Being unemployed is hard, and the depressing feeling that comes with it doesn’t go away easily. It’s an awful feeling which no one wants. I work hard to stay as positive and motivated as possible during this period of job hunt rejections with the hope that I will land a job successfully or perhaps get some capital to start up a business. Aside from the negative feelings of worry and unworthiness, the mockery from people, the social expectations, and the piling financial problems make it even harder. But I have found ways to adapt and be optimistic of better days to come.

5 Ways I Stay Positive and Productive

  1. Keeping Busy

Idle hands make fretful minds

I tend to think a lot about my situation whenever I am idle. My current goal is to find a job as soon as possible, but I always kept myself busy during this hunting and waiting period, so that doubt and sadness will not creep in. I engaged myself in part-time gigs like tutoring, weekend ushering, farming, and many others that come less often. These keep me busy and help me replace fretful thoughts with positive ones. Aside from keeping me busy and productive, it earns me some money for family and self upkeep while I look for extra sources of income. And now, read.cash has become one of my sources of income.

  1. Making my family the priority

Since dads dead, everyone in the family looks up to me as the eldest child. Their happiness comes first in my life, I always try to put up a happy face and be positive when around them, now it has become a part of me. I do it effortlessly. The desire to keep them happy fuels my hard work to earn more.

  1. Spending Time with Others

Isolating myself is never an option. I can work for 24 hours daily to keep my mind busy. I’d have free time and I like to spend it with my family and friends. A lot of my friends are employed; I can’t isolate myself in shame and avoid spending time with them. The truth is that these friends have been very supportive in their own little way. Some encourage me while a few others point me to new opportunities and gigs.

  1. Learning New Skills

The best investment is self-development. Time is the advantage of unemployed people. I don’t leave mine to waste. When I’m not working a gig or spending time with friends and family, I’m learning a new skill or updating myself with recent developments. Most of my skill learning is online and I take advantage of free resources.

  1. Picked Hobbies

Most of my evenings and nights are free, so if I’m not home chatting or playing with my siblings, or away with friends, or learning a course online, I will be away playing chess or pool at a recreational center not far from my home.

These activities also help keep me mentally and physically fit, and ready for future challenges and opportunities.

Time may be tough, but we are tougher

To anyone going through unemployment at the moment, staying happy is possible. Keep busy, stay optimistic, and be productive during your job searching and waiting period. Don’t let yourself into depression, it kills. You can be happy! Unemployment is temporary, what counts is how you make the most of the time. I wish you the best of luck in your pursuit of new opportunities.

To the employed, how is the work situation? To the unemployed, how do you stay focused and optimistic? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below.

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Written by
3 years ago


I took me about a year after graduation to get a job. It was the worst years I have had. But everything changed when I was offered a job. Keep being optimistic and productive, good days will come. Then, you will smile.

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3 years ago

I look forward to those days

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3 years ago

I can relate to being unemployed. The negative feelings to accompanies it. Every morning you will see your peers going to work, whereas you have no appointed place to be for the day.

And it gets worse when you don't have understanding parents. I have a friend, he parents often scold him about his joblessness "all you do is eat eat eat, your mates are working and earning money to take care of their family, while you are here eating our food"

It happened too often, he left the house in shame. He is yet to get a job, but he has moved to a new environment where he gets the support and encouragement he needs. Let's support one another.

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3 years ago

Thanks for sharing. Happy Valentine's Day

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3 years ago