Being unemployed blows*, and nothing anyone says can make you feel better about it. It’s only “funemployment” for like 5 minutes, and then it sucks. It’s boring, you start to doubt yourself, you start feeling desperate, you’re frustrated, and the worst part is that it feels like no one can help you. I went through months of this, with opportunities *almost* coming through, companies not responding to me, networking never paying off, and the ongoing pain of having to re-do the CV a million times over. Job searching is a full time job, and it’s exhausting.
While going through this, I started to think that maybe I wasn’t that qualified, maybe my experience wasn’t good enough, maybe it was my personality that was off-putting. When you’re questioning yourself in these respects, and self-doubt sets in, you start doing things like thinking you will compromise your values or your salary just so you can get *any job at all*. At some point, you might actually have to do this - unless you’re one of the Real Housewives you prob can’t just stay home drinking mimosas and bitching about Claudette all day forever. In the meantime, however, you will probably be sitting on the couch eating Food Panda delivery three times a day while watching River Monsters Specials and coming up with an ingenious reason not to go to the gym.
It really sucks that no one can really help you or make you feel better about this situation, however there are definitely some things to say that are better than others. For those of you on the other side, i.e. you people with ‘jobs’ and ‘careers’ and ‘a future’, here is a guide on what to say/not say:
What NOT to say to unemployed people:
|ANNOYING THING TO SAY||WHY IS THIS ANNOYING?|
|How’s the job hunt going?||IT’S GOING SHIT THANKS, BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE A JOB. Doubly annoying because I have to actually say “yeah no it’s OK, just plodding along!”. Fuck right off. Triply annoying because this is the most common Annoying Thing To Say, so you have to respond to it multiple times a day.|
|I know how you feel||Ya don’t tho. And even if you do, why would that make me feel any better?|
|Everything happens for a reason||No, it doesn’t. Sometimes you just are in a shitty situation.|
|Omg I am so JELLY you have SO MUCH FREE TIME/Just ENJOY this time off||Yeah, that doesn’t mean it’s awesome.|
|Have you tried going to networking events/applying online/some other shit idea off the top of your head?||OF COURSE I HAVE TRIED I’M NOT AN IDIOT. I’VE ALMOST DEFINITELY THOUGHT OF EVERYTHING. And I’ve definitely spent more time thinking about this than you have, since you just came up with that random idea off the top of your head and I have been thinking about this almost constantly since I became unemployed.|
|Other people are going through the same thing||Yeah, no duh, I know I’m not the only person going through this you patronizing douche canoe.|
|Don’t worry, you will find something soon!||I get that you’re just saying this because you don’t know what else to say, but just don’t. This is not helpful and this doesn’t make me feel better.|
|Believe in yourself!||Wtf is this shit? Who are you, Oprah? Oprah’s best friend Gayle? Kris Jenner? A mystic shaman? If you are not one of those people, piss right off.|
|What a great opportunity to work out and eat healthy and learn to mediate #blessed.||Gee thanks HEAPS for making me feel guilty that I am doing NONE of these things because I am super uninspired, demotivated and depressed.|
|You’re SO smart, I can’t believe no one has given you a job yet!||Yeah well, I used to think so, now I am not so sure. Thanks for bringing this up again, and for being super not helpful in the process.|
|Why not become a Lady of the Night? A Madame Butterfly, if you will.||Y’all KNOW I don’t have that kind of energy at the moment. The money may be good but it’s hard work, and I’m not sure I am up to it at the mo.|
Note, I am 100% guilty of using some of these classic one liners. Often it’s hard to know what to say to people in this situation, and you want to ask them about it because you know it’s a big deal for them and you want to show that you care. But for the most part, when your unemployed friend is hanging out with you they want to FORGET their shitty work situation, because that’s what they are thinking about the majority of the time. Mostly alone. Mostly on the couch. Mostly still watching River Monsters. Mostly in their underwear/nude. Mostly eating Korean fried chicken for 4, for 1. Mostly explaining to the Food Panda delivery guy that 6 sets of cutlery is too many. Mostly crying.
What to actually say to unemployed people:
Man that really, really sucks. This must be really hard.
I have a good contact for you. His name is [Justin Bieber] and he works in [the music industry and is super talented with great hair]. His number is [soz can’t share his number he will kill me], I will send an intro for you [no need we are besties already].
Do you want to go drink?
You can distribute this guide to your friends in a passive aggressive way, and hopefully it will shut them up. Better yet, now that you’ve got all this free time on your hands, just nip down to the library and have them laminated. It’s a great activity and will give you a sense of achievement for the day. #yourewelcomechamp
* When you actually want a job