22 December 2014

I'm coming down with a case of unemployeditus.

Goodness knows I'm no GP, but recently I think I've come down with something.

 Nope, it's not that winter flu which is going around (*touch wood*). It's something called unemployeditus. It's a tricky illness because it can't be cured with a course antibiotics, lots of vitamin C and plenty of rest.

The main trigger is when you've been out of employment for a while. "Out of employment", as far as I'm concerned, counts as having little/no money and no monthly salary. You might be claiming benefits, looking for work, interning or temping. The only positive thing about unemployeditus is that it's not contagious. 

Here are the symptoms:

Your relationship with money is troublesome. You're broke, so you have to be disciplined and avoid splurging. So when you do splurge, you feel guilty. You hate that the world revolves around money, but equally you love how darn good that Starbucks Toffee Nut Latte tastes compared to the thought of beans on toast (for the third time in a week). And you suspect, nay, KNOW, it tastes all the better because it's naughty. The price is the equivalent of a day's food, after all. You're forever feeling sorry for yourself and wanting to treat yourself for how hard you're working, but know you shouldn't, but... Oh, the guilt. 

Your self-esteem takes a nose dive. You look around you and realise you have no job prospects, despite the fact that, a) you've worked you ass off for years, b) your friends and family have assured you that you're very employable and, c) Facebook demonstrates that even the people who used to skive school on a weekly basis can hold down an employment contract. The only prospects you do have are basic wage and/or expenses-only roles, and it makes you feel like crap. How are you supposed to believe in yourself when no one else believes in you? Am I even deserving of living wage?

You bounce between pickiness and desperation. A recruiter calls you with a job role that seems to match your profile and sends the job spec across to you. After reading it, you realise it's not what you're after because it sounds boring and unfulfilling. Then you spy the salary bracket, and you start bargaining with yourself. For that money I could put up with the boredom and unhappiness, right? Plenty of people do jobs they don't LOVE - it's just a means to an end; a way to pay rent. And it would mean MONEY. Money to enjoy myself and stop being a hermit. But the truth is... I'd rather stick pins in my eyes. NO THANK YOU, RECRUITER PERSON *sobs*

You rely on escapist TV shows to take your mind off things. Rather than dwelling on your depressing situation, let's put on *insert addictive TV show of choice* (mine is Gossip Girl at the moment) and watch them ruin their lives. Then I'll definitely feel so much better by comparison. You realise you really do feel so much better. Look at Jenny, repeatedly screwing over her friends and family. Jeez, Serena, if you could just say no, you wouldn't get yourself into these ridiculous situations... But I know I'd feel even better if I had Chuck Bass as a boyfriend and Blair Waldorf's wardrobe. Oh god, I'm so poor. I need pizza.

You consider jacking it all in and moving to the other side of the world. There are surely more opportunities, and of course people will love you for your accent. I'd be a hit in New York, probably even a bigger hit in Texas. I'm definitely too pale/unhealthy for California or Austalia. My body isn't bikini-ready, at all. Speaking of which, when was the last time I went to the gym? Bugger.

Your safe place is your bed. In bed, job rejections seem less painful. It's peaceful, a great place to lose yourself in your NYC fantasy, think about what you're aiming for and why you're doing what you're doing, Plus, it's the place where you can rest your weary head after a day of feeling all of the above.

Unemployeditus is EXHAUSTING. Although to an outsider it might look like you're playing a game of "Dodge the job" (working on patenting this, I think it could be 2015's next big thing) and winning, in reality you're trying to balance your constant state of self-loathing with an infectious peppiness to ensure recruiters that you're SUPER KEEN and that you'd be the PERFECT CANDIDATE if only you were given the opportunity to SHINE within their business. 

So far, the only cure I can discern is getting a job (Santa, are you reading?). Personally, to keep some of the symptoms at bay, I like to blast a bit of One Direction and eat lots of chocolate. Any other prescriptions welcome... Seriously!

Image: We Heart It


  1. It's so horrible. I went to uni because I couldn't get a job. That three years is almost up now. I'm dreading summer 2015. I had a few interviews for casual and Christmas job recently, but no luck. You start to wonder what's wrong with you, it's really horrible. One Direction does seem like a good prescription though. You've got to just try and remember you are capable and it's just recruitment processes being all wrong and people making unfair judgements about someone they don't know. xx

    1. Hi Lil!

      It is indeed horrible, but I think you've got to be realistic, kind to yourself and not give up! Good luck with job applications for 2015 :)

      Sofie x


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