- Robb Conlon
Don't give in...
Being out of work is hard.
It's stressful, and likely a very vulnerable and possibly embarrassing time for you in your life.
Recently, I paid a visit to Reddit's r/unemployed board, and I was deeply saddened by what I saw there... they've had to make rules about not posting suicide threats.
That's some pretty heavy stuff, and even as I browsed the board, the most recent thread was a threat to end it all.
It really hit me hard to see these people, many of whom are talented, bright, and educated, giving into this despair. I hate to say it, but it's unfortunately normal to feel incredibly down when not actively contributing to family prosperity, society, or anything that makes an impact on the world.
The line from Beauty and the Beast sums it up pretty well...
"Life is so unnerving, for a servant who's not serving...
...he's not whole without a soul to wait upon...
Ah, those good old days when we were useful...
...suddenly those good old days are gone..."
We're (thankfully) not servants, but you get my point.
This exact same thing happens to folks who are unemployed, or under employed. We as humans see our self as valuable when we contribute something to the world. When we don't it depresses us and makes sad and ugly thoughts enter our minds.
Of note, this feeling is particularly pronounced in working class men who feel they have lost status or income capability according to Forbes*. This has actually led to a rise in things associated with loss of employment including substance abuse, anger issues, and a tendency to vote populist candidates into office: see "The Donald".
The other area of note for this is that when men in particular have a loss of income and become either partly or complete dependent on their partner for financials, it has a profound impact on their well being, with men feeling the most strain when put in this situation.
Additional studies** find that even in countries such as Ireland that have superior social safety nets to the US men suffer more due to the perception that they are useless in society.
Interestingly enough, Sweden has found a way to mitigate this, but whether this is societal or cultural is not clear.
Regardless of your gender, being unemployed is rough, and if you're having thoughts of harming yourself or others as a result, we at Recruiting Hell urge you to seek help from professionals. Being depressed is not a sign of weakness or something that can just be wished away, it needs more than that.
Remember, you are worth it. You are worthwhile to so many people on this planet.
Spouse, kids, parents, friends, colleagues (yes, you can still have colleagues while being unemployed), your community.
Every human being is a unique and amazing creation. Stay strong and remember that every day.
This unemployment thing is indeed a marathon, not a sprint. It's OK to get tired, or unhappy, but it's not OK to quit the race all together on any front.
You. Are. Worth it.