LIFE UPDATE: Unemployment!

Alas, we have reached the end of another life chapter. A long-awaited verdict came in yesterday morning and I can now announce that I am now unemployed. The finality of this decision is just starting to sink in, twenty-four hours later, but I have had the loving support of family and friends to help lessen the blow. An additional bonus is the flurry of supportive messages I unexpectedly received today from my former colleagues, who hadn’t expected my abrupt departure.

I am fondly reflecting on the amazing connections I have made with people over the last year and a bit, and also looking back on the skills I’ve acquired as well as finessed during my time as an editorial associate. I have worked very, very hard within this role and know wholeheartedly that I gave my all to the position, and so I am able to move forward with the full awareness that I committed myself as an employee and took advantage of all learning opportunities extended to me.

It is a particularly difficult time to be without work: COVID-19 is a rollercoaster ride and has only further complicated the process of snagging interviews and putting your best foot forward for new (very elusive) opportunities. That being said, I am grateful to be in circumstances that don’t necessitate putting immense amounts of pressure/stress on myself in order to snap up another role ASAP (though my brain will do this anyhow, as that’s just how I roll). I am privileged to be living at home without a mortgage to pay off or mouths to feed, and I stealthily made contingency savings so that I can still make some plans for when lockdown has been rescinded and “normal” life resumes. It is important to have things to look forward to, especially as a hermit with agoraphobic tendencies at a time like this!

My resolve is to focus on my wellbeing and to fill my time doing what I always do: read, write and pick up some new skills/qualifications while I have the time. Everything is impermanent and my goal is to remember that this rule also applies to unemployment, no matter how frustrated or deflated I may feel by the ongoing rejection of fruitless applications.

I have heard every cliche in the book and I am reassured by the words, as cheesy as they may be. I know from past experience that I have managed to navigate periods of unemployment, and that I will come out of this stronger if I take care of myself and don’t let the underconfidence fester. “Everything happens for a reason” and “as one door closes, another opens”. But most importantly, and without trivialising the gratification a career can provide a person (I’m all too aware!), it is crucial to remember that the world has not stopped turning due to unemployment as a job is just a job. My dad put this beautifully into perspective yesterday as he gave me the one-on-one cheerleader pep-talk that only dads can give: the end of a job isn’t the end of a life, this could very well be an opportunity in disguise. So I am trying my very hardest to look at this situation with only positivity, as that’s all I want to receive, in turn, from the universe.

If COVID-19 has taught me anything, it is that there are twists and turns galore in life, and that we can’t take for granted the essential things like health, wellbeing and love. I may be unemployed but I have nothing but love behind me, and with that I am invincible! I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead.

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