On being unemployed

I have been in the UK for three weeks. For the first week or two, I was so busy unpacking and organizing the apartment that I didn’t really mind not having a job. After all I had plenty to keep myself busy with. In fact, I was so busy, I didn’t even write any job applications for two weeks. Living in an apartment that was cluttered with moving boxes was stressful for me, so I couldn’t really rest until I was done unpacking.

Then, last week, after I was done unpacking and our apartment finally started looking like a home, I finally sat down and started job hunting again. I have applied for 14 jobs since then – and I am getting impatient. I know that it has only been a little over a week. I know that many of the vacancies had closing dates that are still in the future. But it is so frustrating not to hear back from any of them. (Well, I did hear back from one that the vacancy had been filled already.)

I figured that after a week or two off work, I would probably get bored with being at home all day. But it isn’t even being bored per se, I can think of plenty of things to keep myself occupied with – and I don’t even usually turn the TV on during daytime – I just hate not having a job. I hate being dependent on N. seeing as I don’t get unemployment benefits. I hate worrying about money. And most of all, I hate not knowing when this will end. It’s really the uncertainty that gets me the most. I would be fine with being unemployed for a few more weeks if I knew I had a job lined up for May or June. But I don’t. I could have a job next week, for all I know – or it could be weeks and weeks, and we could really be struggling financially for who knows how long. I hate being responsible for this stress in our lives, and I hate not being in control, not feeling like I am doing enough, because how could I be doing enough when I still don’t have a job yet?

And then I remind myself that I only started writing job applications again last week. It takes more than a few days to find a job, in fact it would be a miracle if I found one within a week. In hindsight, I really regret not writing any job applications during my first two weeks here. I didn’t really consider how long it can take to hear back on applications, how long of a process it can be from applying for a job to actually starting work. It took 2 1/2 months from when I first interviewed for my last job to when I actually started working there. And that is not even taking in consideration how long it can take to find a job in the first place.

I am willing to do temp jobs, anything really (well, not quite anything, but you get what I mean) to be employed and have an income. I have started applying for jobs that are a little different from what I really want to be doing. I know that all that matters right now is getting my foot in the door – even if it’s not quite the right door – having an income and gaining UK work experience. I can find the ideal job later.

All I can do is my best. And hopefully something will come through soon.

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9 thoughts on “On being unemployed

  1. Oh the uncertainty is definitely the worst aspect of being unemployed, with money worries in second place I would say. But as you already said, you’re only just getting started and your English is fluent, which shouldn’t be a problem, so here’s hoping you’ll be employed again soon!

    Oh by the way, I thought some more about decorating on a budget (me being in the same boat). Quick question: can you knit?

    • I hope so! It is good that I don’t really have to worry about my language skills, but at the same time a lot of my experience is in copywriting, but who would employ a non-native speaking copywriter, no matter how good my English is? I do think it’s a bit of a disadvantage.

      Unfortunately I have no skills in that department whatsoever, I only ever knitted roughly one tenth of a scarf when I had to in 5th or 6th grade.

      • I think foreign students of English should be warned that the English speaking world underestimates their language abilities in general and that getting a job can be difficult. But I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

        Shame about the knitting, but I do understand. I only took up knitting again last year.

  2. I definitely understand your frustration. After I moved back to the States after getting married, I didn’t have a job either and it totally wore me down. I thought the same thing: I wouldn’t mind to be unemployed for a few weeks, if I KNEW that a job was lined up in the future. The limbo is the worst part.

    I am keeping my fingers crossed that your applications will pay off soon!

  3. It’s not been that long ago for me and I hope you will find something faster than I did. Maybe it will be a bit better because London is so huge and I suppose there is, related to size, that much more competition. I never counted how many applications I wrote, but they were well into the triple digits. And really, the only way I found to get any interviews was through great recruiters…..and damn, you already had one interview, even if it didn’t work out. So that’s good, right?

    My experience: I barely ever got an answer back for jobs I applied for unless it was automated, which doesn’t count. The only way I would get feedback was when worked with a recruiter…obviously. Since they hound the people down. Unemployment is just high here. But recently I was in a position to hire and have to say I was surprised how few properly qualified people came through my door. The hell. where are the ones who were laid off from companies and have great qualifications. I did succeed eventually.

    I agree on copywriting…..I won’t lie, I wouldn’t hire a non-native copy writer probably. I wouldn’t hire myself as a copy writer and I worked as a freaking newspaper reporter in the US for 4 years, but I obviously had an editor who went over my stuff and thankfully was told that compared to my colleagues I was actually right middle of the road (ha! Meaning there were native speakers worse than me) , so think of ways you can capitalize on your dual language abilities. Are there any recruiting companies that focus on bi-lingual or multi-lingual candidates (like Eurolondon for example)?

    And really really really. I so feel your pain about being dependent on someone and not being eligible for any unemployment benefits, even if they are ever so small. But it’s only been a short while and I am sure both of you planned on this, while that only helps marginally psychologically, it is really something to keep in mind. It might take a month or 3, but you will find something! Good, qualified, experienced people who want to find work, always find work. I am convinced of that. It has always been true for me.

  4. Fingers crossed chickie!! I agree with all the other comments and I have a lot of faith in you! Hope you can stay strong and confident and something pops up soon!!

  5. You are definitely on the right track, dear! I feel your frustration and while the uncertainty may be depressing at times, you are driven and eager to get out there and impress others. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you!

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