Navigating unemployment – Series 1

The journey of unemployment can be lonely, disquieting and daunting.  Research has shown that the work we do provides us with identity, status, self-esteem, belonginess (Zucker 2021 in HBR). Therefore, it can be an awful experience to not have a job when in desperate need of one and having to face this journey alone can be overwhelming.  It is felt that sharing success stories combined with relevant information will not only encourage but also empower individuals as they navigate this obstacle.

Unemployment means someone of working age actively seeking for work but not having or securing one. According to Sharone (2021) in HBR, long term unemployment (LTU) is caused by various reasons such as recession, competitive labour market, economic downturn, overqualification/underexperienced, biased hiring practices, lack of industry/sector experience, and lately by Covid-19 pandemic crisis among other reasons. Discrimination and bias affect some group.  

Unemployment has been linked to having negative impact on individuals on range of health and wellbeing including low self-esteem, diminished confidence, self-worthlessness, depression, stress etc. The economy is also impacted.  United Kingdom unemployment rate is currently at 3.7%, there is also an indication that there are more vacancies than unemployed people, yet certain people still find it extremely difficult to secure a job or gainful employment.

Regardless of where you are in your unemployment journey, be rest assured we are here for each other for encouragement, empowerment and enablement. During this waiting period, unemployed individuals have a huge responsibility to play in order to allow their vision of securing dream jobs becoming a reality. Honestly, being unemployed is a work on its own because of the time required to tweak and/or rewrite CVs/application forms to suit advertised posts and then to prepare for and attend interviews.  

Take myself as an example, years back when I relocated to the United Kingdom from Ireland, I battled with long term unemployment and  rejections. Whilst I had thought I would easily transfer the acquired quality competencies (skills, knowledge and ability) to any sector, for some reasons, it was not that easy. The key ability that kept me going were mediation on and confession of Gospel truth.  As a person of faith, I was reassured of God’s plan for me to be successful in all facets of my lives including career and business just as He was successful in His Handiwork of creation of the heaven and the earth.  

At the back of my faith, I took actions. Having positive mindset is credible – acted with total certainty that I will secure a gainful employment even when the certainty was not even there. I learnt how to rewrite my CV/application forms in line with the UK standard, further education/upskill, undertook work experience/voluntary work. Asked for feedback when I wasn’t shortlisted or successful at interviews, developed professional relationships/network, attended network events/conferences organised by the professional body governing my profession to keep abreast of industry trends and news, and more…….

I was not afraid to start again and worked my way up as I believe in the principle of ‘there is growing in going’. Never be afraid to start all over again, I also set up a side hustle/business that matched my existing skills. When I was still not satisfied with all the steps I had taken so far, I was led to source for a mentor who encouraged and shared wise thoughts with me. I recognised I needed someone within my profession who could pull me up and give me fresh perspective. Having experienced senior colleague to motivate someone was a great support, it boosts confidence.

I urge you not to give up but to keep moving until success is achieved. We must keep finding the diamonds in the rough, and when you search carefully you will find them.

Hope you have been encouraged and empowered by these nuggets and looking forward to our next blog?

Watch this space.

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