The Upside(s) of Unemployment

Never in six million light years did I think this day would come. But alas, at the end of every tunnel is … no more tunnel. Here I am, about to end my jobless dry-spell and I almost wish it wasn’t over. Let me set the scene…

For the last few months I’ve been couch surfing with a friend. Thankfully my friend was insightful enough to realize I was in an terrible interesting traditional period and sorta saved me from packing it in and going home. Otherwise, I’m sure I would have given in, gotten an in-the-meantime job in retail, and by Black Friday be ready to eat my own fingers. On this couch I have cried in despair, screamed in anger, and spent (almost) every day trying to ready myself for whatever opportunity would arise. I’ve been given so much time to think; about my goals, my flaws, my drive, and my decisions thus far. I wanna get deep into analyzing the psychosis of unemployment, but I’ll save that for a separate series.

The Upsides

  1. Low-cost Fun. When your are “in between paychecks”, or as it is colloquially known, broke AF, you come to learn some really great ways to have fun on a budget. Whether it’s taking advantage of deals (on sites like Living Social or Groupon), eating BEFORE you have lunch with a friend, or restricting your travel to non-rush hour times to cut your Lyft/Uber costs (which in Miami is NEVER) you learn to pinch a penny… TIGHT! My personal favorite and most effective means of saving money has been to stay my ass at home!
    My mantra…
  2. Eating Healthy/Working Out. Honestly it’s perfect without the distractions of fast-food restaurants or being too tired from work. You can really focus on meal planning, maintaining a food journal (or use MyFitnessPal like me), taking regular walks, becoming a yoga master, and staring in the mirror until you hate your stupid unemployed face {said with glassy-eyes while smiling on only one side}.
  3. Reconnecting with Friends and Family. Having zero things to do really frees you up to talk to old friends and text all your extended family members; even your parents’ coworkers that you call aunt/uncle. WhatsApp has never gotten this much play from me before; I’m texting all my Canadian cousins! I really have taken this time to talk more often with my mom… its been a blessing and a curse. The other day she called to remind me that “…It’s almost December and you’re nearly 30, you need to get a job!” I know Mom, I know. {bleeds from eyes}
    You can’t explain this to a Jamaican parent… AT ALL!
  4. Building on Your Professionalism and Career Development. This has been the bulk of the work I’ve been doing, just in case someone does give me one of those elusive jobs.
  • Perfecting My Resume/Cover Letter. There are a bazillion resources online listing tips and tricks to get employer’s attention and how to format your resume/cover letter — I have read them ALL. Particularly, I was referred to The Muse, a career advice GODSEND! It addresses so many of the recent-grad questions and puts experts in touch with novices. It’s the Pinterest of job-stuff, sweater Gawd!
  • Engaging With Your Network. If you’ve held down a job or gone to school, or basically know any other humans, you have a professional network. It’s important to utilize those people when you’re seeking employment to changing career field. You never know who you know… and more importantly, who they know. That sounded snazzy, right? That’s just fancy-talk for “Ask everyone you meet, ‘Is y’all hiring!?‘”
  • Eliminating Procrastination. This one is a no-brainer. We’ve all been there, prioritizing  a series of completely unnecessary tasks in order to avoid what really needs doing. However, when you have LITERALLY NOTHING to do with your existence, it’s impossible to procrastinate. I’ve never been so productive! My mind is free from deadlines, restrictive authority figures, and pesky paychecks.
  • Getting in Touch With My Passions. Right about here is where I’ve been lately. Trying to figure out what my motivations are; my talents, my strengths. I’ve gotten really good picking things up with my feet and  binge watching shows in Netflix.
  • What used to make me happy, and more importantly, can I make money doing those things? The Muse kinda helps with that too. 

While working on developing these things I put together a couple of habits and resources to get me through. I STAY reading, as a distraction, and to keep my mind from rusting over.    Currently reading…

There’s hope for the other employment-impaired souls.

I journal my thoughts and feelings regularly, and started what I’ve called a “Success Journal”; a log of my ideas, lessons I’ve gathered, goals, and general plans for the future. It’s also where I outline new cover letters and keep track of applications. I super suggest you adopt this, but it can’t be like undergrad. You can’t take the notes and not review them. You gotta refresh and reconnect with your ambitions.


And that’s how I did it. Survived unemployment with humor (although very dark at times), focus, and the support of friends and family. I’m really grateful to have you all.

In refocusing on my passions, I want to change up the blog. As you can see the appearance has changed, but I’m still looking for my style. I’m thinking a new domain name and maybe a new pen name. I wont always be negative, you know. What are your thoughts?

In parting I leave you with this,

I really do.




Check out a similar article at Elle Magazine!





Non-complacent, Nancy




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