Alright, let’s get one thing straight.
You are worth it. You are wonderful. You are strong. But more importantly, You. Are. GOOD. ENOUGH! And you can do this!
As an unemployed person, you’ll be put in situations where you will feel inferior to other people. Like you’re somehow lesser than they are. A position that—regardless of duration—is exhausting and often it’ll feel like crap! It’s like, suddenly, you should be grateful for everything and anything thrown your way. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that sometimes you might need to lower your expectations, and sometimes you might simply need to suck it up. I can take that. I can live with that.
What I don’t like is the attitude some people (and even places of employment) have toward you; because they know you can’t afford to say no. Furthermore, what I’ve noticed too is what unemployment can do to your sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Everyday, another tiny piece gets hacked away. Granted, I haven’t even been unemployed for that long and I do have a university degree, so hopefully, a job will turn up. Still, it does things to you. You suddenly you start to question things about yourself that you might not have questioned before.
When I started looking for jobs, I knew it wouldn’t be easy, I’d been warned. Not only is the outlook for finding a job not the best, but my university degree in social anthropology isn’t exactly the degree you want to have; at least not here in Sweden. Here, a lot of people (unfortunately) raise their eyebrows in confusion when you mention anthropology. In a world of online courses and super tailored ones; the road to your dream job might not be the standard university course anymore. Of course, often those online courses do not come cheap and it all hinges on knowing exactly what you want to do in the early stages and to be frank, who does? These last few months have been a constant ”what the hell am I good at”-race, and trying to avoid situations with people who knows that you’ve graduated and who jumps on any and all opportunities to ask you ”have you gotten a job yet?” Not to sound like a total b*tch, I mean I do get that people are just being curious and to a lot of people, the thought of someone having a university degree but not getting a job is incomprehensible. It sort of is to me too, but then again, I’d been warned.
Now, things are finally looking up though (I don’t want to write too much about it just yet, but I promise you that when I can, I will shout it from the roof tops!). What I can say though, is that I had the best interview situation I could’ve ever asked for a week ago. And you know what it made me realize? I know stuff. Yes, exactly, it came as a sort of epiphany-like-situation to me too as I sat there. So, this is what I wanted to remind you all of: don’t lose yourself, in this whole ‘getting a job process’ (yes, it’s a whole process of explaining what you’re good at, why you’re good at it etc.). Regardless of your background, degree, or whatever, you matter and we all have things that we’re good at, we all have strengths. When I sat there, I just felt such a huge relief (granted, I was still super nervous), but for the first time since graduating I felt like: I know how to do this. I’ve been taught how to do that. What made it even better was that the interviewer seemed to recognize that too, and I felt respected. Respected as a person, and respected for my competence; I can’t even describe that feeling. I mean, I haven’t even started working, but that feeling was still worth so much. Not even during my degree, not even when I got an A on an exam, did I feel like I really knew things.
Try to keep your head up high and surround yourself with people who’ll lift your spirits and support you. I know I wouldn’t have made it this far without those in my life who have done exactly that. I believe in you, go get ’em.