My Unemployment Journey | 2019

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I've been putting off this blog post for a while for a few reasons, none of which I'm sure of but probably because I'm scared. I've hinted at things for a while, probably told you all what happened in some form over the past few months but I guess it's time to lay it all out. My hope is that this situation could help someone else get through a tough time.

In April, I left my job of 4 years at Laura Geller Beauty. It was time to leave and try something different; I accepted a new position in social media at a totally different type of company. It was in Long Island, not in Manhattan so I was driving instead of taking the train, something I was very excited for.

I felt completely burnt out from Manhattan and work in general but I jumped into another position at a new company in a new location with only two days off (which I spent in bed because I had emergency dental surgery). It was a rough, emotional few weeks because I was really sad to leave LGB and also very nervous.

I should've taken that as a sign that I was getting myself into something that wasn't right for me. I had a gut feeling, from the moment that I accepted the job that it wasn't ok and I regret not listening to that feeling.

My first day was horrible; I felt lonely, overwhelmed and like I didn't belong. I cried all the way home and all night because I didn't want to go back... I knew it wasn't right for me and I had gotten myself way in over my head.

Getting Fired

I was at the job for two and a half weeks before they let me go, saying that they didn't think I was the proper fit. I made a few mistakes but quickly corrected them and learned from it (they weren't major mistakes, just some copy/tagging issues in social posts). I wasn't shocked when I was let go because two days before, I saw a posting on Indeed for my exact job, therefore I knew it was coming.

I knew I was going to be unemployed but yet, I was fine with it. Maybe it was because I felt like it was a blessing in disguise; I didn't like the job (I knew I didn't, even after a few weeks) and I was already hunting for something else. I thought that getting fired was easier because I could recharge and figure out what I really wanted to do with my life.

I was going back and forth with getting back into beauty, leaving social media altogether, putting my energy into finding a writing job or maybe just freelancing full time. There were so many options and I needed to figure it out... not having a job would help me find the time to zen out and do that.

I wasn't freaking out because I live at home so #norent, and I knew I would probably get unemployment; plus, I had some savings, my freelance job at Byrdie and FabFitFun, both of which I just started.

Everything would be ok for the time being...everyone gets fired at least once and I had the support of my family and friends. I knew I would be ok... until I wasn't.

The Game Plan

When I got fired, I had a game plan: apply for unemployment, gear up my freelancing gigs, put my loans on hold, and get applying to jobs.

I took a few days (I got fired on a Thursday) to chill out, relax, and enjoy my free time but then that Monday, I got to work. I applied for unemployment, canceled my unnecessary subscriptions, made a dozen lists and applied for all the jobs that were calling to me.

I got to work on my Byrdie gig, trying to log as many hours as I could, and I felt good. I was feeling great -- I knew this wouldn't last forever and I would get a job soon. I felt positive and hopeful.

For the next few weeks, I developed a routine: wake up, breakfast, apply for jobs, freelance, blog, errands, gym, etc. I had tons of things to keep me busy and had a lot of momentum to keep me going.

That lasted only a few weeks. It was probably the beginning of June that I started to feel really hopeless.


Feeling Hopeless

There came a time during my unemployment, as I'm sure there is a time in everyone's, that I started to feel sorry for myself. My anxiety and depression started to get the best of me and I felt zero motivation to even leave the house most days.

I had gone on dozens of in-person interviews, what felt like hundreds of phone interviews, and had gotten close to the final steps of the interview process a few times but nothing was sticking. I was starting to believe I wasn't good enough and that I would be unemployed forever. 

I was getting nervous about my money situation, frustrated with myself and the job market, and just flustered with the fact that I had no purpose. I missed the routine of commuting, being part of an organization and having daily tasks; of course, I also missed the steady paycheck and safety net of health insurance

I was convinced that I wasn't good enough, that I was a failure and that I was destined to be a 'loser'. I am a pretty self-confident person so to have these types of negative thoughts was really hard on me and my mental health. 

The more I applied and interviewed, and the more I got rejected, the worse I felt. At one point I just had to take a break from applying to everything because I was exhausted. I was getting burnt from being unemployed and I hated it.

The Final Stages

As I started to get more depressed, I felt like I was going crazy. I was getting tired from my daily routine of the gym, errands, taking care of the house, applying for jobs, freelancing, etc. I legitimately thought I was going insane and was terrified to get my hopes up whenever I got to the final stages of a job interview.

Over the course of four months (May-August), I had gotten ghosted from a few prospects (I gave one company information for a background check and they just never got back to me) so I was scared to fantasize about some of the companies and positions I was in the running for.

When I interviewed for my current job, I had the best feeling and part of me knew I was going to get it. I went on three interviews, showed them examples of my work, and just got such a good vibe whenever I was speaking to the company. I was so nervous to get my hopes high but it was hard not too.

On the day of my final interview, I was convincing myself that I wasn't going to get it but on the way home, as I was walking home from the train, I got a call from HR and they offered me the job! I would be starting in September (this was mid-August) so I would have a few weeks of unnerving freedom to relax and get myself prepared. I took the call outside my house and my voice was shaking as I spoke to her. When the call was over, I ran inside and screamed to my mom that I got the job! We both cried, called everyone we knew, and I was pretty numb for the rest of the day because I was so excited.

My own personal nightmare was over and I was headed back to work, at a company that I thought was incredible and I had a feeling I would be really happy there.

I was over the moon and just completely satisfied with my decision.

The Lessons of Unemployment

I learned a lot over the course of the four months that I was unemployed.

Go with your gut

I should've listened to my internal thoughts (and my mom because she 100% knew it wasn't the right decision) about your career. However, I'm sure that if I didn't go through this, I wouldn't have ended up at my current job.

Make a plan

If you have a plan laid out, you will feel so much better. Keep a list of everything you need to do on a daily basis to ensure your success when it comes to finding a new job/keeping your life on track. If you establish a game plan and have goals every day, you will feel so much better. It'll feel like you have some sort of normalcy and control over your life during a time where it's very easy to not have control.

Establish a routine and be organized

What I did at the beginning of my unemployment journey is something I should've stuck with the entire time. Having an unemployment, daily routine was a lifesaver and the more I lost my steam, the more I lost my routine. It helped me feel normal and on schedule with everyone else in the world. In turn, I was also more organized

Have Faith


Lean on your friends and family -- vent to them and let them talk you up. It'll help you immensely to tell people how you're feeling. Also, read stories from other people who have been laid off (there are a lot of articles/blogs out there), talk to others who have been through similar situations. Journal, write down your negative feelings and just try to do things that bring you joy outside of looking for a new job. Try to keep your self-esteem high and remember that you are not your job -- you are more than that and you are strong enough to get through this tough time. You will land on your feet and find a job that is perfect for you.

*An extra lesson = SAVE YOUR MONEY. I might do an entire post on this topic because it 100% speaks to my soul.

Have you ever been unemployed? What were your feelings toward it? What lessons did you learn?
xoxo
B

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