Judgement of being unemployed

172There has been a lot that I’ve learned through being unemployed this time in my life, which is interesting because when I was younger it seemed to be less of a problem. I was ’employed’ as a babysitter when I was a teenager, and this was actually one of the best paying jobs. It was also one of the most stressful, hair pulling, and frustrating start to working a couple of hours watching three girls so close in age. Surprisingly, or not, I came to love these three little girls, and appreciate their mom even more for her working and juggling taking care of them at the same time.

They were all firecrackers, except for the youngest, who was my comrade. My first step into the real workforce was a dog groomer, for more than two years, and then I had a break. I had a then boyfriend who didn’t have to work, and was independently wealthy. I don’t think he had to struggle really with money, or finding a job, and that was his decision, of course.

I spent more than two years with him, and I would be out of a job for two years or more. I missed working, and I missed my coworkers, but I devoted myself to college full time and entered massage school.

As I’ve said before, massage really sparked a passion in me that I knew was there, but never quite realized how much passion I had inside of me for working. Now, my career is never perfect, my job is never perfect, I had tough days where a client would say I wasn’t doing my best. They didn’t connect with me, or my style, and this literally cut me to the bone. I didn’t make any friends to start off, kept to myself, and kept my personal life pretty much to myself for four years.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen, I found my husband, my life completely changed. Suddenly, it wasn’t all about me, and I made the decision to move with him. Unemployment, yet again, found me right after my wedding day pretty much. Suddenly, when I came across people and told them I was a massage therapist, and unemployed, I got judgement. Not only did I get judged, but once I let it slip I was married I heard many times, “Must be nice your husband makes enough money that you don’t have to work…

I was told I needed to have children if I was going to be unemployed, to give me something to do. I was told that I was not working hard enough to get a job. That my standards were too high, or that I wasn’t applying to enough places. So, I began to isolate myself, so I wouldn’t meet people and get asked that question of, “what do you do for work?” I was in a new place, I’d never moved so far away in my life, and I was terrified of driving and getting lost. The resumes kept on getting sent, but some days I’d really have to force myself to go outside because I hated so much being asked that question.

On this blog, I could be honest with my struggle, and the people who have been following me through my job, to unemployment, knew how much I wanted to be working. My work friends seemed to envy me getting time off and not working, when they’d ask me if I was working I’d have to reply, “no.” While when I would meet up with them I would envy them working at the place that sparked a passion in me and that I missed so badly it literally hurt.

My purpose had become my job, my career, and not having one literally felt like I had no purpose. Being unemployed taught me to be more forgiving of myself, and to really lean on my husband at times for support. I had to learn self compassion, because if I didn’t give myself that compassion, I’d run myself into the ground with guilt. I had to work at my confidence, and take harder days with hopes that a better one would be out there.

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  1. You always need self-compassion. We should never be complacent, but not too harsh on ourselves either!

    • Very true, self compassion isn’t easy but we have to earn how to give it to ourselves. Thank you for commenting!

  2. To get around that question and peoples responses. You tell them that you are a trained massage therapist but have been having a terrible time trying to find a job since your husband relocated for work and you left your old job behind. That should keep strangers or people who barely know you from making automatic assumptions based on very little information.

    • Yeah, for me, the best thing is to give the least amount of details, if any at all, or mentioning my career. It seems like people’s reactions would change with me being married, and of course, they didn’t know I actually really enjoy working and what I do too.

  3. As if it weren’t hard enough being unemployed… but having the sense that you are being judged lazy or incompetent or choosy for it is a terrible thing to deal with. Often opportunities come when you are not looking for them, which is an incredibly frustrating thought. But keep at it, give yourselves goal and make sure to treat yourself from time to time. Being out of work is not a sign of weakness. It is simply bad luck. But persevere and be open to related roles and you will find something.

    • Yes, it’s just that the stress of job searching is enough for me, let alone what other people think of my quest. You are so right that being out of work isnt a sign of weakness, it is just a sign of bad luck and isnt a sign of lack of perseverence either. I want to thank you for your encouraging comments and I did finally get hired just recently! So far the place is very nice and I’m happy to get back into my career again. It’s such a huge relief not to spend my first thing when I wake up, and the last thing I do before sleep, looking for jobs!

  4. Sometimes, people just need to mind their own business. 😉 People who are picking on you for being unemployed are apparently not trying to find a job in this job market!

    • That’s totally what I want to say when people start reacting with the assumption my husband makes enough money for me to stay home, you just don’t know me first meeting me. This job market is so tough, so much more so than what I was ever prepared for, luckily I did finally get hired! 🙂

  5. I can feel you! Moving from one country to another is never easy. I left my job to be with my husband, in a place where people rarely speak English. When his friends or my friends ask if i’m working, or what am i planning to do here… i just ask myself: Do i really need to explain to them? Luckily, i found a job in one of the international schools.


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