How not to feel utterly crap while unemployed

My experience of unemployment has been pretty tame. Think a person who lives with her boyfriend and has a few bills, but nothing too scary, yet.  I can only imagine how bowel twistingly shit it would be to have a mortgage company on the phone every two minutes,  electricity supplier all up in your grill,  a wallet full of maxed out credit cards, and children asking for things like lunch money; all while you try and memorise a company’s, ‘ Core Values,’ and calculate if you have enough petrol in the tank to get  to an interview, and back.

But that’s not to say it’s been a picnic, with all items purchased from Aldi, obviously. Applying for jobs , and then being turned-down or just plain ignored, requires skin as thick as an expat  who’s lived on the Costa del Sol for 40 years. To continue to go to interviews and sound convincing and enthusiastic after a string of rejections requires the confidence of a Silvia Conti brat.

It’s important not to let the rejections, money worries, too much time on your own, and confidence issues get you down.

So I’ve got a few tips:

Don’t lie in. Routine will keep you on the straight and narrow and in a clear and productive head space. As soon as you find yourself on the sofa in your fleece dressing gown watching Doctors at 2pm,you might as well give up, your fucked!

Get a Kimono. If you must wonder around in a dressing gown after 8am then make it a silk/polyester one. An old friend kindly gave me one of hers as I had decided a Kimono would make me feel glamorous and more creative, it does. Actually I’m wearing it right now. Applying for jobs online while wearing a Kimono is better than applying for jobs in a coffee stained fleece robe, it just is. If Cherie Blair had answered the door to that courier in a Kimono then Tony Blair would still be PM, maybe.

Watch the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  Unless you want to become heavily depressed I don’t recommend daytime TV at all.  Apart from this. This is a reality show based on a group of witches, sorry women, who supposedly have it all. Money, glamour, success, big houses. I’ve never seen a bunch of more miserable ladies in my life.  Seriously, the creaky old ladies in the waiting room at my doctors surgery are having a better time. These,’ Housewives,’ are a wonderful advert for being poor.

Go out running ( or power walking). You will look better, feel better, think straighter, and the post run high is like drugs but without the horrible, ‘ what did I say last night?’ feeling. Obviously, and very importantly, it’s also free, and will give you that much needed routine. It makes you feel strong and all go getter-y ( yes that’s a verb.)

Be Creative. Since I’ve had more time on my hands I’ve been able to tap into my creative side.  The act of writing and engaging with fellow bloggers and Twitter followers has been really productive,  positive and informative, it all looks great on the CV too. Who knew there was so much great content on the internet?!  Oh.

Make yourself big before your next job interview. My sister sent me this link before an interview. http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html I didn’t get the job but the interview went really well and I was invited back for a second one.  Unfortunately I fell over on the train platform on my way to the office and things just went downhill from there. Watch the video though.

Spend time with friends and family. It’s tempting to draw the blinds and slink around in your Kimono until you’ve got your shit together, but friendship is just what you need.  I’ve had valuable career advice, a kimono, samples of Lancome foundation, and most importantly, loads of encouragement from my friends.

Keep on Truckin. Remember that these difficult times will probably make us better and funnier in the long run. We learn more about who we are when times are tough. Stop, smell the roses, read the Ian Banks books you’ve been meaning to read, use YouTube to learn to fishtail plait your hair, and don’t give up!

Ignore this advice if you have spiralling debt problems, are properly depressed, or might be on the verge of losing your home. There are professional people who can help you though, thank goodness.

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