Does the word 'unemployed' scare you?
This word seems to be the only word ringing in my ears as I work on my dissertation (which by the way - my deadline is in a month! Eeek!). It's been thrown around everywhere you go right? I don't know why but for some reason every time I think about this word, I have a mental image of me, surrounded by 102 rejection letters and of course because of my exaggerated mind, It's been three years since my graduation. Anyone else getting that image too?
But why is it that this word brings that image to our minds? I personally believe that the word 'unemployed' comes along with negative connotations of lazy people who are contributing nothing to society. Or sometimes this word is used to describe people who are 'scroungers' and are living off their parents.
However, is that the case? Let us hope not! For us new graduates (or soon to be, just got to get through this lengthy dissertation first) I believe at this time of your life, there is essentially no harm in being unemployed for a certain period of time, in fact we should embrace it. Yes I've said it! I'm encouraging you to enjoy your unemployment period.
Now, I won't hold it against you if you think I'm trying out a new brand of suspicious drugs as I don't believe that relishing in your unemployment is what university has taught us (would be a waste of that student loan if it was, let's be honest).
However, what I'm trying to say that being unemployed for some time after you finish university isn't bad. We all know times have changed, that financially things are getting harder, getting a job is a little harder, so getting on that road of independence is going to take a bit more time (Also, I'm sure there's a phrase that thirties are in fact the new twenties).
Therefore, as we are just starting on that career ladder, we are not missing out or being irresponsible for being unemployed at this moment in time. Of course things would be much different if we were changing careers or had a mortgage etc, but for us graduates who do not have that responsibility yet, we should not let the word 'unemployed' scare us.
However, I think there is a difference with being unemployed and doing nothing about it, or being unemployed and continuing to apply for jobs, doing some volunteer work and setting goals.
I think a lot of the time people think being unemployed means that the individual is doing nothing productive and is drinking Diet Coke all day and eating junk food in front of the TV every day. However, most of the time, the truth is far off from that. In fact, to those completing short internships, especially when you are not sure what direction or area of work you want to go in, these short periods of unemployment between internships are essential in order to assess whether you liked a specific sector of work or whether you want to look for alternative internships. Therefore, it seems completely beneficial to have some time to really think about the direction you want to go in.
So I think it is up to you with how you let the term scare you, and how you cannot let being unemployed make you feel worthless in some regards. As long as you applying for jobs, volunteering and working on getting somewhere, I don't believe the term should in anyway control how you see yourself.
By Maariyah Zaheer