I slowly rolled out of my bed this morning and stood up to stretch out my arms. As the sun was shining its warm golden light over my bedroom, one thought came to my mind; in fact this thought has been on my mind for the past 6 months like a broken harp playing a broken record. The thought that I am referring to is that I need to find a job soon or I will certainly go bonkers.
Sadly after I had freshened up, I found out that in the period; March-May 2012, 1.02 million young people aged 16-24 were unemployed and the number of young people aged 18-24 claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) was 463,200 in June 2012. As an ethnic minority living in one of the poorest boroughs in East London, this was shocking news for me. Especially since I come from a culture where if a man is not working, he automatically losses his status and role in the family. As the eldest brother in my family, I have always worked since the age of 15 and I have always tried to be a positive role model for my younger siblings. In my family I had always played a leading role in being a good son that looked after his mother and younger siblings. However since my contract ended from my job over 6 months ago and after many unsuccessful job applications, I have often wondered, how can I support my parents and younger siblings, if I can’t find a job?
This may come as a shock, but despite these depressing statistics the truth is there is hope for us, the unemployed voices, even if at times it may not seem so. The past 6 months I have learned that in order to not lose focus in finding a job, one must;
- Face it that there are days when you want to give up and never wake up from your bed. But if you can pull yourself out of your bed and go for a brief walk, you will feel better. The brief walk and fresh air will give you a chance to reflect on why it’s important for you to not give up. By doing this I was able to make optimism, expectancy, and enthusiasm a part of my daily experience.
- Tap into your support unit, whether it’s your family or close friends. Believe me when I say to you that there is nothing more powerful or therapeutic than talking to your support unit, especially on the gloomy days when you might feel like giving up.
- Take control and realise that it’s a numbers game. The more job applications you make, the higher probability there is that you will find a job. Keep applying!
- Plan and strategise your daily job applications and activities. This way you’ll never lose focus of your end goal. There’s a famous quote that states that, if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. By doing this I was able to sign up to many recruitment agencies and build a strong network base to inform me of job opportunities.
It’s only a matter of time until I find a job that I am looking for and I know that I may not be able to control external factors. But I can certainly control my attitude and have hope.