When I decided to quit my job, I was aware unemployment was going to be tough. And once I started getting new skills, I realized succeeding as a complete beginner was going to be even harder.
However, not having a job for 6 months taught me things I never anticipated. I’ll be sharing some of the most important ones I learned, so you can have an easier experience, and so you know you’re definitely not alone.
Unemployed for 6 Months—the Journey
What a journey it’s been!
So you get the full picture, I spent the 6 months mostly studying graphic design. One of the reasons I chose it was the fact that I had this urge to shift my career to something more creative. I focused on both theory and software. Being aware of how early my beginnings were, I only applied to jobs in the 5th to 6th month.
I’m sure any graphic designer out there can tell you that the limited study time wasn’t enough to get a job. I was completely aware of that myself, but I still tried.
Things I Learned During Unemployment
You MUST pay attention to your mind…
… more than ever. In my case, I was lucky to naturally enjoy spending time alone, gaining skills. But even solitude lovers get lonely after a while. There were days when I felt especially needy. What I did was trying to embrace and normalize that extremely emotional part of me.
Another thing I noticed was a higher craving for random things I couldn’t afford. As soon as I became aware of it, I knew how to fight back. So every time I thought “Oh, I wish I could buy that.”, I came back with the thought: “Would I REALLY buy that if I had the money?”
Again, I was lucky. I hardly ever buy things that I don’t need.
If you’re struggling with the idea that you lack money and YOU ARE a shopping lover, this is my advice: practice gratitude. Make lists of things you are grateful for. I know, I know. It sounds cheesy, but you’ll see the difference. Thinking about how much I have also made me feel better.
I never shared much of my struggles because I knew it wouldn’t be of any help. In general, I much prefer going through rough times all by myself. That is just my own way of understanding, learning from, and overcoming problems. However, you must do what’s right FOR YOU. If confessing helps you ease your mind, go for it! Tell everything to your family and your closest friends.
You have the right to get tired
This was something I found very hard to accept at first. I was ashamed to admit I felt tired, knowing that my unemployment period wasn’t a secret to anyone close to me.
For some reason, it seemed to me that everyone associated not having a job with being lazy, which wasn’t my case at all. If I wasn’t studying, I was completing house chores. So after a while, I started to defend how I felt.
Your progress matters
Maybe you won’t see it from one day to another, but if you look back to the day when you started, you’ll see how much you’ve evolved.
You deserve a better job
Before this experience, I couldn’t fully understand why some people settled for less than what they deserved. I get it now. It is tough, yet I still believe fighting for a better job is worth it.
Being unemployed gives you time. Time to know yourself better, time to take a break, time to get skills for a better future. Do you realize how many people wished they had more time?
Well, YOU have it.
I see unemployment as one important lesson in life. If you pay attention, it teaches you how to live with little and be grateful for it. It shows you what ambition is and how far you’re willing to go. Is it hard? For sure. Is it worth going through it? Definitely.