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To be shocked at how many people don't understand how soul destroying being unemployed is

(75 Posts)
daisychainnn Mon 15-May-17 15:00:46

I've been unemployed a year now (although I had a good interview last week so fingers crossed).

Some of my friends are sick of hearing me discuss my job hunting problems and have lost contact.

The friends I do have think I'm lucky to be able to stay at home all day looking after my Son.

My parents think it's 'for the best' that I don't work for now as I don't have to go back to work until my Son is 5 (income support).

Apart from my friends who have also suffered unemployment, no one seems to have the remotest idea of what unemployment actually means.

It means poverty and isolation and boredom. It's destroyed my self esteem, my confidence, my identity. I feel so bored I spend each day just trying to get through it and actually look forward to job interviews as it's a reason to get dressed up!

I am sure I got the job I interviewed for as my Manager has sent my a text saying congratulations on the new job and he's the hiring managers best friends. Even if I don't, I have excellent experience and get interviews for everything I apply for in my field. So soon a job will come my way. But for those who aren't as employed it must be even more horrendous.

AIBU to think some people have a complete and utter lack of awareness of the awful impact unemployment leaves on a person. The soul destroying nature of it. No one is lucky to be unemployed.

My Mum was a housewife her whole life and loved it. But that's different she has a partner for emotional and financial support. I do not.


MissBax Mon 15-May-17 15:02:58

YANBU - it's highly depressing!! Fingers crossed for your last interview!

phoenix1973 Mon 15-May-17 15:05:55

It's horrid and you don't feel like a part of society. I never liked it.

I really wish you the best of luck with everything. Fingers crossed you get that job you interviewed for x x x

wasonthelist Mon 15-May-17 15:08:30

YANBU when I was last unemployed I found out after I got a job (after 4 months of solid trying) that they nearly didn't give me the job because my boss' boss thought that there must be something wrong with me if I hadn't been able to find a job in 3 months.

Sadly, for people who've never lived it, that's the reality.

Almost everything we do revolves around having gainful employment - being out of work when you don't want to be is like someone pressing a huge pause button on your whole life.

On the upside, surviving it made me take work less seriously.

TheRealLemonLyman Mon 15-May-17 15:09:10

I get it OP. I was made redundant a month ago and I am really struggling with not having a job. I don't even have young children to keep me occupied. I'm having to work out how to do bloody housework (have recently found the vacuum cleaner hiding in the spare room grin.)

in addition DP and I have separate finances which was the agreement when we decided to move in together due to both of us having previous experience of bastard ex's. But due to the level of his earnings I cannot claim any benefits and so am currently living very frugally so I don't eat into my savings.

I keep getting interviews and they seem to go well but there is always somebody who has that bit more experience. Fingers crossed something comes up soon.

Dianneabbottsmathsteacher Mon 15-May-17 15:10:16

Crossing it all for you op.

My dh is a specialist contractor and he was out of work for 18 months. It's was so awful I wouldn't wish it on my worse enemy. Soul destroying and so so stressful xx

unlimiteddilutingjuice Mon 15-May-17 15:14:31

When I was pregnant with Dd, I was in the process of being slowly and painfully sacked from my job for performance issues.
It was horrific.
All the way through this people kept telling me "It doesn't matter because your going to have a baby soon"
As if I should be fine with it angry
I know they meant well but it was the worst thing they could have said to me.
I hope it works out for you OP flowers

CaulkheadNorth Mon 15-May-17 15:14:42

Are you doing any volunteering? When unemployed I found that incredibly important - I needed a reason to get dressed and liked seeing people.

KarmaNoMore Mon 15-May-17 15:14:53

It is quite isolating, especially with a young child (unless you know some SAHM with children the same age)

Keep strong, the difficult part is to keep putting a positive face after many rejections but please try to remember that is allabout finding a job where what you need and the company want match. It is not easy, especially if you have childcare restrictions, but try not to take it personally.

If you have family that can help with childcare try to take any job that gets you out of the house and keeps you away from getting depressed until you find the right job for you (I spent a couple of months stocking shelves when one of my projects fizzled out. Obviously the pay was not great and I had to put up with people bossing me around as if I was a kid BUT it brought some money and helped me to get TC until I could get a professional job. Obviously, it is not in my CV so no damage done).

TheWeeBabySeamus1 Mon 15-May-17 15:23:13

I never used to bother if I lost a job, just saw it as a little break while I looked for something else.

I went back to work in Sept after 2 years off (company shut down while I was pregnant so I decided to SAH with my DS for a while) and was let go suddenly in January... it's really knocked me this time. I'm finding it hard to even get dressed most days. After over 100 applications only 4 people have called back and 1 interview sad. I'm a single parent as well so need to be earning. It's just so depressing.

So no, YANBU, hopefully something comes up for you soon.

TheWeeBabySeamus1 Mon 15-May-17 15:23:45

I never used to bother if I lost a job, just saw it as a little break while I looked for something else.

I went back to work in Sept after 2 years off (company shut down while I was pregnant so I decided to SAH with my DS for a while) and was let go suddenly in January... it's really knocked me this time. I'm finding it hard to even get dressed most days. After over 100 applications only 4 people have called back and 1 interview sad. I'm a single parent as well so need to be earning. It's just so depressing.

So no, YANBU, hopefully something comes up for you soon.

treaclesoda Mon 15-May-17 15:29:13

YANBU. I am very fortunate to have only been in this position for a short period of time, many years ago, and it was horrific. It's like the whole world is moving around you and you're stuck on your own. Very isolating.

And it's the powerlessness that makes it so awful. You can apply for every job possible but you still don't have the power to award yourself the job. You can, if course, increase your chances by working hard at the application form, and thoroughly researching before an interview. But the decision is still out of your hands, and that's a horrible feeling.

ZilphasHatpin Mon 15-May-17 15:31:40


I didn't realise just how far I'd sunken until I started working again. I'm a different person now. It makes so much difference to your self esteem alone which is a massive factor in how the rest of your life works out.

sailorcherries Mon 15-May-17 15:35:32


I was unemployed for 8 months after moving in with an ex. It was soul destroying. I eventually ended up on anti-depressants after about 5 months as I couldn't take it.

The anti-depressants never even helped, they didn't tackle the route cause of my problem. Only going back to uni and eventually employment helped clear my head.

flowers for you Op, and for everyone else struggling x

Theyrejustfuckingwords Mon 15-May-17 15:35:40

I remember my dear Father sitting at the table with the rejection letters spread all around and saying over and over
"What is wrong with me, why can't I get a chance? "
It was terribly demoralising for him and ultimately led to a breakdown.
Unless you have been in the situation, it's very hard to see the problems.Others told him he would have a bit of time now after working so hard for so long but it wasn't what he wanted, or as a large family what we needed.
It's bloody soul destroying
Good luck to youflowers

daisychainnn Mon 15-May-17 15:39:10

I think there needs to be an awareness champaign or something. There's such a lack of understanding.

I'm glad I've experienced it though as now I have the empathy towards people in this situation.

Admittedly years ago I was envious of my neighbour who didn't go out to work and cared for a disabled child. I can't believe how ill-informed I was.

SoftlyCatchyMonkey1 Mon 15-May-17 15:40:00

Yanbu but does anyone truly get it until they experience it themselves?
I spent 2 years doing temping in menial, low skilled jobs after I graduated from uni and that really ground me down. At least I had a job though - I can imagine being unemployed for 2 years feels much much worse.

GoldilocksAndTheThreePears Mon 15-May-17 15:44:11

YANBU. I've had long bouts of unemployment and it's horrible. Fine for a couple of days, for me, then just panic and fear! Right now I'm unable to work due to disability and it's killing me slowly. My parents say things like well at least you can get a long rest. I'd sooner not need to rest! I had to give up a career I loved, I was a nanny for many years and I've had to move away from that life I built. As well as hating depending on the state just to live now, I miss working in a job I loved and socialising, doing anything really! It can get very very lonely.

DovahJunFeyn Mon 15-May-17 15:44:41

Oh it defiantly is. I hated it. I hated feeling so isolated and helpless. I was judged for something that was completely out of my hands. No matter how much I tried to get a job it wasn't good enough, I was seen as a sponge. My mother had the ideal that staying at home with my children was where I 'should' be. flowers For you.

onadifferentplanet Mon 15-May-17 15:52:43

I am unable to work outside of my home at the moment due to agoraphobia and panic attacks. I don't think many people have any idea how soul destroying it is. I keep myself as busy as I can with voluntary stuff for local businesses and charities looking after their social media and editing stuff in the vain hope that one day someone will offer me paid employment doing that sort of work .I wish someone could wave a magic wand and help me get over my health issues. Other people seem to think not having to go to work sounds great but I would gladly swap places with them any day and not have to rely on ESA anymore.

nelipotter Mon 15-May-17 15:53:25

You know what I think happens? Many people are unhappy in their jobs. In their day dreams, they think how nice it would be to not be at said job. If they just had all the time in the world to potter around. The opposite to being at shitty job, must be to be really happy!

They don't think about how debilitating it is, the knocks to self esteem etc. The fear when you literally have $20 and have to choose between petrol and food. When you go to the markets as they are closing so you can get the cheap veggies and still have 5 bucks for petrol.

ANd underemployed people, they work bloody arses off for fuck all pay, they often have to scrimp, cars break down and can't be fixed, a broken appliance can fuck your budget for months, they dread illness for the expense and the loss of earnings. In between they do all the zero-hours jobs, the waitressing, cleaning, bartending shite that all the emplyed people can spend their disposable income on.

And then the government targets unemployed people, saying they are leaners, they are dole bludgers, they are dragging down the whole economy. NOBODY WANTS TO BE ON THE DOLE. It's a shit life.
I wish those mildly unhappy employed people would think a little more about how good they have it.

Argh rant over -soz to derail OP but this hits a nerve with me too!

Pigface1 Mon 15-May-17 15:56:46

YANBU. People who've never been unemployed don't realise that employment defines people. I had a two month period of unemployment a few years back and it was one of the lowest periods of my life.

malificent7 Mon 15-May-17 16:41:49

I work ft and i still have to choose between food and petrol at times.

But op... yanbu.

Orlantina Mon 15-May-17 16:47:16

I have done work as a supply teacher. It's so hard in the morning if you don't get the call. Been for loads of interviews. Periods of under employment.

The days can be long. And yes, human contact and regular employment is something that you can miss.

RB68 Mon 15-May-17 17:00:36

malificent - employed and choosing between food and petrol - but at the end of the month salary comes in. You don't have to go and beg for it, keep showing up with your lists of jobs and applications and justify your very existence, sigh quietly when they are telling you to apply for jobs that are not even in your ball park never mind field, the pittance you get rarely covers food or rent never mind food or petrol - to me both of those you can work around - each cheapo meals of 20p pasta for a few days and or cycle or walk rather than petrol (I mean all your other car expenses are paid - unemployed you can't even afford the bus to the jobcentre most of the time never mind having a car. It just isn't the same - its like saying you know how it feels to be blind cos you can shut your eyes.

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