6 Survival Tips For the Recently Unemployed (or how quitting your job can rock your world)

unemployed man sitting down
Have you ever been fired from a job?

Not in a mutual termination, or a ‘sorry, we’re not renewing your contract’ kind of way, but a proper disciplinary hearing followed by a swift kick up the arse and a see you later (and never come back) kind of way.

I have.

And what followed turned out to be one of the strangest periods of my life.

Memorable as it was, I can’t pinpoint the exact date other than it was 730am on a cold and bleak January morning – probably a Tuesday.

Yep, I was unceremoniously booted out following a 10 hour nightshift. Retail – you gotta love it.

To tell you the truth, I was relieved. Ignore the fact I recently signed a tenancy agreement in a flat share and my life savings amounted to a jar of loose change and a pair of odd socks. I was free. Free to do anything I wanted. Free to finally live out my dreams, to travel the world and to laugh at the minimum wage sheep trapped in their pens of woe.

But it didn’t really work out like that. Money has a way of bitch slapping you when you least (most) expect it. You see, in ancient Greece, bartering for goods and services was the best way of acquiring whatever you needed to survive. Sadly, in modern times, this technique isn’t as popular as it perhaps should be.

If only my flatmate chose to accept odd socks as rental payment. Life would have been easy.

The bastard.

So within a few weeks I was on state benefits. Queuing up every 2 weeks to pick up the measly £130 they deemed acceptable for survival. I’m not going to lie, life was tough.

The first 3 months were one of the lowest periods I’ve ever experienced. Scraping for cash like a live-in beggar, borrowing money from friends for nights out and raiding the apartment for loose change to pay for the bus fare into town.

At one point, I genuinely had less than £2 to my name.

But, you know what? I grew to love every minute of it. You may as well clad me in leather and whip me a thousand times, because only a masochist would take any enjoyment out of my predicament. Yet there I was – revelling in poverty.

Yes, I’m weird.

No, I’m not into that.

I loved it because of the personal growth, the introspection and the opportunity to recalibrate areas which have recently run off course. I liken unemployment to a visit to the dentist, perhaps a check-up with your doctor or akin to taking your car in for servicing because there are some weird sounds coming from God-knows where. Yet, most people fear it. They become attached to their salary and title because it’s what society tells them to do. Without a job – their identity crumbles. They’re lost.

But it shouldn’t be this way.

A career is merely the side to the main course that is you.

It’s an addition. It’s not who you are – it never has been. So if there comes a time when you wake up in the morning and you have no place to be – don’t panic. It’s temporary. Treat it like a gift – not a curse.

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