Friday, November 4, 2011

Talking About It

I really thought when I got the job that I would get to stop talking about my unemployment to people. I obviously don't mind writing about it on the blog - but in real life, it's a different story, it's a little uncomfortable.

But, as I get to know people in the office and have to interact with various affiliates/clients/etc. I am often asked, "where did you come from?" or "where were you before this". I realize that it's a reasonable question to which I could respond about my previous positions months and months ago. But I think that's untrue - I graduated from graduate school and was unemployed for months and that's where I came from.

I know too that people are really asking about my experience and my work history but I think it's important to keep the conversation going about unemployment. And since I'm choosing to be honest, I want the take away to be two-fold.

1) You don't have to be employed to get employed.
I think people are often told that it's easier to find work when you have work. And this could be true. But that doesn't mean it's impossible for someone who is unemployed to find a good position!

2) Unemployment is real and still out there.
It's easy to stop thinking about the struggle of unemployment when it's not happening to you personally. If your immediate family members are employed and you're employed, you can forget. But a lot of people are still struggling with unemployment and I know what it's like - you think about finances constantly, you worry you aren't doing enough to find work, that you're not hire-able, perhaps there's debt to worry about? This is a reality for millions of people and I haven't stopped caring just because I have found work.

I do still talk about previous experience and school when I talk about where I came from, but unemployment was my reality just as much as internships and school work and I think it's okay to say so.