The Top Ten Blessings of Being Unemployed

Being unemployed doesn't have many silver linings but I've figured out a few things that I'd like to share.  Below are the lessons I've gleaned:

1.  Faith

While I realize that some people don't believe in God, there's no other way to explain how I lived through five weeks of Congress cutting off my unemployment and living off of zero dollars.  When I exclaim that I'm giving it to Jesus, it isn't just a catchy saying.

2.  Identity

I am not my stuff.  I am not my job.  It's easy to get wrapped up in trappings and material objects .  What makes each of us truly great is what's inside, not what you own.

3.  Humility

If you think sitting in the Department of Human Services and/or the Unemployment office isn't humbling, try applying for assistance to pay your utilities and being told that you make too much money---off of unemployment.  You'll really start to wonder why you bothered with college.

4.  Empathy

I often hear people talk about what they'd do if they lost their job.  It usually goes along the lines of  "I'd cut my expenses and use my savings" type of responses.  Little do they know that your money as well as your options run out.  I am much more sensitive to the issues of homelessness, hunger and the working poor than I ever thought I would be.

5.  Patience

Unemployment is one huge hurry up and wait game.  Whether it's for a governmental agency, a recruiter or a call back from a prospective employer; you are at the mercy of other people's schedules.

6.  Fairness

There's nothing like having a recruiter pursue you, present you to a client and then---nothing---not a word.  If the shoe were on the other foot I would suspect they wouldn't like it very much if they were left hanging.  When you're unemployed you learn very quickly the meaning of human decency.   I call it fairness 101.

7.  Perspective

With disaster, disease and violence happening every second of every day in this world, if unemployment is your biggest problem consider yourself lucky.

8.  Perseverance

Being unemployed is like being an actor.  You hear no a lot, but you keep on plugging away.

9.  Creativity

You go beyond "make due."  You literally learn how to make a dollar out of fifteen cents and make it look good.  The best part is no one would ever know that you're wearing thrift or eating from a pantry or dollar store.

10.  Friendship

Anyone can love you while you're flush.  Who's gonna love you when your shit hits the fan?  You find out who your true friends are.  While it's a difficult lesson to swallow, at least it allows you to separate the wheat from the chaff.  Learn from it.  Live with it.  Move on from it.


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