Maybe you’re graduating school and going on to “real things”. Maybe you’re leaving a job because your contract ended and coworkers failed to see your professional superpowers. Or perhaps you hate that goddawful place and left your desk a purposeful mess for your Satan of a boss to clear out.
It doesn’t matter how you got to this point, what matters is that you’re here, and funemployment is staring you in the face. Get ready, because the phases of joblessness are much like the phases of grief, in no particular order and bound to regress at any given time:
- “Busy” Phase– it’s fine that everyone you know has 9-5 places to be. It’s cool that your grandma just came out of retirement because she misses feeling useful. That isn’t for you. You need to paint your nails and practice new ways of applying eyeliner. Maybe you’ll be brave and you tube “How to Give Yourself a Bob Cut”. The possibilities are limitless.
- TV Phase: Consists of gluttonist amounts of TV & Netflix, which you’re convinced will never lose their allure. Unbeknownst to you, your TV interests will soon devolves into popular 80s movies, not as popular 90s shows(7th Heaven?) childhood cartoons(Magic Schoolbus, Hey Arthur), present-day cartoons (Dora–who needs Rossetta Stone when you have Dora La Exploradora en Espanol?)
- Apathy Phase:Where you numbingly wonder your chances of fading into the great back hole of irrelevancy. Your life is Groundhog Day, only you’re not as cool or important as Bill Murray, who still finds ways to be relevant:
- Crying Phase: it happens eventually, unexpectedly, starting off as slow, quiet pity sobs and unraveling into puffy-cheeks snotted-shirt, fire-truck wails. You sniffle and hyperventilate a little and then think, “Why the fuck am I crying? I can do whatever I want, for days on end.” And then you cry harder at the pointlessness of life.
- I will Sleep Forever Phase: Sleep isn’t for the dead, it’s for the unemployed. Put down the coffee, step away from the eye-puffiness concealer, you’re about to binge sleep and no one can stop you.
- Healthy phase: You are going to be the most proactively unemployed person you know. You’ll go for your morning run, eat kiwi for breakfast, froyo only on weekends. When you’re motivated enough to head to the gym in the early afternoon, you’ll have to sift through the seniors doing adaptive aerobics, but you’ll be secretly glad because you’re the hottest person working out, no contest.
- Drunk Phase: Where alcohol creeps into any part of every day, because you have no one to be accountable to, and drunk job hunting is way more doable than sober scowering. Until you have to proofread your cover letter.
- Intellectual Phase: Usually sandwiched somewhere between the “Busy” Phase and the Healthy Phase, this involves reading all those books you’ve been meaning to educate yourself with but haven’t found the time. Now time is endless, and those books are throwing themselves off the shelves at you. And by “reading books” you mean getting to the half-way point and deciding you get the gist of the subject.
- “Networking” Phase: In which you attend all free workshops, groups and volunteer opportunities, chanting some segment of “The Favour Bank” philosophy in your head as justification for your wasted time. When your friends bitch about work, you bust out with, “Yesterday, it was my day to volunteer at the library…” and wince as you ooze lonernerdiness.
- Actually Busy Phase: You don’t have a job, for real. This morning when you looked in the mirror, your reflection told you you’r going to die unaccomplished and alone with no money to speak of if you don’t get your professional facade together and pretend to be amazing at everything already.
Her face in your face sent you to the computer and you actually applied for stuff. For hours. It’s like you hypnotized yourself.
Don’t lose heart, it’s not your fault you suck, the economy is really, really terrible.