So, here’s your situation: You got laid off. Or you left your job. Or you just can’t find what you’re looking for. Regardless of your personal situation, any of the above means you are unemployed. Now you’re frustrated, tired, and cranky. I get it. We’ve all been there at one point or another. Job searching and being unemployed just sucks, OK? There’s no way around it.
Being unemployed may be the best thing that ever happened to you. I’m a prime example. In 2006 I was laid-off. That’s what inspired and motivated me to start my own life coaching practice.
It’s not the fact that I didn’t have a job, it’s the opportunity it created. You may think I’m crazy, but let’s break this down a little bit.
Being unemployed gives you time
How busy are you in your everyday life? From work to personal commitments to just trying to have a little fun, chances are you’re burnt out by the end of the day. This unexpected time off from work gives you something you may not have had before: time.
What can time do for you, you ask? It gives you the chance to do some soul-searching. It gives you the chance to breathe. It gives you the chance to look at your strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes and then apply those to a life that you want. Listen, we all lead these insane lives which can put our aspirations and our audacious goals on the backburner sometimes. Use this time off to understand these aspirations and goals — and determine how you can get there.
Gaining your confidence back
Let’s say during your time off you decided you wanted to be an architect. Great! Awesome! I applaud you! So…what are you going to do about it?
Here’s the thing: A lot of people have these larger than life goals, right? But what do they do about them? Once you understand what your future could look like, you have to gain the confidence to get there. I get it. Your ego is probably bruised from being unemployed. And It probably doesn’t help if you’ve been without work for a long time. However, you need to pick yourself up by your bootstraps and get moving. Nobody else is going to do it for you. Get that tenacity back. Get your goals back. Get your life back. That’s where confidence grows from.
Think of confidence as that spice you need to get the recipe just right — that little push to bring you to the next level. Beyond that though, it means unpacking your fears and insecurities to understand why you haven’t done anything about this dream before and how you’re going to get there now.
Get off your ass
When some people are unemployed, their favorite thing to do is wait until opportunity comes to them. Once again, I get it. Your couch is probably really comforting during your time off. However, your couch isn’t going to get you a job and neither is waiting around. You have to use that courage you just gained and move forward with your audacious goals. So, if you want to be an architect, you have to start acting like one. Today.
To be an architect (or anything for that matter), you may have to complete the necessary research, networking, training, etc. Obviously this is going to take work, but guess what? That’s what it’s going to take to go from unemployed to becoming what you want to become. And, when you start to transform into the person you’d like to be, I’d bet anything you’re going to be happier, more efficient, and a better person because you’re doing what you want to do. How’s that for some unemployment luck in disguise?
If you use your time off to do some soul-searching, gain the courage to step into your greatness, and actually get up and move, you might find that being unemployed may turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you. It certainly was for me. This time off the hamster wheel allows you to take the time to find yourself, find your interests, and find what will truly makes you happier. Seize the opportunity.
What do you think? What are some other reasons why being unemployed may be the best thing that ever happened to you?