Stages of Unemployment

“Stacy, I’m so sorry to tell you this but unfortunately we have to let you go.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t think I heard you correctly.”
“Stacy, unfortunately you’re being laid off among several others. Effective immediately.”
I was so shocked that I just stood there with my mouth open uncontrollably. How could I be laid off? I just started here and I’ve been doing so well.
“We appreciate all your efforts in the past year…” I zoned out from what my manager was saying. What am I going to do now?
I went to my office to pack up my belongings, then sulked to my car and wallowed when I got to my apartment. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. Let alone inform my parents.
The next morning I woke up at my usual time, as if I had a job to go to. I got up, made breakfast and took a shower. Now what?
The first week or so, I was actually happy. It’s not like I was crazy about the job I had anyways. Besides this might be the one chance I have this much time to do the things I’ve always wanted to do. Maybe i’ll finally learn how to twerk, or finally get a six pack, or start doing yoga, or learn new recipes. Possibilities are endless! Now I can finally have time for me and do things that I’ve been putting off.
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I finally called Jasmine.
“Hey girl, whats up?”
“I don’t have a job anymore,” I said nonchalantly.
“I got laid off. The company had to downsize.”
“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I get to sleep later than I’m used to and get to wake up late…because well, I don’t have a job to go to,” I chuckled.
“Well what are you going to do now?”
“Not quite sure. I’m in the process of figuring it out.”
I was in the process of figuring it out alright. I applied to about 15 jobs a day. Each application took forever! Man applications suck! I’ve definitely never had this many tabs open on my computer at one time.
I went through so many stages while applying to jobs. At first I just wanted to apply to jobs that were cool and make a lot of money without having to work that hard.
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Then I started looking for jobs that seemed easy but paid well. “Office Admin, 60k- just pick up phones and type? Shiiiiittttt I can do that in my sleep. Hell, I’m doing it right now!” But soon enough I started to get emails from the companies saying I wasn’t qualified.
Well fuck you jobs!
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What’s the point of a degree if I can’t get a job with it? Somebody lied to me and said getting a job after graduating college was going to be easy.
Some job openings made me really excited, “Oh, this job looks cool. I want this job! Wait I REALLY want this job. Like I need this job!” But of course I heard nothing back from them. Typical.
Eventually I started to apply to jobs I knew I wasn’t qualified for. At that point I was just like fuck it! I fit like 4 out of the 10 requirements anyways. Maybe it’ll be a testimony job for me. It happens right?
It was officially time to look for side hustles and surveys to fill out to make money. Maybe my side hustle will turn into a real job, who knows. There was only one problem though- I had no talent. Maybe I should just be a housewife? I shook my head.
Soon enough, panic started to sink.
It’s fine, I’m fine, I believe in myself. I Just have to think positively and not freak out.
Maybe I should go back to school and get another degree.
What is my purpose in life? Why was I even born? I didn’t ask for this life. I didn’t ask to be born.
I’m 100% sure that i am 0% sure of what I am going to do in life now.
The good Lord is testing me.
Life is pointless and nothing matters.
Should I strip? Or be a sugar baby?…or just give up on life.
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I called Jasmine again.
“Jas what am I going to do? I have bills, trips coming up, and I need money just for the sake of having money!”
“Don’t worry, something is going to work out.”
Weeks were going by and I wasn’t getting call backs from my interviews. I called and emailed the jobs back but it was always news I didn’t want to hear. Soon enough I started to question life even more. I was contributing to society in no way. You’re a waste. You’re useless. All that education for nothing, I thought to myself.
That negative thinking never lasted long though thanks to my support system. I finally told my parents my situation and they were comforting. Along with them, and my close friends reaffirming that I’ll get a job soon, and that i’ll succeed, and that i’m not a failure, how could I not get out of my funk and self pity? Eventually I started to believe them. But not enough though. I still felt useless and miserable at times. I knew ultimately, the belief in my bright future had to come from me.
In time, I started to settle. I was ready to do just about any job. Retail, customer service, movies- typical high school jobs. I know I’m worth a salary of at least 50k plus but right now I’m willing to work a $12/$13 hourly job. Oh, God, I’m starting to lower my standards. The disgust. The worse part was that these jobs wouldn’t hire me. Apparently you can be overqualified. One manager told me, “I cannot hire you because I know you will not be here long. You’re capable of being employed at a higher rate with your education.” Well can I be the manager here then? Or can I be hired until the “better” job appears? Hell, can you point me in the direction of this job you think I’m capable of getting? Cause this sistah can’t find it.
My automatic bills were coming out my account and soon enough I was down to 0 dollars in one account and in negative in my other two accounts. Since I’m no longer a student with overdraft protection, the overdraft fees were kicking my ass. The only thing I could do was rant to my closest friends. Thank God for friends. You really have to pray for them. Their support is tremendous to your mental health.
I called up a good friend of mine that I met senior year in college, Janelle. We can go months without talking but when we do it’s like time never passed. Most times we’re going through the same exact thing.
“Girl! I’m borderline depressed.”
“If it makes you feel better, I don’t know what i’m doing with my life either.”
“That doesn’t help.” I laughed, “It’s just so frustrating. I see all these people getting great jobs. Everytime I go on Facebook I see people traveling, buying houses, accomplishing goals, or moving up the ladder at work,” I complained.
“Social media is the devil when you’re not happy. You have to stay off it for your sanity.”
“I know, I know.”
“The easiest way to be miserable is to compare your life to others. What you see is probably chapter 25 of their life while you’re still on chapter 10.”
“This is true. Thanks Janelle.”
“And remember your chapter 10 is someone else’s chapter 2 so be grateful for where you are.”
So I continued to pray. Pray and pray and pray…and pray. I started to get frustrated in the situation and in God, but i still persisted in my praying.
I felt stuck. I just kept thinking about my goals. I want so much out of life- to get ahead in my career, to own businesses, to invest, get into real estate, to let my talents be known, etc. When you’re an ambitious and hard working person, it’s hard to just do nothing. So I tried to still start a hobby/side hustle to take up time.
Too bad I didn’t have a boyfriend or a bae to entertain my unemployed ass. I didn’t even want to go on dates to be honest. I didn’t feel like going through the process of feeling uncomfortable. Being unemployed is a turn off. So the first few times I rambled past it and just talked about my goals and the vision I have for my future.
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I texted Jasmine.
“I feel like God is stopping my life for me to realize something.”
“He might be,” she texted back.
“What’s the lesson here God?!” I screamed out loud later on that day. I was truly frustrated. My phone had fell in the toilet and started acting up and I received an email 10 minutes after that incident saying my car insurance policy was canceled. I had no job, a malfunctioned phone, no car insurance, no boyfriend.
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That Friday Jasmine called me and screamed into the phone, “I’m gonna get you drunk today, ’cause it’s Friday, you ain’t got no job and you ain’t got shit to do!” In her best Smokey from Friday’s voice. “Let’s go out, my treat!”
Thanks to my phone glitching from the toilet incident, she couldn’t hear me so I texted her. I’d never been so happy to hear ‘let’s go out’ in my life. I’ve been so broke, I couldn’t even afford alcohol to drink my worries away.
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I just hope she doesn’t ask me what i’ve done today, let alone this week. Sometimes when people ask me what I do all day, I don’t know what to say. Honestly, sometimes I can’t remember. All I know is the day flew by fast. Some days I’m busy all day. Other days washing my face and working out is the accomplishment of the day. Some days I binge on Netflix then feel useless after. After awhile I got tired of people asking me how I was doing. I refrained from telling them I was really miserable on the inside and miss being independent. Instead I just said
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I was pretty certain that I was never going to get a job again. That’s what it felt like anyways. Naps had become my employer.
The worst is when people say just get a job. Like there’s a store you can go to to buy a career. I would say, that’s college. But we all know how that worked out for me. If it was up to Ben Carson, he would say “unemployment is a state of mind.” *eye roll*
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Three months later I started to get comfortable. Not in unemployment, in myself and in God. I started to think more positively, have a different attitude stress less, read more, and reflect. I especially took time for self care and self love. I also decided to take this time to talk to people I haven’t had the chance to talk to in awhile and see people I haven’t seen in awhile. I started to rethink my entire career path, my goals, future traveling, learn about budgeting. I became determined, hopeful, and optimistic– thank God. He is really involved in this stage of unemployment.
I finally started to believe that everything will be okay. I started to wake up with a smile instead of in worry or laying on bed staring at the ceiling for an hour wondering what i’m going to do with my life . Don’t get me wrong, there are still some days that happens but I realized there’s no fear or doubt in God and I was made in His image so therefore there is no fear or doubt in me. G.O.D. got my back! There’s a blessing in every lesson.

6 thoughts on “Stages of Unemployment

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