According to Trading Economics, the unemployment rate is the percentage of the work force that is unemployed at any given date. As of June this year, the number in our country stands at 7.5%. That figure is way up there along with 2010 and 2008’s high of 8%, along with some varied fluctuations.
Fresh grads, before that scares you enough to start handing out your resumes to various multinationals, realize that this is a blessing in disguise. There are a lot of things a person can do before immersing one’s self in the corporate world, activities you probably denied yourself during your years of academic struggle. Here are the upsides of unemployment:
Upside #1: You can take a break
Catch up with episodes of <insert name favorite TV show here> you missed because of finals. Get reacquainted with your bed. Sleep in again after those hard nights working on thesis.
Start a book plan. Travel. Invest your time in a worthy cause. Get a part-time job. Spend more time with family and friends. Blog. Go soul-searching. Discover what you really want to do.
You owe it to yourself to enjoy within a fixed timetable from about 3 months, at least, to 1 year, at most. Within this time, you can also…
Upside #2: You can seek advice from parents and relatives
It’s interesting to note that even adults didn’t have it all together when they started out in their careers. There’s nothing like living vicariously through their stories. I’m sure you’ll be able to pick up a nugget of wisdom or two while listening to them. They won’t pass up a chance to share the moments when they were just young whippersnappers like you. Remember, people love talking about themselves.
Their stories may frustrate you in an amusing way. I remember an uncle of mine shared how his first job at a large telecom company lasted 17 years. When I asked how that happened, he simply that there needed to be a balance. “Imagine if everyone got jobs that lasted a long time? There needs to be people who will stay only for a short time. It’s all part of the journey.” I think that was just his way of saying, “That’s life, son.”
Part of seeking advice means your parents and relatives will suggest applying for X company or pursuing Y career path. Though they mean well, always remember: Don’t forget to listen to yourself. You may be getting wisdom from them, but in the end it’s your call. Don’t totally depend on them. In the end, you are totally responsible for the decisions you do or do not make.
Upside #3: You can look for a job
Once you’ve taken steps 1 & 2, go find that career. Apply in companies where you know your interests jive with the vacant job description.
A tip to those who are still job-hunting, even after graduation: It’s okay. One of the things intermittent unemployment taught me was resilience. Sure, there were times I wanted to give up, but somewhere along the way, God just told me to keep moving forward. Two years later, a life-changing realization took place, and I’m off pursuing my dream – writing. Unemployment may just be the wake up call you need.
In all this, remember to stay positive! You’ll be back in shape in no time.
P.S. Here’s another takeaway quote: