Do you know what it feels like to be jobless?
Do you really know?
Do you know how it breaks a man to the core of his soul?
I have always had a job, scratch that. I have always enjoyed being employed. I love it.
Work gives me joy, it gives me purpose, it allows me to serve, and it enables me to do things I enjoy. It has been my primary source of income for years and I have solely depended on work to pay my bills and take care of my family.
I had never been jobless until I found myself without work.
Being jobless slapped me hard. It pealed me off until my dry bones became exposed. Being jobless led me to question my worth, it made me feel inadequate, it made me feel like a hoax.
I sent out applications with no responses. I had a folder with countless versions of my resume, yet nothing was coming through. When I would get a regret email, I would be grateful that at least they had the courtesy of getting back to me. When they asked for a interview, I was elated at the chance of a fresh start. But with time, those emails became the start of a roller coaster of emotions. Excited, hopeful, prayerful, anxious, pissed, disappointed in myself, angry at God and everything in between especially when they sent that famous one that thanks you for takin the time to interview but you will not be proceeding to the next step because they found someone else who matches the skills required for the job!
When I told my friends I was job hunting and would appreciate if they gave me leads, they would tell me not to worry that I would get a job soon or simply ask me to check their company website if there were any jobs. Weuhh…. Do you know how hurtful this is when you have been jobless for months? I was not asking to be handed a job on a silver platter, I mean, it would have been nice, but for someone you know has the influence and leads to send you to a website.
I kept checking my emails only to get updates from Uber Eats on what was on offer. All this took a toll on me and slowly by slowly, I began to lose interest. I would see jobs that were a perfect fit, but I would not apply. My laptop had so many open tabs and when I came back to them, it was too late; the jobs had already expired. I felt inadequate and lost confidence in my skills. I knew I had been great; my experience and achievements were there to be seen, but somehow, I just was not able to convince recruiters. And so, bit by bit, I began to sink.
When you lose your self-confidence, you stop caring. You lack the energy to fight, to try. You accept your situation and with time, you just settle into it. The oxymoron is that you should be up and about trying to find ways to make ends meet and pay bills, but once you sink into the hole, there is absolutely no drive. You stare at the bills and wait for them to consume you.
There is something I need to tell you. Even during my depression, I never lost faith in God. I knew he would come through. I knew he would sort me out. I knew with time, I would get a job and things would be good, I could fend for my family again. Yes, I cried, yes, I prayed and there were days I would ask when my time would come. But I also learnt to hang on to the fact that he would never let me down or embarrass me. I began to remind him that I was his child and he had promised in the bible that he would uphold me with his right hand, so I was relying on that.
I finally got back into the job market. I finally was able to get my groove back. I finally convinced someone that I was good, and they gave me a second chance. It has been five years now and I am happy. I can pay my bills and spend on my family without any worries. I enjoy work, I have found my lost confidence, I have slowly but surely crawled out of the depression hole I was in due to lack of employment. I know I am not my title or my job, I know that, but I will not lie to you, it was not easy.