75 Things That Suck About Being Unemployed

Today marks ten months since I was laid off from my last job. In that time, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect and the conclusion I’ve reached is not having a job sucks. I never imagined it would take me this long to find a job. At first, you enjoy the free time and the ability to spend time doing things you would be too busy to do otherwise. As the months roll on, it begins to wear on you. I’ve been unemployed before but I was younger then and more optimistic. Being unemployed in your 30s, it feels like time is running out.

I’m sure everyone who is unemployed has their own reasons they hate it but these are mine:

  1. Applying for a job you are perfect for and not hearing back
  2. Applying for a job you are overqualified for and not hearing back
  3. Seeing listings for jobs you applied for months earlier
  4. Slowly lowering your starting salary expectations as you get more desperate
  5. Seeing “Help Wanted” jobs at retail stores and wondering how much more it would pay than unemployment
  6. Filling out the same information over and over again on online job applications
  7. Running out of jobs to apply for
  8. Going weeks without even getting a phone call about your resume
  9. Overly complicated online applications
  10. Accidentally losing all the information you’ve already filled out online and having to start over
  11. Writing cover letters
  12. Trying to find creative ways describe the mundane stuff you used to do in resume
  13. Changing from searching for “a job you want” to “a job you’d like” to “a job you’d be willing to do” to “any job” over the course of your unemployment
  14. Competing for jobs with college graduates
  15. Not having any connections to get you job hookups
  16. Not even being able to get freelance/temporary jobs
  17. Not getting the job because you are overqualified
  18. Going on a great interview and still not getting the job
  19. Going on a great interview and not even getting an e-mail telling you didn’t get the job
  20. Getting stumped by an interview question
  21. Knowing early in an interview that you are not going to get the job
  22. Thinking you did so well on an interview you already start thinking ahead to what it will be like to work there
  23. Feeling overdressed for an interview
  24. Being interviewed by someone who has no time to be doing an interview
  25. Realizing you’ve said something dumb during an interview
  26. Trying not to come off as desperate during an interview
  27. Being interviewed by someone who doesn’t seem interested in hiring you
  28. Preparing all day for an interview that last less than 30 minutes
  29. Overhearing other people interviewing for the same position as you
  30. When the person who you are supposed to be interviewing with is late
  31. When the person you are supposed to be interviewing with ends up not being in the office that day
  32. Being lonely during the hours of 9 AM to 5 PM
  33. Not saying a single word aloud until my wife comes home from work
  34. When all my East Coast friends sign off of GChat/AIM around 3 PM because they are leaving work to go home
  35. Not being able to have normal conversations with people because you’ve got nothing going on
  36. Not making new work friends
  37. Running into people you used to work with who still work where you got laid off
  38. Not being able to participate in an office March Madness pool
  39. Not being able to afford to spend money on anything unless it’s necessary like gas, food and rent
  40. Missing one of your best friend’s weddings because you can’t afford a ticket
  41. Getting e-mails everyday for sales you can’t enjoy
  42. Window shopping and/or “When I get a job, I’m going to buy this” shopping
  43. Not being able to save money
  44. How much money you get for unemployment in relation to how much you used to make
  45. Not being able to buy gifts for loved ones
  46. Wondering if you’ll ever make as much as you used to
  47. Wondering if you’re going to have to start over career-wise
  48. Black Friday/Cyber Monday
  49. Trying to get someone from the Unemployment Office on the phone when your payment doesn’t come through
  50. Hearing the disappointment in your parents’ voice every time they ask about your job search
  51. Freaking out because you don’t know what you’ll do when your unemployment runs out
  52. Trying to avoid injury or cavities because you don’t have insurance
  53. Questioning all the career choices you’ve made up to this point
  54. Being jealous of people’s LinkedIn updates
  55. Not having a reason to get dressed everyday
  56. Free office lunches
  57. A steady supply of milk, tea and coffee from your office
  58. A steady supply of Post-It notes and staples from your office
  59. Not realizing a holiday is coming up because you’ve lost track of the days, weeks and months
  60. Not letting yourself make travel plans because you don’t know if you’ll have a job by then and therefore won’t have the vacation days to do it
  61. Not being able to afford trips back home to visit family and friends
  62. Having to tell people you’re unemployed when they ask what you do for a living
  63. Being unproductive despite having all the time in the world
  64. Feeling bad about having an unproductive day
  65. Feeling like you don’t have the respect of your employed peers
  66. Running out of things to look at on the Internet by 1 PM
  67. Hating that the monthly unemployment data applies to you
  68. Feeling pitied and judged
  69. Laughing every time you hear that job numbers have improved in America
  70. Cabin fever
  71. Losing whole days to Netflix or bad television
  72. Not feeling encouraged by other people’s encouragements
  73. When people ask you how’s it going, trying not to tell them the absolute truth because no one really wants to hear that shit
  74. Getting sad when you don’t win the Lotto
  75. Trying to remain relatively positive in spite of it all because giving up isn’t an option (unless you win the Lotto of course)

Did I miss any?


26 thoughts on “75 Things That Suck About Being Unemployed

  1. Realizing you’ve made a permanent dent in the sofa by sitting there all day, every day, and that you can’t afford to buy a new one.

  2. I volunteer when I’m unemployed because :

    1) I’ve got the time
    2) The more people I meet the more opportunities I have to hear about jobs that aren’t posted.
    3) I have room to learn without the pressure of messing up and getting fired — Hello new skill set!
    4) Volunteering makes me feel like I’m earning my next job by contributing to society in a meaningful way.

    ~xo I’m pulling for you, homey.

  3. Wow! You listed everything I felt especially the cabin fever and being unproductive is extremely hard. funny I stumbled upon your blog looking for work and saw your resume on Indeed that led me to here.

  4. When everything seems bleak remember to pray also don’t matter how hard things seems you are blessed and loved . Remember when everything seems to fail PRAY,PRAY it works

  5. When the person you interview with says she doesn’t feel your “passion” for the organization (which is a for profit university!!) and so you’re not a good fit. Then she says that you’ve obviously got a great future ahead of you. HR will call you if there’s any next steps, but probably not, so… Oh the condescension!

    Sorry to hear that you’re still struggling. I’m in month 8 of non full time work, and it’s strange and hard out there, even though I chose this life. Good luck.

  6. I forgot to mention that if you want, I can hook you up with some of the odd jobs I do. They’re contract/minimum wage computer work, but if you’re interested, let me know. Oh, also happy to help with resume rewriting because I like that kinda thing.-T

  7. Also being lazy on your freelance work in the meantime…an ironic side effect of being depressed over being fired. :-/

  8. First of all I would like to say fantastic blog!
    I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to
    writing. I have had a difficult time clearing my mind
    in getting my ideas out there. I truly do enjoy writing but
    it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are
    lost just trying to figure out how to begin.
    Any recommendations or tips? Thanks!

  9. Sorry to hear that man. It sucks being unemployed and I have been laid off a few times in my career … so I know how you feel. The thing that helped me more than anything was to get the RIGHT mindset and inner game. Once I figured that out …. Interviews became a game for me!

  10. I’m 32yrs. old I’ll be 33 in Dec. I’ve been unemployed since Aug. 2013. I’ve been unemployed before but i was much younger than. Im married and my wife she’s the only one bringing home the bacon…lol but I’ve been having done interviews here and there but no door has open for me yet. So yeah it gets frustrating at times waiting for a call back hoping to hear some good news or even calling them back. But I’m not going to give up…just keep me in your prayers. Thank you,
    Nubian M.

  11. Lost my job back in May 2013 while working for a staffing service. Noticed they let 10 other temps go besides me. I have not given up. Have had a few interviews but no good solid offers yet. I am thinking about going back to school for CDL or expanding my lawn care stuff. Been cutting yards just to have some money coming in. The past few months have been rough though. Have had some medical stuff come up I was unaware of a medical condition I had. Seems like alot of companies these days use staffing services unfortunately. Even thought about moving and starting over.

  12. I’ve been out of work since 2009. Found out in 2008. Sucks! No employment till I gave up and got hired @ Walmart. Not so bad, really great job. It’s money. But now I have two part time jobs. I work 7 days a week. But it’s jobs. I found out if you work @ Taco Bell, McDonalds, Burger King, Wendys, etc you can work 4 hour shifts on each job, which is 12 hours a day, which you make about $8-$9 an hour. Do one, then go to the other, than the other. Go to OneStop to get the stupid Food Cert you need now and they may waive the fee for you. Anyway with all three jobs you get around $1,200-$1,300 a month. It’s better than nothing. Meanwhile, don’t forget County, City part time jobs are there. Also if you want a Fed jobs, check out the Federal website for the airport security. They are always hiring these jobs. You gotta be dedicated, I think you have to wear a gun. But OneStops will provide the class for the gun and pay for it. There is money at the OneStop unemployment offices because if you are laid off they have to find you schooling to get thru “for a new career.” If I had known, I would have taken deaf interpreting–you get around $150 to $200 a hour now. Work for a deaf agency or with the County City State or Federal government. Go with people on their appointments, court hearings, food shopping, doctor visits, anything deaf people need. You get your diploma in about 8 months. ASL=American Sign Language. Which is a language for the deaf and you can work anywhere in the world. DO NOT TAKE medical coding/billing. It’s a waste of time as hospitals, clearinghouses, etc WILL NOT take you as you have no experience. They won’t even let you get your foot in the door for the experience. They also have foreign people doing the coding overseas which they make about $10 a day, so that’s pretty well covered. All the best guys, just don’t give up! Please. Took me from 2009 to 2012 to get the Walmart job. It’s part time too but it’s better than being homeless. All the best:)

  13. How about feeling completely useless because NO ONE wants to hire you because you’re “too casual”.

  14. I am very sure the unemployed and even the long term unemployed haven’t “given up” as the media is so fond of supporting. I mean its people fighting for their lives. Their are searching for work to stay alive. People don’t just say “I’m throwing in the towel and going to live the rest of my life in homelessness.” But the long term unemployed need to embrace alternative ways of living. Long term unemployment which leads to homelessness and death is the govt.’s secret evil plan to kill off the population. Then it won’t have to pay social security.

  15. Reblogged this on DivasandDollas and commented:
    Since my firing, I have been reading the posts of other people that are in the same situation as I am. I don’t know why…I guess misery loves company. Lol…but when I came across this blog post…I hit so many points for me that I JUST HAD TO REBLOG IT!!!! OMG! This is the post is the pure truth, I kid you not! And the fact that I have a lottery ticket in my purse right now that I have checked because I don’t want to be disappointed if I am not the winner, just sent me over the freaking edge. I literally had a laughing fit! Thank you sir for writing this post. It gave my LIFE with no parole! Lol

  16. Re:Helene Curtis
    Wow, I never thought of that aspect! Your strong point does make sense implicitly, really make you question about why America society have to run this way.

  17. If you want to complain about unemployment, or anything else, there is nearly an infinite number of lists you can make.

    I’m unemployed now for the 2nd time. First time I was underemployed for 1 year. This time, I am unemployed for 3 months. After 6 months the resume lools disfavorable… So I am not looking forward to that.

    But like the Israelites exodus from Egypt and complaining in the desert that they will die in the wilderness, they should have stayed in Egypt, they could have had all that good food, they didn’t have to eat the same food everyday, they want variety, blah blah. God then said you know what?! I’m sick of it, what you were complaining of will now happen. You will die in the wilderness! 40 years later. You think that would be the end of it… But Moses was ready to go to the promised land and he let the people’s incessant complaining phase him. So he was punished by never getting to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

    Grumbling, complaining about the negatives of being unemployed, and letting it seep into your personality will only self-fulfill prolonging languish.
    (Also, if you are God-fearing, then you should know that complainers rank pretty high on God’s curse list. Instead, trust in God. For he is the LORD your God. Jesus reasoned He provides for the birds and various animals their daily food. How much more important are you to Him?)

  18. Being surrounded at the library by smelly homeless people, crazy people, and lonely elderly people because you need the free Wi-Fi to apply to jobs because you can’t afford internet or mobile data anymore because you’re unemployed. My booty hurts from sitting in this hard library chair all day. Looking at three weeks worth of emails saying “you’ve applied” and seeing no responses from anybody. Wow!

  19. Wow.. you really hit the nail on the head. As I read down the list I found myself instinctively nodding the whole time. I live in one of the main cities of Australia. Ive been unemployed for 4 months now and its driving me nuts! A big acknowledgement for the cabin fever. It is extremely frustrating when you are genuinely trying to get a job but despite your efforts nothing… Not getting a call back or even an email when you have bothered to interview is just plain rude. Business’ are busy these days I get it but in this age of digital correspondance it really is depressing and pathetic that most employers dont even bother to send out bulk rejection letters.

  20. I am from a nation that is the second most populous in the World, and here people see employment as directly linked to survival.
    Till a long time, professionalism was sorely lacking in the workplace, as would be expected in a Third World country, a so-called emerging market.
    Now, things are better, but from my point of view, I feel to do good work is more important than just having the security that comes along with a job.
    I left my first job in just 4 months. I felt as though I was not “DOING ANYTHING” over there, and I thought it well to leave, rather than continue like a parasite.
    But the setback I received from that sense of uselessness at the workplace is still pushing me back from taking up any new job.
    It is true that in most cases, unemployment is just a phase through one passes, while learning many “lessons”…
    But to refuse to stand and gear up for the fight is something very dangerous, and I feel I am in such a situation right now…
    As if paralyzed….

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