I had an experience yesterday that made me sit down and laugh, not because the situation was funny but because it was the type of moment where the likelihood of it happening is maybe 6 billion-to-1 (okay, I made that up but I never said I was a statistician).
I had a moment where I was contacted by my past, present and if I wanted it to happen, my potential future. I sat on the bed and couldn’t believe what I was seeing, almost simultaneous contact via email, text and IM. It reminded me of Scott Pilgrim fighting “The League of Evil Ex’s”…except they weren’t all ex’s and for the most part, they are not evil (well there is one that the jury is still out on…)
It helped me come to a huge realisation about being used. I am 36 at the weekend and I feel good that I have been able to let go of my past. I made a decision to close the door on the potential future because I am now able to recognise traits in people and to see what could become a recurring bad habit. I am not so needy that I will allow myself to fall into destructive relationship situations again.
I need to stop trying to influence what may or may not happen. If I concentrate on what works for me in the present, right now, my life will be happier. The past is just a reference point. The present moment is all that matters.
…It’s the question that has been in my mind for a while.
I have been an IT contractor for around 6 years now. In that time I have met MANY people. You do become friendly with people in your team, but it usually only lasts for the life of the project and then you move on.
However the world can seem small when you go from one project to another and actually meet people who you knew from previous companies. Also with the nature of the job I do (when I am working) we work long hours and often at weekends.
At one point I ended up spending so much time with work friends that I would socialise with them outside of work on a regular basis, and so those barriers began to fall and I classed them as real friends.
So I wasn’t really prepared for what happened once the recession hit. People began to call less, email even less frequently. If there were jobs out there, rather than share info, people didn’t get in touch anymore. Then reality sank in… All of the people who I have seen as friends are actually competition as we all go for the same jobs. It saddens me to see how things have changed.
- 5 More Social Job Search Tools That Will Get You Hired (socialtimes.com)
I will admit that it was a scary time, not knowing when there would be work or whether I would be considered for work after being out of a very competitive market for a while. During that time, I looked at my situation as failure and often blamed myself even when it was clear that it was just the current climate.
Probably the hardest thing is not having the freedom to do the things I want as I used to. Just a few years ago, I lived life as I wanted and it suited me as I am very much a free spirit. I was once very happy with my life and never foresaw the quite drastic change of direction that it has taken. It is often hard to explain to friends when I can’t do the activities that I would normally have just jumped at doing without hesitation. I find it frustrating, and I know they must do too, but now I have to think carefully about everything I do and mostly turn invites down because every day I need to work out how I will pay my bills.
As well as job hunting I have tried to keep busy and fill my days with doing jobs around the house, and cheap (often free) activities. What this time out has taught me is a lot more about myself. I try to plan and set myself daily tasks, just as I would have done whilst I was working to keep myself busy and to stay positive. Even writing this blog was a task today
Here are 5 things you can do to keep yourself motivated
1. Try and get out of the house everyday
It is really important if you are not working to feel the sun on your skin or just to get some fresh air! It helps me to think clearly and just feel better in general.
Another thing I discovered this year is that I love walking. I walk approximately 30km per week now and I love it. I used to have to motivate myself to go to the gym or go for a run. Walking is a pleasure, and it has helped me shed 2 dress sizes since April. Whatever you like to do for exercise, make sure you keep it up. The endorphins will help keep you positive.
3. Stay Focused
Try and plan at least part of your day and then leave yourself time to do what you want. I find that once I start on the things I have planned, the day just disappears anyway! Even if I don’t feel like focusing on big things, I try to tackle little things just so I can feel as if I have achieved something.
4. Start a Group
If you know other people who are in the same situation as you, start a group. Helping each other to find work and give advice and support is invaluable and helps you understand that you are not alone.
If you think you have a skill or just some time that you could put to better use, get out there and volunteer. It could be with a local group or organisation or you can even be an online volunteer if you have the right skills. I have volunteered with UN Online Volunteers in the past and always found it a very rewarding experience.
- Volunteer When Job Hunting (turbotax.intuit.com)
- How to Volunteer for the Environment and Go Green Groups (brighthub.com)
- Online volunteers make an impact (cnn.com)
- Freelancing Tips: Will You Work for Free? (queercents.com)
- Volunteering benefits those with functional limitations (tricitypsychology.com)