1/14/13

Unemployed and Don't Know What To Do Next?

With 15 million of us in the USA alone without work, or underemployed, or unsatisfactorily employed it's amazing that we all get up in the morning and keep plugging away at a goal that imperceptibly has become a fog of uncertain tomorrows.  A magic genie to answer your prayers; a dear previous employer who calls up out of nowhere asking you to return; winning Publisher's Clearing House...these are a few of the fantasies that the unemployed dream about as they sit in front of their computers, looking at the screen in a dull haze of online forums, social media networks and job posting boards. Unless you've been undesirably unemployed for a long duration you most probably will have no idea what I am talking about.  That's okay because I suppose I would not expect you to understand the soul crushing despair and the sapping of self-confidence that comes with such a journey.  I consider myself to be a very sympathetic soul and when I was highly employed as a Dean of continuing education at a college in Boston, I had no idea how painful unemployment could be.  In fact, one might say that my view at that time was more in line with the pain of working too much and not having enough time for myself and my life.

Don't get me wrong, I do not miss those "watching paint dry" meetings where colleagues sit around a conference table and talk about the same inane topic that was discussed a year ago as if it was never thoroughly debated prior.  But at this point in my life, there are days that I would switch the boredom of unemployment for the stimulation of people watching at one of those conference tables.  The stress of meeting deadlines, complaints from customers, mean spirited politics and pressures about generating revenue were nowhere near as stressful as the dark place called "unemployment" that a good number of Americans face each day.  The humiliation of having achieved great goals only to be followed by judgments that you're one lazy person is in a word,  debilitating.  If it weren't for my faith in God and the companionship of my loving, wonderful, funny husband, I hate to think where I'd be right now.

Yes, I've learned some lessons through all of this and one of those lessons is that the work you do is the #1 question adults ask when you meet someone at the local restaurant bar or community social gathering.  "So, what do you do?" is the number one question that makes one's insides cringe when there is no socially acceptable answer.  My husband leans over and says, "We're in the witness protection program".  That actually seems to do the trick.  I used to make excuses and say that we really weren't in the witness protection program, but after years of taunting questions from well and not-so-well-meaning strangers, I sort of appreciate my husband's solution and relish the doubtful expressions on strangers' faces.  "Are they really in that program?" Hmmm...for those of you who are dealing with such questions, definitely try it - it will help you fend off the subsequent questions immensely.

When I told people that I was a handwriting analyst, there would be this look of incredulity, as if  I had broken all of the rules and that I could not possibly be making a living doing something so unusual and non-mainstream.  The second question would then be, "No really, what do you DO?"  "Oh my God, is not anyone sensitive these days?" I think to myself.  So then, if I'm in the mood to prove myself, I plop a white cocktail napkin in front of my inquisitor and tell them, "Write anything on this napkin, but don't tell me about yourself.  Then, sign your name on the bottom like you usually would do."  At this point, they start fumbling for a pen, curious to find out what this is all about.  Incredibly, they don't know what to write because when I say to write nothing about their work or hobbies, they have nothing to say.  Once again, it appears that our society has encouraged most of us to define ourselves by our work.  I've been there, so I know.  "Okay," I interject, "Just write that you're happy to be here".  After another dazed look, they start to write and voila, I am able to tell them all about their personality within 10 minutes.  A middle aged man told me recently that I knew more about him than his counselor and that I should have an office.

So what are your dreams?  Has unemployment drained you of your last ounce of energy such that you are spinning in a vortex of bewildered longing?  Are even your friends opting out of conversations by saying they have something important to attend to?  Is your mom even perplexed about what to say when you ask her, "What did I like to do when I was 8 years old?" hoping that some nugget of vocational insight might reveal itself from your former child self.  "Well, you loved animals".  Okay mom, I don't think I'm able to pursue a quest for the veterinarian track - too late for that wonderful career.  

So why am I writing you about this issue of unemployment?  First, because I do care about those who lose their careers, their jobs.  I know the dark hole you are about to enter, or have become stuck in, deep down in the darkness.  And if you read enough articles about the long term "hopelessly unemployed" you begin to take on that persona for yourself.  It happens.  Trust me.  You could be the most confident, pretty, charming and intelligent individual in the world, but experience a few years of being in the swamp of unemployment forms and lines and cross looks from social service workers.  It takes the spirit right out of you.

So perhaps it's time to have me take a look at your handwriting and let you know where your strengths are, even if you think you already know everything you could possibly know about yourself.  I might be able to help you pinpoint an innate talent that needs nurturing and development or simple encouragement.  Perhaps I can advise you as to the greatest fear that is blocking your successful attempts at a new professional life.  Handwriting analysis is so effective in exposing the subconscious emotions and thoughts from which your life is made.  Become the co-creator of your future and gain some insight about who your authentic self really is and how you might mold that self into a new profession.  Become the "Hopefully Unemployed" instead.

I would consider it a privilege to help you discern what career choices might make sense for you, given your unique gifts and personal style.  Save time and money by getting direct information that your own subconscious mind discloses in your handwritten letters and notes.  You will be absolutely convinced that a well trained handwriting analyst and counselor like myself can be of immense assistance in helping you to get out of that swamp of confusion.  Trust me.  I've been there and I want you to get out of that state of what I'd call "confusing considerations".  Make a commitment to yourself and consult with me about your vocational aptitudes.  It just takes a few moments to hand write me a message.  I've kept my fees very reasonable for the purpose of addressing challenges the unemployed face (i.e., less disposable income).  Equivalent to a co-pay with a reputable counselor, I think it's well worth the investment.  I would be grateful to have the privilege to help you on your way out of that dark hole and onto your new, self-aware, fulfilling life.

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