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Unemployed? You've got this.

Updated: Jul 19, 2021

Originally written for You Magazine on 15 August 2019 "Do's & Don'ts when looking for a job". -

Edition 2 Published on The Journal 29 October 2020 by Thato Choma

Navigating the reality and illusions of being unemployed. Here is a truth about growing up: You take decisions that you never imagined you would need to make. In this article we talk about decision making when it comes to career moves. The world is yours, the saying has never been more alive than it is today. Let's see how & why.

The status of unemployed youth in South Africa, sitting at over 50%, can change favourably, believe this and accept this as fact. If you are unemployed, what can you do to find meaning, strength and your power in it all? While the government is continuously making tremendous moves to prevent and remedy this pandemic, your life is still your responsibility. No one is coming to save you. Take advantage of your youth, unemployment status, combined with your intrinsic desire to be the best you can be: Limitless.

When one engages in something productive on a daily basis, engaging their talents, and contributes to an admirable vision bigger than themselves, it builds self-esteem, which I view as the most important aspect in people development. Unemployment can lead to people building negative self-concepts of themselves based on their employment status, base worth on productivity, which is an extreme and common measure of worth commonly subscribed to in the world, much to our detriment & misinterpreted.

Globalisation is on our side when it comes to unemployment solutions because when you are unable to find employment in your residing country, the internet hosts a world of opportunities that were not as accessible before as they are now. At the time of writing the article in 2019, the increase in Jobs online was at a steady incline. With COVID-19 as a catalyst of digitisation & working remotely, there is a multiplied increase of work opportunities where it is feasible to render a service completely online which cuts on costs in many ways. These include coaching, teaching, online stores, digital services, web design services, brand CI development, translations; are such jobs that are globally in demand, and required urgently, AND evidently, it seems most jobs can be performed remotely & excellently.

Here are some of the aspects you can look into as ways to ensure that the decision about which root to take when job hunting & career building globally, online, and in principle for any career move really.

What does this job do for who I am?

How does it contribute to my personal growth, in what other ways can this be enriching? Some might say; “Well, the money I get will actually help me with furthering my education”, "My livelihood & quality of life will improve", which are acceptable responses. You are worthy of a great quality of life and livelihood. The question is, how does this align with who I am and what I believe my value add on this planet is? What about the job will be worth your while, what skills could I learn & give? Can I build a career out of this where I won’t hate myself or others? As a financial resource, Financial growth is not a guarantee when you have an income. Growth comes with self-worth, planning and intentional engagement with your finances or any subject about self. It really comes to being aware about who you are and taking aligned actions to that, not because you read it from a textbook or psychometric test. This is not a jab at academics & tests, it is a challenge to define yourself according to yourself, before someone else writes it for you.

Trust your gut. If something feels off, it probably is.

Sometimes things “Feel off” because there are simply not resonating with your soul and the life you’re truly wanting to live. Scams aside, that’s spoken about enough, perhaps people wouldn’t fall into scams if they did listen to their gut! Most times, people who fall victim to scams will recall a time or opportunity that was a signal to disengage from the opportunity, and in hindsight, recognise that they ignored the inner voice. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are always co-creating our lives with our energy & what we choose to focus on. Often at times about gut feel, it's got nothing to do with anything or anyone being a villain, it simply means this is not the fit for you. It is not intended to be a rejection, it simply means that there is something better, whether it is about timing or a different circumstance surrounding the work, be encouraged by this.

“I hope I am good enough for the company?”. How about: "Is the company good for me?"

Many people feel like they are at the mercy of employers, and the employer-employee or client-service provider relationship is often looked at from a lense of “I hope I am good enough for the company”. When the other side of the question is, “Is this company good for me, and is the company the right one to be pouring my time, talent and energy?”. Not in a bad way, the essence is: It’s about what is important for the outcome you are both trying to achieve, not one person is more important than the other. When it is looked at this way, the intrinsic value of each party is considered for decision making. With that said, you can only think for yourself. And what is best for you. Many job seekers fall into the traditional “become what they are looking for”, which is useful for certain stages of career development, it's just not sustainable and trying to be everything to everyone is tiring. What has longevity and power is owning who and what you are, concentrating on sharpening that, then the right jobs will come looking for you and you will make more authentic inspired decisions.

Research & referrals

Another aspect you can look into is around the norms and regulation in this industry. It is important to set yourself up for success and a way to do that is to be surrounded by competent; trust worthy support from agents, to certifiers to the employers themselves. You will be doing yourself a disservice by not having the right people by your side, and believe you are worth it.

Ask for help, you are supported.

Take someone on the journey with you. Talk to someone about the opportunity you are looking into. If it is someone who has engaged in the opportunity deeply enough to share their experience, even better. Online work is also emotionally stretching because it requires one to use trust muscles that may have never been used to this extent before. To assist you, run your ideas and engagements past someone, because very often another pair of eyes on something helps you to realise something that you may have not been aware of or been sensitive to, and you could find yourself saying things like, “I never thought to ask that, or go about it like that! Thank you.” Decision making is emotional and the energy it takes should not be underestimated or taken for granted. With that said, ask for help.

Focus on gratitude & abundance. Decrease the desperate energy.

While ambition and striving for the next is part of self-actualisation & raising consciousness, what we thank about, we bring about. Avoid getting caught up in what's missing, and focus on what you have. People can smell desperation and it is a right opportunity repellent because it is essentially a spirit of lack. This is a sure way to attract the wrong type of employment or scams and also make the wrong decisions in your path. A test you could apply on whether to do it or not is: Am I inspired by this opportunity or am I just taking it because I am afraid? There is a difference between ambition and desperation. Desperation comes with a strain of fear. Ambition is ALWAYS inspired. Another way how to do this practically is to look at the facts of the opportunity, and how it will contribute to you beyond money. Again, trust your gut.

Written by Thato Choma

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Originally written for You Magazine on 15 August 2019 -

Edition 2 Published on The Journal 29 October 2020 by Thato Choma

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