what unemployment has taught me

Original Post: what unemployment has taught me

This whole unemployment thing sucks as I’ve said many, many times before. But in a way it’s good for me.

And no, I don’t mean in the reading through the Chicago Public Library system in one summer kind of way.

It’s taught me a very important lesson.

I still don’t have it figured all out. I doubt I ever will have it all figured out. But I am learning a lot about myself right now. I’m learning what I want. What I don’t want. And more importantly what I deserve.

Yes, I may have a couple things against me. The lack of degree may be a bright red flag to some employers. And yeah, maybe I don’t have the professional experience that some might require.

But I have so much more to offer. I have first hand experience. I’m a writer. I do outreach. I build community.

And I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know it all. But I want to learn. I want to do it all. I’m not afraid to jump right in to something. And maybe I might fail at first, but the next time around, I know exactly what I’ll do to change. I love a good challenge.

Most importantly, I’ve learned it’s okay to say no.

Being unemployed leaves me with a sense of urgency, sometimes even desperation. Obviously, money is a stressful thing. When you don’t have anything coming in and the bills are piling up, it’s a horrible feeling. Feeling like you’re never going to get ahead again.

For a while I was willing to take anything that came my way. I was ready to do the retail thing or get back with the nanny thing or just take any job. Who cares what, as long as it paid.

I’ve realized that it doesn’t have to be like that. I would much rather hold out a little longer searching for the right thing for me. A job that will push me. A job that has faith in my abilities. A job that has me so excited to get to the office or to my computer. A job where I have a voice. A job where people respect me and appreciate the work I do.

I’ve learned in the past few months that there is nothing wrong with turning down an offer that just isn’t right. And I have, a few times. It’s alright to say “no, thank you”. I know what I’m worth and what I want.

And I’m not planning on settling any time soon.