Should I find a job as soon as possible and apply for offers that excite me as much as the spider test in Fort Boyard? Did I go for a long desert crossing and how am I going to justify this hole in my CV? Unemployment is an adventure full of learning, for the worst and sometimes all the same for the best.
Challenge 1: tame time
Our relationship to time is changing. Being unemployed means accepting not being able to plan for more than 2 weeks (who knows… we might have found it by then?). It is therefore difficult to plan any activity other than looking for a job. How to manage your days when you have been used all your life to live to the precise rhythm of the school bell and to follow the course set by the objectives of our manager? From morning routine to associative activities, everyone has their own recipe for finding the right balance between action and introspection.
Challenge 2: refuse to be ashamed
Being unemployed means learning to manage the silence of those who hesitate between us saying: “Unemployed? But it's great to have time! And “Oh, for 6 months? Oh yes anyway ! “. It is keeping a smile in the face of those who envy us a little deep in their little bruised hearts but feel a panic fear of being us. It's trying not to compare yourself to those who (re) found a job faster. It's advocating for our own side of the story when we are asked what we do for a living.
Challenge 3: apply for an offer
Applying for an offer is the equivalent of a course combining balancing at a height of 6 m and discreet sinking of the opponent's head in the mud. On reading the offer, first comes the astonishment at the job titles that challenge the English language itself or contracts bordering on legal indecency.
We transfigure ourselves in Baudelaire 3.0 of the cover letter with the shell as the supreme fear. We hope to be taken while not believing it too much either; Through the force of experience, some even learn to recognize off-peak times of the year and lame offers that end up on a “Your profile interests us but we have no budget”.
When you're lucky, comes the first phone interview. The art then consists in finding imaginative answers, but not too much, to “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” », And to talk very seriously about what made us proud during our 3rd year internship.
Challenge 4: play the game of seduction
Unemployed perhaps even more than usual, you become your own marketing object. The violence of a labor market becomes real. It is painful to feel “in demand” when faced with an offer which, whatever you do, will be unsatisfactory for everyone. Our role ? To appear available and stretched with all our soul towards the new dream company, but without giving the impression of having too much of a slab either.
All this while we are being told in the fear that unemployment will become long-term, of running out of money, of joining the “too far from employment” who have definitely left the system.
Challenge 5: not to be chosen but to maintain confidence
As in the poem L'Art, by the poet Elizabeth Bishop, you have to learn to lose without seeing disaster. Whatever happens, we should succeed in not making it a personal matter and learn to manage refusals, permanent emotional elevators, to smile at the ex-future-employer who dumps us even before the start of our relationship. What is beautiful is also that we continue to believe in it: we can't help but feel a little thrill every time an unknown number appears on our cell phone.
Challenge 6: make this period more than an anteroom to a future job
Finding work is more complex than just crossing the street, not only because of the economic context, but also because the fulfilling future is not necessarily found in the first job offer. Change takes time, and you don't have to feel guilty about going through a period of transition and reflection.
Unemployment could also be considered a form of room for oneself, in the sense given to these words by the writer Virginia Woolf. That is to say, a space where one is not disturbed, and where one receives a form of income which allows precisely to create (create oneself) and to lay the bricks of one's career. Getting lost in order to find oneself better, experiment, manage discomfort… and find a certain poetry in a meeting with the Pôle Emploi advisor on Valentine's Day.
* “Guide des paumé.es” by Aurore Le Bihan and Lucie Chartouny from makesense, 216 pages, Marabout editions, 19.90 Pounds
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