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Oh! So now I’m,”Unemployed”?

Who has ever met a happy person in a job market? Most likely, no one. Sadness and anxiety sit at the gate of most job markets stripping every entree of happiness. For some, its a slow and gradual process, but for some others, it is an instant swoop; you pass through the gate and your happiness and sense of humor is gone. And the longer it takes to find a job, the worse the feeling gets.

This isn’t talking about those who are pretending to be in the job market but aren’t really in there. Or those who have a means of meeting their pressing basic needs.  Don’t come and trivialize the suffering of the real unemployed. You don’t know the meaning of unemployment, neither have you felt its harsh impact.

A lot of us have known the meaning of the word “unemployment” before our first potty training class. We learnt the meaning by deduction. We felt its sharp edges and understood its demeanor. And “we” are not a little amount of people.

In Nigeria, “unemployment” has been repeated so many times on television and radio, it has lost its weight in our chamber of feelings.

You don’t have a job?

“Awwwn. Eyaahh. Pele. Next!…You too?…Next! Wait…. Is there anyone on this queue with a job?…No one? Okay. We are working on giving everyone a job. We’ve been working on it since 1960. Goodnews is that the process is barely 50% completed. You can choose to fight for what’s ready or try your hands at entrepreneurship (smiles and leaves)”

And you are left alone in a large pool of desperate competitors; not all of them guided by ethics.

Yet, in your legitimate struggle to get past the unnecessarily stringent recruitment software, nepotism, non-God-fearing hiring executives, a mismatch of possessed skills versus required skills, you also have to deal with loved ones who aren’t exactly as loving as they were before you became “unemployed”.

Now you are “unemployed, lying on the couch”, you better not touch the paid TV’s remote control.

Who you are in a relationship with has suddenly acquired a new tone and confidence. They have become freer in their choice of words. Brash expressions you did not think them capable of now becomes a frequent song in your ears.

You feel them squeeze and launch your insecurity….They milk every opportunity they get to show you that you are at a risk of losing them.

And if you were single before you became “unemployed”?

As a female, watch how the quality of men who are attracted to you drop. As a man, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs becomes clearer; food and shelter comes before social needs. Aside from that, how will you, who is unwilling to be in a relationship with yourself, convince another to be in a relationship with you?

How to get out…and bounce back to your “employed” self again? That you that walked with your back straight and got a “honey” before and after every word in your loved ones’ sentences to you?

That is for a professional to answer. The internet is full of such tips, but the peculiarity of the Nigerian context makes talking to a HR Professional operating in Nigeria a necessity.

We’ll bring you that part soon.

In the meantime, stay strong. Don’t give up hope. Hardship is known to birth the most excellent and lasting things. Now is the best time to find out, from God, His purpose for your life. Find out why He created you? Surely there is a reason God created you. Find that out and take steps to live it. One step you can take is praying to Him to help you live the life He has in mind for you.

You’ll be Okay. God’s got you.

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