Unemployment was a humbling but strengthening experience. It was definitely character-building.
With hindsight, I can see that it was a kind of sabbath, one my spirit needed.
But at the time, after a certain point, it was a challenge to embrace and enjoy the time off, resist the need to be somehow ‘productive’ – forgetting, of course, that rest is productive in its own way.
By the time I read Ken Costa’s blog post, ‘The Waiting Room’, I was yet again an employed member of society. Reading his list gave me a new perspective on my recent unemployment. It’s a list I wish I’d had earlier, so that I’d know that these were the likely symptoms or side effects of waiting, rather than of unemployment specifically.
Because that’s what it was. Waiting. Not passively, but it was a form of waiting and hoping, trying not to be impatient, knowing my situation was temporary.
I painted a rosy picture of unemployment in an earlier post. But when funemployment started dragging on longer than I had envisaged, suddenly it wasn’t so fun anymore.
I started seeing Costa’s Ws coming out of the woodwork around me. The temptation to:
look for a way out;
fall into wishful thinking;
water down my calling.
I’m glad to say none of them defeated me or inflicted too much damage. But it’s not that they didn’t try.
So if this is you – whether you’re currently unemployed or in another type of waiting room – do take a look at this post: https://www.godatwork.org.uk/work-life/waiting-room.
Waiting is an unavoidable part of life and maybe we shouldn’t try so hard to avoid it. We need to learn when to accelerate things and when to simply let them take their course, proceeding at their own pace.
Rather than grumbling through our waiting time, we should make the most of it. We should wait in hope, in expectation, in confidence.