Unemployment blues and dealing with it

Note 1/18/2019: Shortly after writing this, I got accepted in a research library where I'm currently working. For those unemployed and dealing with disappointment, don't lose heart!

Yes, I don't currently have work. I am applying for some and I am waiting for the results, but whether I get accepted or not, it's okay. My current top priority is I want to finish my Master's degree in Library Science, I only have Thesis Writing left. If I will not be able to work, then that's my focus and I will try my best to finish it as soon as I can. Honestly, I was battling with myself whether to continue my MLIS or not - just going to school drains me out, but I thought that it's better to finish it now that I'm very near the finish line. I passed all my subjects and passed all my comprehensive exams without the need for retaking, and all that money and effort would go to waste. Maybe it's just dread and slight depression talking.

I want to talk about unemployment. Even if it is reasonable due to other priorities, it has its ill effects. I had periods of not working before. After graduation, I focused on reviewing for the board exam and wasn't fully employed. I volunteered and worked as an intern in a few libraries to keep myself preoccupied during the review. After I quit my first job in Manila, I returned home and tried to apply for jobs here. It was a few months of waiting before I got a contractual job as a cataloger in my university library, then taught for Library Science for a short time. I'm not really cut out for teaching, it's not for me. And I am not working at the moment - I was traveling from May to August and stayed in Manila, Taiwan, and Malaysia. 

Some thoughts on my short periods I was not employed:

You are more prone to depression. Everyone is working and having their life in a set routine. I used to hate the idea of routine in daily work, but I realized that it's safe. When you don't have work, you have to work a lot to keep from being lazy. If you become depressed, it's a difficult hole to get out of and you must be careful not to let it turn to a vicious cycle - you're depressed and it makes you unconfident in looking for work, and since you don't have a job, you tend to feel depressed - you get the picture.

You question your self-worth. I graduated with honors, even aced the board exam, and have a pretty good working attitude. So why don't I have a job and every place seems to reject me? I realized that sometimes it's not me - institutions and organizations are busy and there are many situations that really don't have anything to do with you. In my experience in applying in government libraries, I learned the hard way that's it's not what you know but who you know. I applied twice in public libraries, didn't get accepted, and it was frustrating.

I learned to not put all your eggs in one basket. Apply in other places too so you have more chances. Our dream job may be in Library A, but also try out Libraries B, C, and D.

You get susceptible to "business opportunities". When you are not employed and looking for any opportunity, you are more vulnerable to people who want to take advantage of you. Some may offer you shady "business opportunities" that sound like get-rich-quick schemes. Just remember to always research, check the facts, and be objective when it comes to offers like this.

What to do? They say that librarians are on demand in the Philippines, but some circumstances may make us have a difficult time looking for jobs. If you are unemployed, it's important to have supportive friends and have a set routine even if you are looking for jobs. Exercise is a cheap anti-depressant. I'm falling on and off the wagon of physical activity but it works wonders on your brain. 

In all honesty, I'm even questioning if I want to be a librarian or pursue a different career path. My focus now is finishing my MLIS and maybe think of whatever I really want to be after that.

Post a Comment