From Unemployed To Employed


Monday Monday, for many of us is about getting up, getting ready and going to work or school. This routine is so automatic, deep ingrained in our subconscious, we don’t even have to think.

What if you’re unemployed and it happened to you not by choice? Do you even bother springing out of bed in the morning to face a new day? What’s to look forward to and what’s the point?

If you’ve ever been made redundant or laid off or fired, then you surely can relate to the sentiment I’ve just described. For me, very lucky! Not only once but twice I’ve been made redundant. It’s a record I hope I don’t break again. But who knows what’s going to happen in the next 12 months.

Why losing a job sounds like a big deal? To state the obvious, the loss of income is enough to turn your world upside down. What’s coming? Time to tighten your belt, start budgeting, change your lifestyle or even living arrangement altogether. Can you handle it?

What we do for living forms part of our identity. When it’s taken away from us, we lose a sense of self. Depression, anxiety or other forms of mental health issue can pop up and take you down to a black hole you feel like you can’t get out of. It’s a very scary stuff.

In my case, back in the summer of 2011, as I was bracing myself for a new identity – unemployed, I wasn’t all that dead-serious in the very beginning. I spent my first month like I was having a holiday. However, those good times don’t last. When the reality sets in, you start to see the full scope of despair. The following 6 months hit me so hard that I felt I was stuck in a rut forever, just couldn’t see light at the end of tunnel.

Fortunately, I didn’t let myself go. I still went to bed at a reasonable hour and got up at a reasonable time. Sounds reasonable, right? Little did I know, stress had taken its toll on me.

Life goes on as they say. Just because you’re in this situation, doesn’t mean you can be excused from your duties and responsibilities – Bills still need to be paid, a mouth needs to be fed, a mortgage still needs to be paid. Most importantly, you still need to take care of yourself and those who live with you.

While I was in the midst of this “personal crisis”, I kept myself busy by looking ways of reinventing my career and trying to put myself out there, but I overlooked something far more important – my attitude.

Inevitably, attitude showed in everything I did – from how I prepared for job applications to how I presented myself during the telephone or face-to-face interviews. Believe it or not, attitude has a strong side effect on your body language. It even affects the way you breath!

For many times I was so close but I just couldn’t clear that final hurdle to land a job I wanted. Feeling rather defeated, one day I summoned up the courage to ask a friend for advice. She had a background in HR and likewise was doing job hunting around that time. I was mostly intrigued by how she kept on getting job offers one after another. To be honest, I was very jealous. Why does she have that I don’t have? Put my ego aside, I thought there must’ve been something in her that I could learn from.

Unreservedly, she revealed her secret weapon to me: a winning attitude. Own it! You walk in there like you’ve won the hearts and minds of people in the panel even before they speak. You say to yourself: I’m here to knock their socks off! Even their pants off if necessary!

Through some trial and error, I began to work on my mindset along with my skill set. It was amazing how quickly things started to look up and the rest is history. Several years later, I’m still employed and hold a steady position I’m thankful for. Looking back, what served as a catalyst for change then was no doubt a winning attitude, a game changer…

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