(Art Credit: Karen Fischer)
Let's say you've been unexpectedly laid off from your company or you find yourself unemployed because the business is downsizing. Let's face it, being laid off is no walk in the park. It feels like an outright rejection of you and your skills. No matter how many times your friends and family tell you that it’s not your fault, there's a nagging feeling at the back of your mind asking if you'd have avoided the layoff, had you done things differently.
To add insult to injury, you open LinkedIn and see all your peers growing in their careers and you feel a sense of defeat and purposelessness. However, don't despair. This could actually be a blessing in disguise if you're not pressed financially. Here are some of the benefits of being unemployed.
You no longer have a boss
You are your own boss now. You have the freedom and you are the sole deciding authority of your career. Were you unfulfilled in your earlier job? You can upskill yourself and change your career path.
You no longer have to work on things you don't like
Any job has its mundane moments where you have to grind it out. Being unemployed gives you freedom from meetings that you hate to go do and parts of your work that dislike.
You find all the time to learn
Did you always want to learn a new skill? Lack of time, while you were working full time, is no longer an excuse. You have all the time to learn what you want to, on your own terms and time.
You can work on interesting side projects
Have you been putting off the side projects that matter to you for someday in the future? With your newly found time, you can restart them again and make your life more fun.
You can develop a new mindset
Forget working for someone else. You can start your own projects and carve out your own success as a freelancer. You can network with people in the industry you want to get into. Once you build your reputation as a freelancer, the jobs you always wanted will come looking for you.
Many people stay in jobs that they hate, just for the paycheck. A paycheck is important, but in the long run, developing your skills and finding work that you are meaningfully engaged in is more important. If the freelancing path is not for you, if you think it might take more time than you'd like, or if you have financial commitments that require you to find a job immediately, you can network and find a new job.
Whatever might be your situation, unemployment is just a roadblock, not the end of the road. Make good use of this time and start fresh. Good luck to you!