It has been almost five years since the Irish economy took a turn for the worst. At the moment it seems people are getting a break from the doom and gloom, or at least the gloom of the weather. We have sunshine and the beaches are thronged but despite that there are still people sitting in their rooms despairing at the situation they find themselves in. There was a recent BBC article about NEETs, young people Unemployed, Education or Training that found that over a third of people in this circumstance have suffered depression, even more are stressed and a similar amount feel they will never find employment. Although these are figures for the UK it is not outlandish to suggest that the same problems are facing many in Ireland. And the true scale of the problem is hidden with so many deciding to continue in education and so many emigrating.
While there is constant debate about how the national government, the EU and global organizations should solve the situation there is often very little time given to the immediate and personal situation many people face.
The most important thing to remember is that every person facing this situation reacts differently. Some people can cope, others struggle but put on a brave face while others still barely leave their house and just about manage to get through their day. While unemployment is a common problem it is also an individual problem and everyone needs to be afforded the understanding that they will have a different attitude and reaction to it than others. If someone you know is down on themselves because of unemployment and lack of opportunity it’s important not to make comparisons to others. They won’t be reassured by hearing, “Aren’t thousands of people in the same situation as you?” The problem is very real and very individual to every person facing it.
The real key to beating the problems arising from unemployment, if not unemployment itself is structure. It can be very easy to stay up all night watching films and sleep all day, but once that begins any routine to your day is lost. Trying to maintain a structured day is critical. People often value their time more when they are in a job, and when you are unemployed the time you have available to you seems endless but nothing is achieved despite that. Keeping a structure to your day will help you value your time, when you value your time you will get more out of your day and the more you do the happier you can be with your circumstances.
As anyone involved in career coaching will tell you potential employers value people who make do to achieve the best they can. No matter what you do you will never have a perfect environment. Making do despite your circumstances, even if you only see small improvements is all anyone can ask of you. Asking for help when times are tough is what any employer would want an employee to do. And recognizing that things are bad for the young unemployed is something everyone needs to accept.