Friday, 12 July 2013

Being Unemployed

Hello lovelies.

It's a bit of a different one today, a bit more of a personal one. One that right now, I'm not even sure I will publish, but one I feel I want to write.

Now as far as I can tell the BBC had a program about benefits on last night, and where as I didn't see the actual program, I did see the hashtags flying around on Twitter, and stupidly thought I'd have a look. Some tweets were much nicer than expected, others were exactly what I expected. Vile & dripping with hate.

Hate, that even though is aimed at no one particular, I feel is aimed at me. Because ladies, I am currently unemployed.

Unemployed, what a dirty sounding word that one is. A word that is bounded around by magazines & newspapers as a term for those who just don't feel like working. Those who don't fancy it.

Everyone has read a story about how someone, somewhere, who has 5 billion children, lives in a mansion, has a horse, has 10 cars, goes on a hundred holidays a year and still has money left over to kit themselves out in the latest clothes. But personally, having worked in social housing previously, have never met nor heard anyone I know that knows someone like that. These people, are beyond a minority, less than half a percent. The average person claiming job seekers will receive around £50 a week, or £7.14 a day, for food, clothes, but mainly bills.

If the average person on benefits is also receiving housing benefits, this figure will be higher, but this is not walking around money, it is to pay rent, and having worked in this setting before I know all to well that often the amount of money received in housing benefits will not cover the entire of their rent, and even if its by as little as a few pounds, it will have to come out of the aforementioned jobseekers allowance, or JSA. Leaving not all too much for food, necessities, and bills.

Every single person I know, including myself, spouts the same 5 words over and over again, "I Just Want A Job" and that isn't some catch phrase. It's the truth. No little girl or boy has ever uttered "When I grow up I want to be on the dole!" because being unemployed, is no ones dream. The realities for people struggling to find work are a hundred miles away from any far fetched, one off story.

I can tell you my whole day from start to finish. I wake up, I sit in my front room, I eat some lunch, , I check what jobs have come up over night, I eat some dinner, I go to bed & lie awake worrying about money. It's funny that magazines never print this sort of story. If your really interested in the specifics of my situation, I currently do not receive JSA, I get a small amount of housing benefits as my boyfriend has a student loan & a part time job. I can promise you I don't even have a horse or a mansion, not even one. 

But what I fail to understand is the lack of compassion. Scrolling through the hashtags on twitter, the most vile, most hateful tweets seemed to come for girls of around the 16 mark, which is hardly surprising, but at the same time I found it slightly amusing that someone who has never paid tax has such high strung opinions. 

I wouldn't wish being unemployed on my worst enemy, but in these fragile times its not always possible to know if or when jobs might be lost. A few years a go I had a job I loved, in a team I loved, doing something I loved, all for crap money but that didn't matter. I worked my socks off, and even though I was on a 6 month probation period, I had every confidence that I would be offered permanent employment. Days before I was due to be made permanent, the new government was elected, the budget was instantly slashed, and I was not offered employment. The following Monday the entire team, all 13 of them, were told that they were being let go, and by Friday they were packing up their desks. Some of them not far off retirement, most had worked their more than 10 years, and one had worked their for over 30 years. No one saw it coming. But that is just how quickly it can change. Secure one weekend, unemployed the next. So if that was to happen to you, would you not be happy that we live in a country that offers a security net, should things not work out?

I was someone who always worked, and at the tender age of 13 had a job, and when I was bored of that job I went and got another. I loved having my own money, even if I had to work some particularly crap jobs, like working in McDonalds even though I'm a vegetarian! 

Being unemployed is a particularly soul crushing time. Job rejection after rejection, spending hours applying for a job only to never hear back, it can be hard to keep your head above water. Myself & someone else I know who is currently seeking employment were recently talking, and during a 10 minute conversation we must of said "When I have a job" or "When I've got some work" at least 20 times. It all comes back to wanting to work, and I'd go even further than that to say desperate to work. I'd do any job, any hours, any amount of money to feel like I could finally hold my head high, look someone square in the eye when I'm asked the "So what do you do?" question & say I do X, rather than squirming around trying to nicely word "I'm unemployed, broke and feel worthless".

Don't get me wrong here, this isn't meant as a rant, just me sharing my thoughts on what can be a highly controversial subject. It's a hard one to fully understand unless you've been their yourself, and I'll fully admit that until I had dealt with it myself. But I still maintain that I have no idea who these magical people are who live a champagne lifestyle on benefits, as currently, Lambrini would be a stretch. I know eventually I will find a job, and if your in a similar situation you will too, but I know how hard it is to stay optimistic.

So that's all I have to say ladies, I promise I will be back to my usual beauty blogging self very soon, and I don't think this will offend anyone, but if it does, sorry. 


  1. I am in the exact same position as you. I lost my job in March which was unfair dismissal, everyone told me I should take them to court but I couldn't afford the fees if I lost. I've been searching for a job since then, all my family and friends have been looking for me too. I haven't signed on, I still live at home which is lucky but not being able to do anything at all makes me miserable. I hate being unemployed, I love being busy and going to work 5 days a week. It also annoys me a little that people moan endlessly on Twitter about how they hate early mornings to go to work etc, just be grateful you have one. This has turned into a rant now, I do apologise, I wish you all the luck in the world at finding a new job soon!! Just remember, you're not alone :) xxx

    1. Its a sucky position to be in :( wishing you lots of luck too & thank you for being so nice! x

  2. I know I haven't exactly sold it to you but care work might be the next step? You will find something, just keep your head up sweet :) X

  3. I know I haven't exactly sold it to you but care work might be the next step? You will find something, just keep your head up sweet :) X

  4. Very strong and very true post; my boyfriend was unemployed for a long time, he spent hours applying for any job he could and it was really getting him down. Luckily, he's managed to get into uni this year which is great, but i fully understand how difficult and horrible it is. Keep your chin up, something will turn up! xx

  5. Im in the similar position as you, i finished uni a couple of months ago but no longer want to go into that industry so im just look for work - im willing to do pretty much anything, but finding a job is becoming near impossible because there is so few available. Im not on Job seekers yet and if im being honest i dont really want to go on it but it's a step im going to have to take soon otherwise i wont be able to pay my bills or live basically.

    I definitely think people overlook the fact that alot of people on jobseekes claim it because they have no other choice and they need it to live, not everyone takes advantage of it and doesnt bother looking for work. Im on jobs site every single day, and every day im filled with panic that im not gonna find anything!

    It's a shame that people have forgotten that not every one who is on JSA or going onto JSA actually want to be on it and would rather be working.

    Natalie xx

  6. I was made redundant 3 years ago. The only job I've had since then is 6 weeks in M&S for christmas and hated almost every minute of it.
    I qualified for 6 months unemployment but because hubby works and I have the redundancy money I'm not entitled to anything else.
    We don't qualify for tax credits, council tax relief or any other benefits.
    I've paid tax and NI all my life and am now within 8 years of my retirement date. I don't want to retire and start living off our savings (which is JUST over the limit) the savings is for when we actually retire.
    I decided not to continue signing on. I couldn't go through the motions of turning up to have my job search scrutinised by some spotty youth in the job centre or being talked down to.
    I know there are some people like you and me that squeeze what little income we have but there also seems to be lots out there that are 'screwing' the system and seem to get benefits for anything and everything.
    The job hunt is really soul destroying.

  7. Thank you for sharing. I too have struggled with the shame that comes from relying on benefits, and reassuring myself that it's only temporary until we are able to support ourselves. So glad to be in that position now, but wish there wasn't so much hate so that even the people claiming benefits with the best of intentions don't have to feel so ashamed. I guess it's a viscious cycle that people are too ashamed to admit they are on benefits, so then the hight and mighty non benefit claiming people don't realise that most people on benefits are perfectly nice and normal and genuinely just need a bit of help to get on their feet! So well done for "coming out" :)

  8. Thank you Jade, brilliantly said. I love you xx


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