SavvySugar Community member littlemissjobhunter is part of the sobering statistic: nearly one out of 10 Americans are out of work. Join her in the trials and tribulations of a job-seeker, a journey that'll maybe help you understand that the unemployment figures aren't just a number. In this post, she talks about the one key factor that keeps her spirits up during her unemployment — friends.
What is a friend? In my eyes, a friend is defined as the quintessential support beam through the myriads of adversities encountered through the journey we call life. The ones that not only see you smile but the ones that see you cry. In job searching, this role is no exception. Through my last post, I had been asked, “How do you stay so positive and never lose the motivation or drive to keep searching”? And with that question, I began to ponder about my own experience and ask myself that exact question. Although many abstract ideas began popping into my head, one factor remains concrete: friends. Now you may ask why I did not include family into the bundle, and I will shortly explain why.
Coming from a traditional Asian family, I had rarely gone against the wishes and desires of my parents, at least, not until recently. I was taught that success and hard work provided lavish items like spacious vacation homes, or luxurious materialistic items. In my own family, this success was modeled by the professions of doctors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs with little much in between. As an anecdote, I remember being berated by my father at the age of 14 years old for wishing to attend a “fashion and business” course at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. With a small stash fund, I combined three paychecks from my part-time job as a children’s craft party hostess and DJ to subsidize this course, and to this day, I have no regrets. Looking back, the costly sum of $300 to my 14-year-old self then is a priceless piece of my education now. While my parents and family do not particularly advocate my life in the retail and fashion world in terms of prestige, job security and sustainability, my friends have always been the ones that kept me reaching for the stars.
To hear more about the importance of friendship when job hunting, read on.
This is, however not to say, that there is absolutely no family support that keeps me motivated. I will forever attribute much of my often uncharacteristic boldness and adventurous side to my sister. With a ten year age gap, she is not only my best friend, but mentor and guidance counselor. While we may have completely different personalities, as different as night and day, she is able to offer me the strength to break away from parental acceptance with the knowledge that she will forever support me, in whatever endeavor I may choose to embark on. And for that, I am forever grateful.
I have heard the phrase, your college friends are the ones that stick with you for life. In high school, I was skeptical about this statement, but today, these words ring truth. My closest friends to date are the ones that have stuck beside me in college and even shortly post graduation. Today’s technology makes long distance friendships virtually effortless, well, if the desire is there. While in Asia, this meant Skype video chats, late night IM chat sessions but even that five minute conversation, kept me going for another few weeks, or even months. Today, while only a few hours by plane, the phone calls, text messages, and chats do not end and neither does their influence. Friend support, to me is the drive that kept me going and ultimately the one that allowed me to change gears, professions, and residence.
Readers, look to your friend support for that pick-me-up, when job searching and when unemployment is getting you down. It may just take that one inside joke, or one reminiscent story about your past, to keep you going.
Until next time . . . signing off,