outside of one post of advice to the current jobless, I haven't discussed the human impact of long-term unemployment. You see, joblessness is more than separation from your life's work. It's separation from your life.
I've either been unemployed or underemployed since earning my MBA in 2008. Outside of the occasional consulting project, odd jobs have sustained me. I've had to move back in with my mother, and I've danced around the embarrassing "what are you up to these days" question so many times I've become a regular Fred Astaire.
I kept a positive attitude for the first year or two. Economic depression be damned, I was going to get a job and get on with my life! I kept myself in tip-top shape and I maintained a go-getter demeanor. In fact, I was frequently complemented for the positive vibes I radiated, even at the menial job I was working at the time. Then, after around the 500-750th job rejection, the fear crept in that I would be poor for the rest of my life. Slowly, I began to lose hope. And then, by year 3, I simply gave up. The fact that I was working a menial job and living with my mother had already made me toxic to women. So I decided to just let myself go. I quit exercising and started to eat and drink and smoke as much as I wanted. And my health went downhill, and I didn't care. Because there was no point in caring.
I'm clearly pulling myself back together, and publishing this blog gives me a reason to look forward to getting up in the morning. And, my consulting work has been picking up. I have hope again. And a little radiance. Anyway, that's my story as a long-term unemployed young male. Thanks for reading it.