Helping you get through tough times

Dealing with unemployment

By Ekaterina Tikhoniouk

More of us than ever are having to deal with being out of work. A staggering 24.2% of 15 to 24 year-olds are unemployed at the moment in Ireland.

The recession has negatively affected many Irish people – ranging from those newly unemployed and struggling to adjust, to college graduates unable to find their first job, to those having difficulty making ends meet or petrified of losing their jobs.


For many it’s becoming harder to stay optimistic about prospects at home, especially with evidence of the recession constantly looming over us. Continuous reports of emigration, friends unable to find work, being laid-off or leaving the country, shops and businesses closing left, right and centre, along with the daily news about bailouts and ten year downturns.

Although being unemployed can be frustrating, depressing or downright frightening, especially during this economic crisis, but it’s certainly not the end of the world.

Benefits of hobbies

Can you turn it to your advantage? Unemployment definitely can’t be called fun, but it does give you far more time to pursue interests you may never had time for before. Have you always wanted to rekindle the passion for things you liked in secondary school, like art for example? What about all those hobbies you haven’t had time for? Hobbies can give you the sense of fulfilment that you may be lacking right now.

The 2009 Pfizer Health Index showed that those recently unemployed are four times more likely to suffer depression than the general population. So keeping active can help you deal with the boredom or stress being out of work can bring.

First steps

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re unemployed  and finding it tough financially. From your parents, your family, the government. There’s nothing shameful about to receiving unemployment benefits. Make sure you find out what you are entitled to.

    While we’re on the topic of money, it helps reduce your regular living expenses. Are there any non-essential things you can live without? Maybe cutting down on the partying can help, or cooking more at home and forget about take-aways for now. If you’re out of work budgeting is really important so as not to acrue any debts. Have a look at money issues.

  2. Emotional support is also crucial. Talking to friends and family about your problems can greatly help lessen your burden. If you are feeling overwhelmed or depressed, remember that you’re not alone, many others are in the same position as you. There are many out-of-work schemes or courses available right now, which would be good to be involved with, even from a social point of view.
  3. Following a daily routine keeps some structure in your life. Don’t sit in front of the television – get moving – go for walks, participate in sports, etc.  As well as being physically active, think of what job skills you’d like to learn and what existing skills you’d like to improve on.

    A schedule is also important so delegate a certain amount of time everyday for searching for jobs and keep to it. That means no putting off uncomfortable tasks until another day. Such as spending a good bit of time creating a powerful CV getting input from friends.

  4. The main thing is to be optimistic. The recession can’t last forever! Who knows this election could bring about some change. Keep sending out those CVs. Even if the first nine employers decline your application, the tenth may find that you’re perfect for the job!

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