I’ll be honest. After reviewing so many career-related Websites, they all start to look the same. So when I was tasked with yet another Career 2.0 review, I can’t say I was necessarily thrilled to pieces.
But this one was different.
Unemploymentality.com is quick-witted, entertaining- and most importantly – a helpful Website for those who are unfortunately a member of the unemployed club or about to be inducted.
To give Jobacle readers a better look at the Website, I conducted an email interview with the founders, John Henion and Tania Khadder.
Q: What led you guys to start up this Website besides the lay-offs? In other words, is this:
b.misery loves company
c.truly an attempt at helping the unemployed
d.all of the above
e. none of the above
A: (John) I would say none of the above: After we were both laid off we found ourselves obsessing over the details of what had happened. Tania and I were g-chatting and she mentioned how she wasn’t really inspired to write anymore. So we sort of acknowledged that we spend all our time obsessing about being unemployed, so why not use that as our inspiration. So we hashed out the unemploymentality concept right then and there and just ran with it.
Additionally, we were let go as part of a fairly large layoff, and I saw a lot of very creative and talented people get the axe with us. So for me, I felt the blog was a way for us to take control of our situation and turn it into something positive – an outlet for that talent and creativity. We’ve already had a few contributions made to the blog from some of our former co-workers and fellow layoffees, and I hope that continues.
Q: What exactly is “unemploymentality”?
A: (John) I think exactly what the unemploymentality is, is up to the individual. For me, I had always been in control of my career. This has been the first time I have had the proverbial rug pulled out from beneath my feet. So for me, the unemploymentality ishow the lens that I view the world through has changed focus since being laid off. I’m more acutely aware of signs of hard times than I was before, andI go through the coupons I get in the mail and I don’t take job security for granted anymore.
That being said, I obviously find a lot of humor in the situation as well. But I think if I didn’t I would go crazy.
(Tania) I think for me, unemploymentality means a lot of different things. Of course, there is the financial strain of not knowing when and where my next steady income will come from. Additionally, it has been an existential crisis of sorts. I think that our generation feels the need to define ourselves through our work – I know I did. Losing what I thought was the job of my dreams made me question everything, including who I am, who I want to be and what I want to do.
Q: As someone that has walked in the shoes of the unemployed, what is your best advice for getting back on your feet? Any specific blogs/articles from your Website that you would recommend someone should read for tips?
A: (John) Hmmm…
Well I think the hardest thing for me at first was wondering if it was personal – but it’s not. And even if it was, it really doesn’t do you any good to obsess over it. Move on.
I think Tania’s first post covers this. So does the video Anthony Ferarro made.
Secondly, don’t drive yourself and others crazy looking for a new job. Now that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out and network, call around and put a lot of time and effort into your job search, but pace yourself. Extend your day to allow yourself to take advantage of your newfound freedom from cubicles and spreadsheets. Take your time in the morning, take a longer lunch, ride your bike or pick up your kids and play with them. You’re not punching a clock – you can write a cover letter at 10pm just as well as you can at 10am.
That was the theme I was indirectly exploring in this post.
(Tania) One thing I would add is that it’s important to maintain some semblance of a routine – whatever that may involve. While it’s tempting to sleep in until the afternoon, I find I feel better about myself when I wake up early and have a list of things to do throughout the day. Even if they are simple things, like going grocery shopping or working out. Just because you don’t have a job doesn’t mean you live in a vaccuum. It’s easier said than done though. I’m still working on it.
Q: What happens to the Website when the economy gets better?
A: (John) Yeah, that’s the challenge. We’d like to see more people getting involved so it becomes a self sustaining community. Because even when the economy turns around, there will still be unemployed people, there will still be people that feel like they can’t get a leg up in the corporate world, so hopefully this site will continue to be forum for these types of discussions and more.
Thank you to John and Tania for answering our questions and giving us insight into the makings of your Website. More than that, thank you for showing us humor in our bleakest and darkest days. Please visit www.unemploymentality.com to hear more on the “lifestyles of the penniless and downtrodden.”
And if you do nothing else with your day, please read “Don’t be ‘that guy‘ after the layoff.”
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