So China screwed me one last time. With only a few weeks to go, I thought I was finally in the clear and the great China gods were going to bless me with a clean exit. I was ready to trade in my Chinese qiezi (eggplant) for some English fish ‘n’ chips… and bee-line it to the closes Indian joint instead. But no.
A few months ago, my office building was sold and two weeks ago, our company was given a new rent price at a 100% increase.
Because that makes sense.
Beijing’s housing market is developing into somewhat of a blood bath. There’s very little foresight when it comes to developing small, local businesses and companies are frequently forced to close their doors because of ridiculous increases in rent every time the lease is up for renewal. But Chinese owners can and will continue to do this whenever someone renews a contract because they know that someone who’s willing to pay this extravagant amount money will eventually come along. Eventually.
So now I’m out of a job. Well, a full-time one at least. As a born hustler, I’m constantly working 2-3 jobs at all time so right now, I’m dusting off the old tech skills and programming away by the candle light… app on my iPhone.
But it’s not just me who’s out of a job; 40% of unemployed workers are Millennials. Our friends, our siblings, and basically anyone who could potentially relate to our struggles other than the financial robots who were lucky enough to be okay with 80 hour weeks.
But as soon as I returned from America and announced my “fun-employment” I received loads of support from my friends and co-workers and I’ve been interviewing all week! All because I possess a unique set of skills that I developed last time I was job-hunting that people now know me for. So here are a few tips about how to keep your cool when you’re on the hunt.
1. Take A Few Days To Lounge
Do a Netflix marathon. Watch every season of Scandal on Hulu. Sleep for 12 hours a day and see first hand, how useless this lifestyle is. Sometimes the grass always seems greener on the other side and once you see how lame chilling around the house actually is you’ll find motivation to move beyond it.
2. Develop Your Technical Skills
When I was preparing to leave for China, I took a few months off of work and I taught myself how to program and do web development. When I was sick with Salmonella and bed-ridden for four weeks, I taught myself how to do graphic design on Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. These skills have set me apart during interviews and are my “fall back” options for whenever I’m in between jobs. I’ve done it so many times that I can flip or build a website under a week, which runs anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 dollars a pop. Not bad for a week’s worth of work. You can easily teach yourself these skills via YouTube or just by Googling it. It’ll take some patience, but it’s well worth the effort.
3. Continue Reading
Just because you’re not in school anymore doesn’t mean that you should stop learning. Whenever I jump to a new company as a consultant, I start reading books about relevant topics to ensure that I can “talk shop” with the big boys. I don’t ever want to be caught off guard as a freelance consultant and put my career at risk.
4. Reach Out To Your Network
No one will know you are looking for a job unless you announce it. Unemployment is embarrassing for most people because it makes it seem like “you’re not really trying;” which is crazy. The market sucks. There are people with way more experience competing for the same job as you. And a bachelor’s degree is the new high school diploma. I get it. Swallow your pride and let the people who believe in you help. By letting other people join the job hunt, you network doubles with each new person added.
5. Take Risks
Apply for positions you’re not “qualified” for in places you’ve never been too. Take this opportunity to reassess your path and give yourself the opportunity to try new things in foreign lands. Now that you have a clean slate, there’s nothing keeping you back!
Being unemployed sucks. Take this opportunity to grab your stuff and go explore. I got my start teaching in China! If you’re interested in teaching as well check out my friend’s company: New Life ESL! A company that’s foreign owned and foreign ran so you can have support system that gets it in the wild wild East!
Don’t forget about my upcoming South-East Asia Tour!! Have a recommendation about where I should go? Then tag @wanderonwards on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in an explanation about where this place is, what you did there, and why I should go. If I choose your destination, I’ll give you a shout-out on my social media platforms and future blog posts.
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About Vanessa Elizabeth
Vanessa Elizabeth is a cultural chameleon currently based in London. She enjoys sports (such as CrossFit and dating), cooking, and demolishing her savings account. When she's not busy blogging about her feelings, she works full-time and practices Chinese with her English/German friends.
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