Opportunities of unemployment

November 13, 2021by Editorial Team
Exploring joblessness

Success of education has always been aligned with professional success and identity. That has spelt the doom of education, for it has incapacitated an individual to handle joblessness or failure. This is but commonplace in today's times. However, all it needs to overcome is a great attitude and a positive mind.

What is the first image that comes to our minds when we hear the word ‘exploration’ ? Our minds usually generate images of unknown and unfamiliar territories where a group of people are on an expedition. However it is important to look deeper and associate the term ‘exploration’ with exploring our latent talents and capabilities.


The challenge and the mindset

There is a common understanding that our achievements can be measured only against the job we do. But do we really need to be employed to reach our true potential?  True, we should also develop skills for ourselves, along with the education, as improved skillset gives one an advantage over low skilled people, regardless of the extent of education. Both skill and education account for our professional identity. We feel proud to designate ourselves as a teacher, doctor or engineer. But how do we function when this identity is taken away from us? There is also the possibility that the degree and education for which we have worked so hard for have failed to generate results. Does it lead to innovation and ideas or does it lead to frustration?

During the Covid 19 pandemic due to the suspension of commercial activities a large number of people lost their jobs. The unemployment rate in the last quarter of 2020 rose to 10.3%. The current rate is 7.2%.Now long- term unemployment leads to poverty, increase in loans and a decline in production and consumption. It also leads to a loss of GDP and revenue.
Unemployment also has adverse effects on an individual leading to breakdown, alienation, shame and stigma, social isolation, erosion of confidence and self esteem and atrophy of work skills.

It needs a mind of steel to develop with a  positive approach towards the idea of unemployment.


They have done it

We  have stellar examples of people who have carved their own niche while unemployed. Walt Disney had been fired from Kansas City Star for lack of imagination or good ideas. Oprah Winfrey was found unfit for television after which she came up with her own show. Colonel Sanders was surviving on a social security check at the age of 62 when he went on to start KFC. Amitabh Bachchan was not accepted as the news reader for all India Radio for his deep baritone. JK Rowling had lived in a state of abject poverty, “the poorest one could be in Britain without being homeless” when she was fired and divorced. That is when she decided to focus totally on writing, when she launched Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first in the hugely popular series. Tabitha Sindani from Kenya, working with the African Women’s Commission who has executed resource mobilization strategy through a public-private partnership, sprung into prominence during the phase when she was jobless. 

So how do we proceed with our own lives? We need to go in with an open mind and approach opportunities. Let us use every spare moment to explore our interests and see how we fare in them. We always have the liberty to switch interests and work towards a new one. And if we face unemployment, we can treat it as an opportunity to explore other career options and our creative possibilities. So, when pushed out of our comfort zones, let us get motivated to pursue our dreams, discover more skills in ourselves and improvise.


About the authors

The article has been contributed by the following teacher and students from St Joseph’s High School, Matigara, Darjeeling: Pooja Saha (teacher), Sneha Agarwal and Sanvi Pradhan (students)

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