Spoiler Alert: I am a man. I consider my self to be sympathetic and empathetic to the struggles of women, universally, and if you follow me on social media, my history proves that (not only social media, my real life). BUT at the end of the day, I am a man and I know what it is like to be a man without a job and without income. Newsflash, it is no fun. Let’s be honest for a moment, there are certain arenas where men do not get the benefit of the doubt and one of those areas is unemployment. “Get up and get out and get something” , “Do what you gotta do but do something” , “Man up!” are common phrases.
For as hard as society can be on a man for not having a job, a man with a good morale compass and strong work ethic, can be even harder on himself.
Today’s message is inspired by a good friend of mine whom I went to college with, roomed with and even lived together for a short time in Ohio. See, he is having a hell of time finding a new job. I won’t go into the specifics but as an “Expert” resume writer, HR guy, and friend, I have been working with him to help get him back on his feet. I help him because I know what that feels like to be unemployed, penniless, and frustrated – again absolutely no fun.
In 2012, my unemployment benefits had run out and I was trying to start my own business but it was the very early stages so work was few and far between. I spent hours online looking for jobs. I applied to things I wanted and to thing I didn’t want, like they say, “I just needed a job.” Imagine being so broke that you can’t go out with your friends, buy lunch, take your lady on a date, buy new clothes, while having to make things stretch far beyond their limits. It’s tough to imagine. Now add a child to that scenario. Luckily for me, I do not have children and I do mean luckily because there were many days that I would have had no idea how to feed them.
When I was broke and jobless, I felt less than a man. I mean, what woman would want a man with no job who can’t even take her out to McDonald’s? Turns out millions of people date and take care of broke men but that’s a conversation for another time. Generally, people do not gravitate toward unsuccessful people, especially men. We are supposed to “man-up” figure it out and find a way.
During my jobless time, I remember a few friends reaching out to offer me a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on and even a few dollars. So I understand what my buddy is going through and where he’s at in life and how he’s feeling. I understand how most job seekers feel. I know what’s at stake and why it so important.
Also, I know women are hard working, I was raised by hard working women. I know they are not superficial at all. At the same time, they like to align themselves with someone who feels productive, have a vision, and working towards something.
Again, at the end of the day, I know a job makes all of us feel more productive, it gives us purpose and meaning. And as a man, I particularly understand that without a job or a source of income, it’s hard to feel like a man.