When you are sat down at a lunch or dinner with someone that you don’t see very often, what do you talk about? You may find that invariably conversations stray to the subject of work, the kind of issues people face, relationships with colleagues, and in this day and age, probably funding cuts and how they affect jobs. And why should people not talk about work? After all it is the thing that most people spend their waking hours on. When you wake up in the morning you are primed for work, the travel in, the journey on crowded train rides et cetera. Some people even commute two hours to work from the outskirts of the capital, taking advantage of cheaper housing in suburbs and the higher salaries in the city. And that is two hours each way. Take a eight or nine hour job, tack on four hours of commute, eight hours of sleep (or less) and you can see how much of a percentage work takes up in our daily lives.
But what if you are out of work? Even those who are unemployed – not in education or employment or training, known as NEETS to the government, social conversations can be about work. The only difference is that conversations centre around the lack of work rather than the quality of work. And conversations are likely to take place in the virtual world rather than in the real world.
But what can you do if you find yourself in the latter situation? The thing to do is to make yourself go out and still meet people. Find opportunities to volunteer at charity shops. Because it is important to still keep maintaining that drive to get yourself out of bed, to keep up the routine of getting prepared for employment, even if volunteering is not paid, so that when a paid opportunity develops – maybe you get offered a job somehow – that you don’t get lulled into being “not bovvered” about it because the thought of getting out of bed and ready in the morning is too much.
As a Harringay Ladder piano teacher tells us, practice and getting into a routine makes a difference. Don’t think about doing something; just do it! That is a good skill to impart to children; to spend less time considering job decisions before applying for work, and to actually do the pondering after you are in the job!