16/11/2012 06:58 GMT | Updated 15/01/2013 05:12 GMT

Unemployment and the Battle to Maintain Morale

Unfortunately, this is not my first taste of the "rock and roll" lifestyle. Twice before I have been on the dole, always in disbelief as to how I have got myself into this situation, but always full of initial optimism - "don't worry, it won't be for long"; but as before, time seems to almost pursue you when it thinks you are idle. So you end up trying to prove your worth and that you are not just simply wasting your day watching your peers on the Jeremy Kyle show; but before you know it time has not only caught you up, it is lapping you with a taunting grin. So begins the battle to maintain your waning morale, a daily encounter that you will on occasion lose.

It is an epic battle, there is no doubt it, but it is winnable! But how to pick your battered and bruised body up from the field of battle after a heavy defeat? It really is all about your outlook. You must remain positive. An obvious concept, but not an easy one to put into practice. Churchill said why waste your time with anything other than optimism (probably why he lead us to victory in WWII). So, I try, I really do try to remain up beat about my situation.

I am afraid I have no quick fix or resolution for this problem. Some days are going to grim, pure and simple. However, if you can create some kind of structure for your day then it really does help. The old 9 to 5 notion is of use, in fact it got me through university with top grades. Compartmentalise your day, e.g. 9 to 10.30 job search, 10.30 to 11.30 clean, 11.30 to 12 your time (mainly Football Manager for me) 12 to 1 lunch, 1 to 3 job search, 3 to 4 exercise 4 to 5 prepare tea for your partner and make the house look presentable. That is loosely my day. It's not exactly documented (though it probably should be) but I try to stick to it.

So, your day is set out in front of you but you have zero motivation, not even the omnipresent thought that your life is going no where can spark the urgency required to continue the search for a job. Morale is low. Music! Music is your friend, your only friend unless you leave to the house (e.g. shopping or the occasional interview, or the dreaded sign on day). Blast those feel good tunes, let them improve your mood and in turn help you continue your fight against the gloom of being unemployed. Although, even with friends like Liam Gallagher and Miles Kane providing lyrical encouragement it is easy to still feel alone. A key benefit to actually working is social interaction, it is vital we interact with actual people. Invariably, we will look to interact with our social networking pals across the Twitterverse and those neatly arranged in our Facebook. I personally feel these can help to improve your mood, especially a good tweet from the likes of Ricky Gervais or Irvine Welsh, but they are a Catch 22. They can monopolise the time you have allotted to better your situation... so be careful!

When you do have your inevitable bad day, just remember there is another day fast approaching, a day without a script, a script you could write. I have yet to master being the eternal optimist and believing each day has infinite possibilities, but I am adopting this philosophy a little bit more each day. I suppose my main sticking point, is why me? I often ponder this Balotelliesq thought, I mean I have a first class BSc honours, how can I not get a job? Why can I not begin a career? The same rationale usually rescues me; there are people in much worst situations and even more in the very same predicament. So, most days I keep to my Yorkshire roots and just say to myself "chin up and crack on lad".

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