The Fear of Being Unemployed

I fear the night, or to be more specific, I fear being outside at night. One of the biggest reasons why is because unexplainable sounds seem to triple when night falls, and that’s when I begin to panic, and look around suspiciously, and basically become very tense. It is important to note that I am okay with the night if I am home, with closed doors and windows, well double and triple checked by the way.

A few years ago, there was a social disease that attacked almost everyone. It was called F.O.M.O (Fear of Missing Out), which is basically the feeling that makes you attend events that you don’t particularly want to or might not enjoy because there is a chance it might be turnt or lit, and you don’t want to miss that. P.S: The events are never that, so you are daydreaming about your bed, and better things you could be doing the entire time. This didn’t do any favors for my fear of being out at night, since that’s when most events happen. I was that friend that always begged people to escort them home, and believe me when I say that a lot of money was spent on bribes for this cause. And since Uber wasn’t there then, I would put people’s children through double time on a boda.

I swear it feels like a lifetime ago!

At the time, when I was susceptible to F.O.M.O, I didn’t know that I suffered from another social disease, the fear of being unemployed. I was fresh off university, and the stages of life had been ingrained in my system; go to school, get a job, make money, buy a car, build a house, et al. I had completed the school bit, so it was time to get a job.

From some perspectives, I was lucky. I got employed before I graduated, while others walked the streets of Kampala with those brown A4 envelopes. So what if my salary was always at least 2 months late? So what if my family was supporting me the entire time I was employed? So what if the job didn’t pay NSSF? I was young, so there was no hurry to start saving. So what if the job didn’t provide medical insurance, especially with the state that the health sector is in? I didn’t fall sick often anyways, and when I did, my family had my back. That’s what family is for anyway right, to have your back. So what if I couldn’t afford lunch? You don’t get a job to feed yourself. So what if there was no actual work to do at the job? A job is a job, when you have one, you keep it.

I talked to a few people about quitting the job but the response was the same from all of them, regardless of how sound my reasons were. A job is a job, when you have one, you keep it.

I used to wonder why making money was included in the stages of the life plan, but I later figured out that the assumption is that getting and having a job will not come with making money. I don’t know if that’s how things should be, or are, someone please enlighten me.

During the time, I was only concerned about doing something, heck anything. I knew the unemployment statistics, and I’d be damned if I became a statistic. I was getting experience and exposure, and a little lot of brokenness wasn’t going to break me. I had my passion, determination, perseverance and nothing could touch me. Which was great by the way, because if that’s all you have, you have a lot.

I have always wondered whether a job is indeed a job. Isn’t staying at a terrible job because it is a job akin to saying you fell down when you are abused by your spouse, so that people think you are in a happy marriage/relationship? Even when the bruising is not consistent with a fall, even to the eye not trained to assess such things. Case studies have shown that covering up for an abusive spouse almost always escalates abusive behavior which never ends well, so if the situations have similarities, what makes you think that staying at a terrible job will yield any positive results?

The chances that will find a good mentor in a toxic workplace (because these things always crossover) are slim, the chances that you will learn the most and yield a beneficial experience are low, the chances that you will grow significantly are low. So basically, in having a job because it is a job, you are cheating yourself. You are depriving yourself of genuine career growth, peace of mind, and the quality of life that comes with it.

With words like entitlement being thrown around at every turn, it is easy to think that you have something to prove – that you are not like those other millennials, that you are different, that you can withstand this storm, that you are willing to put in the work. And that’s okay, as long as you know what you are getting yourself into. Lay your bed, and lie in it.

If life was a game, I’d say society was on the same team as employers, and employees and well-wishers on the other team. How else could society orchestrate events that make employers thrive while offering the bare minimum? How else could employers continue with these habits and yet have piles of CVs in the Human Resources Department, waiting and hoping for a chance to work? It’s definitely not because no one knows about what actually goes on in that office, people just want to have a job.

I remember a bible study I attended where fear was described as False Evidence Appearing Real. I think that this is a situational description of fear, because what then happens when there is evidence to back your fear? What then?


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1 Response

  1. Beewol says:

    I also suffered from this fear of unemployment for quite a while. When I got cured, I moved on like a dude walking away from the most beautiful but foul mouthed woman ever. Part of you is happy, bits of you are scared but all of you is relieved. Cheers to breaking the chains of bondage.

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