For me, the worst thing about being unemployed is having to talk about being unemployed with other people. It isn’t the lack of money nor is it the wave of lackluster motivation that I feel when I wake up in the morning. The most agonizing pain to me is having to interact with other people.

Usually, conversations begin something like this, “Oh, what are you up to these days?”. Or maybe it goes something like, “Are you working?”. This is the question I always hope to avoid when talking with friends, family, and other adults. The gut reaction when I hear these words is to run away. You may ask why, but I know when I tell people that I’m still looking for a job, their faces fall flat. Pure looks of pity, sadness, and a slight twinge of empathy describe the next moment.

The conversation proceeds to then have said person say “You will find something,” or “What have you been doing in the meantime?”.  Either way, I just want the conversation to end. I already know that I am a NEET.

NEET is an acronym that stands for “Not in Employment Education or Training”. Depending on where you use this word in the world, this can refer to young youths trying to find their way in the world or it can refer to someone who just stopped trying. Hmm, NEET to me sounds pretty fudging accurate in both senses. In my case, I’m jobless, no longer attending college (though a near future goal is to get my masters), and I’m not taking any certification classes. So what am I doing with my life?

Warning: Mini flashback Commencing. I had been previously living in Chicago after graduating college with degrees in Computer Science and French. Afterward, I landed a job with an amazing software company. The company was great and a path for growth was possible. I worked in customer support and since this was a software company, customer issues were more varied and technical. This was perfect for me since I did not know what I wanted to do within the realm of computer science.

But why did I leave it all? Well, I was feeling pretty awful. I felt disconnected from my family and work just seemed to drone on and on. On the other side, my family was becoming more worn and torn. They were having problems too. So when the end of my lease came up and my roommate decided to go on her own path, I took the opportunity to take some time and move back with my family to deal with stuff.

Here we are… seven months later. That time was spent moving, job hunting, depression, studying for the GRE (of which I still need to take), picking up random tech skills here and there, occasional freelance work, but I’m still figuring out what I want to do.

I feel that this is a common sentiment for other NEETs or jobless people. Time just slips away, and you don’t really know what to do next, especially if you have tried everything to get a job. All you know is that you wake up every day and know that you should probably get something accomplished that day. The minimum, wake up at a reasonable time, say 9:30 AM and definitely apply to at least 5 jobs that you may sort of qualify for. It is difficult. So when you ask me next time, “how’s life?”, all I can say is that I’m working on it.