The BBC 1978 series "Boys from th Blackstuff" introduced us to an infamous character called Yosser Hughes and his struggles to find work in 1970s Liverpool.
The memorable moment from the series involves him hasseling aman painting white lines on a football pitch, pleading with the man to give him a job because he could do it.
There is a real sense of dispair about Yosser's plight, but there is also a sense that his situation isn't helped by some of his choices, which seem to beome worse as his mental health gets worse.
It is very easy to find yourself in a similar mindset to Yosser, when you are unemployed. Perhaps you are used to having a job and having a structure around you to give you a purpose and an identity. Or maybe you have finished education and you can't seem to find a job, anywhere. Either way, the ongoing cycle of finding a job, applying for it, often completing an online assessment and then waiting to hear back (often without even getting a response) can be soul destroying.
What can you do to stop this cycle wearing you down?
Well the first thing is to recognise that this situation may well be having an effect on you. To pretend that it doesn't, may cause more harm and stop you finding a way out of it. Once you regognise it, there are a few things that you can do to help yourself find a way through.
Don't take it personally - When you get a rejection, it is easy to think that it is something about you that is wrong. Most often this is not the case. Employers will have a number of applications that they need to quickly go through and will make very quick decisions on who to take to the next stage and you usually have no idea what those criteria will be.
Keep a positive mindset - It is easy to start to wonder what the point is of trying and to resign yourself to not ever successfully applying for a job. However, the time when you are looking for a job is probably the time when you most need to be positive. Once you start listening to that negative voice, the task only becomes harder. Ed Sheeran once gave some advice about starting songwriting. He said "you have to get all the bad songs out of your system, first. Then you'll start writing good ones". It's hard to imagine Ed writing a rubbish song, but the same applies to finding a job. You have no idea how many bad applications you have to do before you get a good one. One thing you can be sure of, though. Each bad one that you do puts you one step closer to a good one.
Think outside the box - Don't pigeonhole yourself into one specific role and oly apply for that. People tend to not only be good at one thing. Why not give something else a try. It may not be the job you want to do forever, but if it gets you out of bed in the morning and gives you some money in your pocket, it'll do for now. It's also much easier to get a job when you already have one.
Get some support - If you are struggling to find work, there are a number of agencies that really want to help you. DWP Job Centres are not just there to chase you up and approve your Universal Credit. They have a lot of experiance and LOVE to help people find work. There are also other groups outside of this who can work alongside you on this journey such as Project Hope at Wings www.wingscharity.com/hope
Whatever your situaton is, know that you are not alone as you go through it. Talk to family and friends about how you are feeling. Ask them if they have any ideas. Reach out to groups set up to help people in your situation (or speak to your local Citizens Advice if you aren't sure what there is).
Most of all, though, don't give up. Keep moving forward and keep trying.