You are currently viewing “The Funemployed Artist”
Think of it as a rebrand—same thing, just in a different package.

“The Funemployed Artist”

The dreaded job search. . . where do I even begin?

It really has a way of shattering your sense of self-worth.

Maybe it’s the act of condensing who you are onto a sheet of printer paper, only to have it tossed into the recycling bin.

Or knowing that AI software combed through your application and deemed you thoroughly unworthy to even be assessed by a living, breathing person.

Maybe it’s the seemingly countless rejections—that is, if you even hear back to begin with.

Or the fact that these rejections slowly chip away at you until you’re convinced that all you’re worth is a minimum wage customer service job.

Maybe it’s getting to the point where these jobs, in which you’re grossly overqualified for, don’t call you back either.

I’ve done the job fairs.

The resume and cover letter workshops. The additional certifications to strengthen job applications. Industry volunteer work. Even seeking help from a city job counsellor. I have a two-year Business Diploma, and a Bachelors in Communications under my belt. I also graduated with a solid handful of work experience—in customer service, admin, and events.

I empathize deeply with the actively-searching unemployed (double that empathy for fellow arts-degree graduates). It really is tough when you put all of your effort into something, only to be told that you’re not good enough. And I’m writing about this from experience; I’ve put all of my self-worth into a job search more than once, and it’s never ended well.

What I’ve learned from working more than a dozen jobs in my time (including part-time and temporary work), and being unemployed-and-seeking-full-time-work twice, is that a job shouldn’t define who you are as a person. It shouldn’t define how you see yourself, or your level of confidence.

I’ve also learned that, given you are fortunate enough to have this option, it’s okay to wait a little bit.

To hold off for the job that suits you and values your education and work experience. Or, if waiting isn’t an option, it’s okay to jump ship after only a few weeks at a workplace if something better comes along. Your time is valuable, and you don’t owe an organization your loyalty just because you’ve recently agreed to work with them. Especially when said company would have no problem letting you go for any reason it sees fit.

The dreaded job hunt is a bit of a match. It involves peacocking. Knowing the right people. Spouting out rehearsed lines to questions like, tell me about yourself? Designing your resume in a way that “stands out”. Tailoring your cover letter, and incorporating the same language used in a job description to better your chances of moving past the recruiter bots.

It’s all one big, silly game—one that we unfortunately need to pass in order to survive in this world.

After returning to Canada from my two-year English-teaching stint in South Korea, I’m proud to announce that, at the moment, I am not unemployed.

No, I’m not working or studying. I’m just living as me—spending time with family, cooking, exercising, and drawing to my heart’s content. At this point in my life, I refuse to claim the title of “unemployed”. There’s just so much baggage, I’ve experienced, that comes with it. The judgement, the perceived lack of worth, and the idea that our value is inherent in our economic contribution—I refuse to embody any of it.

As it stands, I am “funemployed”.

Yes, I can work right now, but I’ve built up my savings enough to fund a bit of a break. During the next few months, I will continue to do all the things that evoke happiness and fulfillment in my life, until a job that speaks to me comes my way.

Claiming the title “fumemployed” has changed my outlook towards not having a job title. I don’t feel ashamed over it. And there’s no longer a sense of rush or panic involved in shedding myself of my current work status. There’s no feeling of guilt over it either since, as the word suggests, why feel guilty over having fun with your newly-found time?

I recognize that this blog post is in the self-serving territory.

Also, this is an art blog, not a lifestyle blog. So allow me to bring it back around by saying that I didn’t stumble into this season of funemployment. Nope, I planned it. Actually I’ve had it planned for the past six months. And I did so in order to focus on art, primarily. It’s something that I really want to get good at. So I decided to take some time to focus on developing these skills. For the first time in a long time, I am investing in me. And if a job comes up that aligns with my values and schedule, I’ll be more than happy to apply. Right now, it’s just not a necessity. And I don’t want to make it my sole focus just because it’s “the thing to do”.

This is a new era.

One that is marked by not being defined by a job title, or lack thereof. One that is filled with guilt-free self-indulgence. And one of thoroughly diving into creativity.

I hope you enjoyed this post and that it gave you something to connect with. If you’re currently in search of work, good luck out there. It’s tough, truly. Keep your head up, and know what you bring to the table.

Kind regards,

Juli Rox

Leave a Reply