Unemployed in Greece
A tale that’s not that unique anymore
So I became one of the 25% of the unemployed people in Greece. At first it was a shock! You blame yourself for the choices you’ve made in life, that you didn’t leave the country in your youth, that you trusted people easily and that you are cursed, doomed and unworthy.
Apparently you come to a point where you simply see what you have accomplished in life according to the current situation and you feel falling deeply in depression.
You see, here in Greece, jobs are really rare. Jobs that include national health insurance and pension plan are extremely rate. Jobs with dignified fees, are even more rare.
No one wants to invest in Greece. I totally get that. Who would invest in a country that — let’s face it — has defaulted at least 3 times in the last 6 years inside the EU?
At first I started looking for a job — hillarious. I was totally committed to it. The first month I used all the online services that could help me search for a job, even as a freelancer — whilst freelancing in Greece equals to a future with huge debt by default. So I started using AngelList, Linkdin, the Dribbble & Behance jobs section, creating my profile and stuff. I’ve sent for four  months [from the day I’ve lost my job, until now] more than thirty  CVs/cover letters/requests/tests and answered required questionnaires [some enjoyable, others ridiculous]. I had started even to compromise with the idea of leaving Greece to work abroad.
I either got the rejection letter, or no letter at all.
I was entitled to the ridiculous €360 state monthly allowance for the unemployed and currently this is my main source of income. Although it was a shocking experience to enter the horrors of bureaucracy in order to get that allowance, the fact that I was officially labeled as “unemployed” was even more shocking.
I started doing some freelancing here and there in order to fill-in the state allowance, to put food on the table and pay the electricity bill, to feel useful, to feel I was not unworthy. I focused on my self projects, designing 3D creatures, learning new software, updating my portfolio, but still no job, hence no future.
I started having dreams that I’ve made my own business, that I was no burden to my husband, that we could have children now that we have both stable jobs. It was only a dream.
I have my ups and downs. Sometimes I start feeling depressed, other times I feel that I will not subdue to this general depression that rules almost everyone in the country and that I will eventually be able to take my life in my own hands.
Little things lift you up — like your family — and others deepen the depression. For instance my husband is always saying how creative I am, how good I am of what I am doing — that lifts me high to Alpha of Centaur! And there are those times where you feel the sadness enveloping you like that time where you lied and answered “freelancer” instead of “unemployed” — which was also an option — at a questionnaire over the phone.
But let’s face it! I am not the only one in Greece who feels the sadness of unemployment, the uncertainty, the fear, the fact that this austerity has a beginning but has no end, the futureless perspective.
I am simply one of the 25% of the unemployed in Greece.