Job Searching? Introduce Some Humour

Job searching is serious business; in fact it’s an intense full-time occupation where the stakes are high and the cost of failure may be more than a person can bear. So it’s not the time or place to introduce humour and comedy into your day. Or is it?

If you’ve never been on a prolonged job search while unemployed, you may not fully appreciate how exhausting and mentally taxing it can be. Many people who turn job seekers report being anxious more often and for longer periods of time as they go about their days looking for work. At the end of their day, although exhausted, sleep seldom comes easy. Just as one’s mind should be clearing of all conscious thought so that sleep can be entered into blissfully, the job seekers consciousness starts with thoughts of guilt, impending financial ruin, and stress about upcoming social events that might cost money that isn’t there. When the dawn comes, the unsettled night’s sleep is broken only with more thoughts of, “what to do” with the day to get out of this rut and find a job.

This hardly the time to think of laughter, fun, good times and investing some time in having a good time! Yet perhaps, just perhaps, this is exactly what would be not just useful but indeed essential to gathering up some new energy to keep that job search going.

Humour of course can be introduced to the job search strategy in a number of ways; some low key and free or on the cheap. For starters, there’s comedy on the small screen; your television. If you choose, you can look through the listings for a week and record a comedy movie to watch one evening. This will be your guilt-free reward time where you pop up some popcorn, sit back and relax alone or with some friends and permit yourself to laugh. That laughter is healthy my friend so laugh long and loud.

If the small screen doesn’t appeal to you because you’re still trapped in the house and the job search stuff is too close by to allow you to really focus on the comedy, get out of the house. Go see a show in town and consider the cost of admission to the show a much smaller investment than you’d make seeing a Counsellor. The one great thing about a theatre is that it’s a shared experience; you’re out in the community and you’re just a normal person doing normal things. While you might be unemployed, no one in the theatre is likely to ask you what you do for a living and how it’s going, so you can relax, fit in with the crowd and feel that normalcy wash over you.

Good books we love are valuable too. Being able to immerse yourself into another world where you get caught up in the characters, the landscapes, the plot and the storyline can be a welcome diversion from the stress we might feel job searching non-stop. Just make sure you don’t get so absorbed that you waste precious job search time reading too much and then feeling guilt later on!

The internet is a good source of humour too. You can search for funny videos using almost any subject with the word, ‘funny’ before it as in funny videos, funny fails, funny jokes, funny animals etc. What you find funny might differ from someone else, but I’m betting it’s not hard to find something that will bring a smile to your face.

Now don’t misunderstand me; unemployment is nothing to make light of or laugh at. However, finding yourself constantly consumed and stressed by your unemployment isn’t a healthy way to go about things. Your stress can turn quickly into physical illness and possibly mental anxiety and depression if you don’t find ways to lighten up a little and find moments of laughter and humour throughout your day.

I can think of one woman I helped long ago who asked me to read over her resume. She had warehouse experience and was looking for something along those lines working in a factory setting. One day she asked me to just check her resume for any mistakes before sending it out. As I read it, she had very unintentionally put down that she had extensive experience in a whorehouse. I’m not making this up; she actually wrote that. I pointed it out and she went beat red. We laughed about that together for a good three or four minutes; it was hilarious.

I made a mistake on a resume with a woman who was responding to an ad for a Night Stocker in a grocery store. I pride myself on my vocabulary and my resume-writing ability but I found it hilarious that the day after I spun my magic on her resume, she returned with a big smile on her face to show me how I had inadvertently penned her resume introduction as seeking a job as a Night Stalker! I’m so glad she read it over herself before handing it out anywhere and she was able to see the humour in my error.

There was the day a fellow arrived at work with two different shoes on his feet – one black and one brown and even more hilarious one was a lace up and the other a slip on. Oh wait, that too was me!

Humour; go ahead and give yourself permission to laugh.



3 thoughts on “Job Searching? Introduce Some Humour

  1. You can’t look for work 24/7. You need a break. I am glad to see someone in your position, who helps people on welfare write this in an article. There is a very prevalent attitude that unemployed people don’t deserve a life outside of looking for work. This is especially true towards people who are receiving welfare or unemployment benefits.


    1. Thanks, Deb. Of course unemployed people including those on welfare/unemployment benefits deserve a life. They won’t get a job unless they have a positive self-image and it’s difficult to have this if you are continually being punished and looked down on for being unemployed. I try to tell people that and so it’s refreshing when someone else says it and puts it so eloquently. And humour is a great way to build that positive attitude.


  2. I absolutely agree, Kelly. Humour is essential to maintaining that positive frame of mind, the can-do attitude that is so important to job search success.
    In my book “How to Get a Good Job After 50”, I wrote:
    Smiling and laughter are important to our sense of well-being and, therefore, to our self-confidence. Remembering happy occasions can bring a smile to our faces and make us feel good. Smiling is good for our health, it improves our mood and it can help increase the likelihood of success according to US health and fitness enthusiast and author, Charlie Pulsipher.
    We’ve all heard the expression, ‘laughter is the best medicine’, and it has been proven to be very effective in improving our physical, emotional and social well-being. It should, therefore, be an important component of our job search strategy. Laughter decreases stress, increases the production of serotonin and boosts blood flow. Laughter and smiling can also help to make us look younger. The multitude of facial muscles that work together to make us laugh or smile increases the blood flow around the face and this can make us look younger and healthier.
    So make sure that humour is part of your daily routine. This can be achieved by making time to swap jokes with friends, by going to see a funny film or a stand-up comedian. If you are on your own, tuck a good cartoon in your job search file and when you need a boost, take a look at it and laugh. Part of the routine of a successful job club program that I ran was to start each day with a 15-minute joke swapping session. The laughter eased tensions and made participants open and ready to receive new ideas and gave them the confidence to carry them out.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s