The Reality of Unemployment

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An American’s experience navigating the Swedish job market.

As an American, unemployment is something to be avoided at all costs. Between student loans, the high cost of living, and employer-sponsored health insurance, long-term unemployment in the US is scary business. You can’t pay your bills and you can’t afford to get sick. So being unintentionally unemployed for the past six months goes against the way I have conducted my life for 25 years.

And it has been a challenge… A hard reality to swallow and at times my international job search has left me feeling undervalued and exhausted.

But that is exactly why I came to Sweden: for a challenge. I moved here with the hope of learning something new, of seeing a different way of life, and of discovering myself in deeper ways.

While true that this job search has left me feeling undervalued and exhausted, I’ve also felt energized, resilient, entrepreneurial, and brave. I am living my dream, even though it isn’t quite as I imagined. But that is the difference between dreams and reality. The reality is never quite as perfect, but it is always better — because it is real.

-TM

Have you faced a hard difference between dreams and reality? Let us know below.

Oh, and my unemployment ended yesterday. And I couldn’t be more excited.

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