The following post will give you a sneak peek into 10 diary entries of a young unemployed engineer named Aman. After turning 23 and graduating from a State Engineering College, Aman had big dreams of success. But life threw him on a different curve and he found himself unemployed and unable to do anything about it.

Disclaimer: This account is fictitious. It is based on the accounts of multiple real-life sources and was written for the purpose of highlighting the ups and downs of an unemployed engineer as he copes with joblessness.

Read on to see his journey, how Aman; an unemployed engineering student, struggled and eventually, coped with joblessness.

Entry #1 Reaching out

The college has been over for two weeks and I am now determined to get a job now. It was hard to not get a placement directly out of college but I know that I can show my parents that I am as capable as their colleagues’ children or anyone else. I have sent out my resume to multiple companies and am waiting for interviews with some.

Now, I just have to prepare for those.

Entry #2 Reality hits

Three months later, I receive my last rejection letter. I have become a social pariah. Nothing more than an unemployed engineer ‘kid’ still living off his parents’ money, where are my achievements now?

My friends are all going to work and getting paid while I have to wait for Dad to give me pocket money! My parents are telling me it will work out and my mom is doting on me (as usual), but I can feel the pressure. They don’t want a jobless son.

Entry #3 Illusions

I have watched The Big Bang Theory from Season 1 to 10 twice already. It’s so hilarious and I have also discovered that I am really great at playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. I go out to click photos; I’m getting more than 50 Instagram likes on them, feels great. Being home is great. I get to sleep at 3 AM and wake up at 11 AM, eat what I want and wear what I want.

Where else can I live in t-shirts and sweatpants?!

Entry #4 Gloomy days

Yesterday, I attended my cousin’s wedding. He is also an engineer. The difference?

He is an engineer with a job. I, on the other hand, am still unemployed. I don’t know what to do and I don’t know how to get out of this situation. My mother just told me to go meet someone who will help me, inspire me? My health is starting to deteriorate and I am too tired to even to even try going to the doctor.

And to add a cherry to the cake, my girlfriend from college finishes 6 months at her job today. I haven’t met her for that long either. She moved for her job, while I’m still at home.

Entry #5 Questioning

I am starting to wonder if I am the reason for all this bad karma. Maybe I should’ve sat for campus placements even for the small companies with not much to offer or at least, I could have worked at a call center and make 20K a month. I am questioning all my life choices. I keep texting people to occupy my time, not all of them reply.

Last night, I spoke to my best friend for 2 hours complaining about life. The poor guy listened to my rant but that was all he could do. No help.

Entry #6 Pressure

I have applied to hundreds of companies now. I don’t even care about the pay or the role anymore. No research. Just apply, apply and apply! All my relatives look at me as a failure in the family and I know that the neighbors talk when they see me.

Even the cousins and friends who I used to condescendingly think were “dumber”, are giving me advice on how to pick up my life.

Entry #7 Searching

It has been a full year since the day I left college. Today, I looked online for opportunities. In my search for jobs (I am literally willing to take anything), I found a site that provides mentorship and online courses for engineering kids.

I think I may be too late in trying to acquire new skills, but what the heck!

Entry #8 New day, new resolution

I can’t continue being hopeless. I’ve looked at some other websites for coping with unemployment.  I have decided that it is better for me to be occupied with productive activities than to watch TV Serials and play games all day. I cannot degenerate! My parents have agreed to let me try the online courses.

I have also volunteered with a local NGO to go teach kids at a nearby slum. I clicked selfies with them.

Entry #9 Hope

I have almost finished my courses and I still go to the slum. It’s been fulfilling to know that I am contributing to change kids’ lives by giving them the light of education. I have also learned a lot in my course. In the course, I even got a personal mentor with whom I Skype with and message personally.

There is light at the end of my tunnel and I will get there.

Entry #10 Light

This is my last entry after 18 months of without a job. I finally got a job at a good company with a package of 4.2 LPA.

It isn’t the highest package, but it is a starting point for me. I know that my new skills are making me more equipped and industry-ready. My volunteer experience has given me insight and character.

I think I am beginning to see the light after a long tunnel of darkness.

Drawing Lessons

From the above account, we see how an unemployed engineer Aman moves from being motivated, demotivated and depressed to eventually hopeful. While he did find his way towards the end, we see that he fell into patterns of unproductivity, lethargy and depression.

He let himself believe that he was good for nothing simply because he didn’t have a job. Drawing lessons from Aman’s experiences, we answer some tough questions on unemployment and how to cope with it.

Why is unemployment so stressful?

Our jobs are more than a way to make a living. They influence our own identity, as well as the way others see us. Beyond the loss of income, an unemployed person also suffers other losses:

  • Loss of Confidence
  • Professional identity loss
  • Loss of purposeful activity
  • Job-security loss
  • Loss of work-based relationships

From the diary entries, we see that Aman goes through these losses and finds himself directionless. He comes out of his tunnel of darkness only when he finally decides to brush the dirt off his shoulders, keep his head held high and persevere despite his circumstances.

How do I cope with joblessness?

Below is a list of things you can do if you find yourself in a situation similar to Aman’s:

  • Staying healthy

    Being unemployed does not automatically mean being unhealthy as well. You will get the energy and motivation needed to work your way out of unemployment by eating right and exercising well.
    However, if you allow yourself to get lazy, lethargic and unhealthy, you will find it difficult to get the health needed for when you get a job.

  • Have a plan

    You can minimize your stress and not get overwhelmed with the reality of being unemployed by simply creating a plan of action. Break down the things you can do into small and manageable steps.

  • Understanding that setbacks are normal

    While a setback like unemployment can be difficult to come to terms with, it is good to remember that most successful people have had major setbacks in their lives before they reached where they are now.
    Grief after the job loss or when you don’t find a job is a natural reaction. However, you cannot stay in that headspace. Remember that your destiny is greater than your circumstance.

  • Take this chance to learn

    You may have a graduation degree and a theoretical knowledge but it’s worthless if you don’t have the practical knowledge to apply them.
    Whether it’s online courses or actual diplomas you go for, you can take this time as an opportunity to get skill development and increase your knowledge base. From UX Design to Android App Development to Digital Marketing, courses like these will help you get an edge when you go apply for jobs.
    There are even courses where you can avail industry experts as personal mentors. You can also get certifications to boost your CV. Moreover, you also get training. Sites like Hubspot and Digital unlocked by Google can be great starting points.

  • Freelance work

    Freelancing is another great way of gaining work experience. If you go ahead and work as you study, you will gain not just knowledge and expertise, you may even be able to generate a side income for yourself. Check websites like Freelancer and Upwork for opportunities to freelance.
    Read: How to be a Freelancer – a Roadmap

  • Networking

    Most job openings are never advertised. Networking fills these openings. It may seem like a difficult task, especially when you’re on the job hunt. But it is an important part of getting out there and grabbing opportunities. Read this for some job networking tips.

  • Volunteer

    If you’ve got time on your hands, volunteering is a great way to use it. It will give a sense of purpose while also giving you the skills, knowledge and attitude critical to today’s global work environment. By doing something philanthropic, you will fill yourself with joy knowing that you are making a difference in the world.


You may not have found your way yet and maybe like Aman in Entry #4, you still are unemployed and feel hopeless. It’s okay. No matter where you are on your employment journey, know that you are not completely lost. There is always light at the end of your tunnel and you just need to follow it.

Go ahead and try some of the steps I’ve listed above. Maybe they will help as you find your light.

Co Author: Bethamehi Joy Syiem


2 thoughts on “The Diary of an Unemployed Engineer (How to deal with Unemployment)

  1. Great description of the whole phase. Whats more important is the lessons one learn from experiences and how they react to it.

  2. This was in an interesting article I could relate to .. I took a mid-career break (owing to a professional setback), 12 years after my bachelors in Engineering & it was a shocking revelation to see behavioural change of friends & relatives, while I was not working. It was an emotional roller-coaster of 16 months, before I regained my composure and moved into a challenging role.
    Meanwhile, I took different courses and strengthened my resolve to bounce back.

    To all folks out there.. keep your spirits high !!

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