We have all heard about the fluctuation of Canada's unemployment rates on the news over the past couple of years, but I've found that this information remains an abstract idea until you yourself are a part of that statistic.

Statistics Canada reported that Canada's unemployment rate was at 7.5 per cent as of February, and the unemployment rate of people between the ages of 15 and 24 hovers around 14 per cent. In London, the number for that age group is 20.5 per cent. With this in mind, you need to be prepared for the fact that your job hunt may not go as smoothly as you had planned. This is where I come in: I am here to offer you support through sharing my own experiences in what I call “the six stages of unemployment,” where I will prepare you for what you might be in for.

Stage 1: Indifference.
When you first begin looking for a job, there is little sense of urgency. There is a feeling of “I've got lots of time” or “I'll find a job so fast, I don't need to worry yet.” Be careful — this is when you can easily get sucked into your couch and begin keeping track of the Friends reruns you watch by seasons, not by episodes.

Stage 2: Optimism.
This is the time when you really dig into your job hunt. You'll start sending tons of resumes out and feel very confident that every place will love you and immediately call you in for an interview. I really hope this happens for you, but be prepared that this could be a long process.

Stage 3: Reality.
For those of you who weren't successful at finding a job in stage two, this is the time when reality will set in. You will begin to realize that looking for work is a process, and that there are a lot of other people applying for the same jobs you are. Don't get discouraged. Sure, some people are better candidates for a certain job than you, but a time will come when you will be the better candidate.

Stage 4: Denial.
Around this time it can be very easy to get bummed out. Personally, I started questioning the whole processes in general. “Who says I even need a job? What makes employers qualified to judge me? Clearly they're all crazy because they don't see what an asset I would be.” The most important part of stage four is to realize that this is just a phase, and it too shall pass. You also need to make a point of not posting frustrated complaints to your Facebook or Twitter, because your potential future employer could be watching.

Stage 5: Acceptance.
This is the time when you accept the process. You know it might take a while to find work, and maybe at this point you have even had a few interviews but not been hired. Every interview is an opportunity. Maybe you didn't get the job, but you still got the interview experience and made an important connection with someone who will remember you in the future. Don't forget to send thank-you emails to everyone who interviews you to make a lasting positive impression; don't burn any bridges.

Stage 6: Hope.
This is the final stage of the process, and in a sense, it brings you full circle back to stage two. After having a few interviews and going through the process of stages one through five, you will again feel confident about finding employment.

Everyone's experience with job hunting will be different, so don't expect your six stages to look exactly like this — some people might only have two or three stages. For some of you, your hunt could take weeks, and for some of you it could take many months. The most important thing is to stay positive, as clich as that may sound, because after floating in the sky of unemployment, you will land exactly where you're supposed to.