When you lose your job, not only is your usual source of income gone, but also your personal work relationships, daily structures, and an important sense of self-purpose. Unemployment can be, and often is, a shock to your whole system.
The good news is that despite the stress of job loss and unemployment, there are many things you can do to take control of the situation and maintain your spirits. You can get through this tough time by taking care of yourself, reaching out to others, and focusing on your goals.
This can also be an opportunity to rethink your goals and rediscover what truly makes you happy.
Beyond the loss of income, losing a job also comes with other major losses, some of which may be even more difficult to face:
• Loss of your professional identity
• Loss of self-esteem and self-confidence
• Loss of your daily routine
• Loss of purposeful activity
• Loss of your work-based social network
• Loss of your sense of security
The psychological impact of being unemployed can be overwhelming. Symptoms of unemployment stress can include:
• Change in sleeping habits (insomnia, trouble falling asleep, trouble waking up, etc)
• Change in eating habits (overeating or neglecting to eat) • Social withdrawal and/or isolation
• Back, neck and joint pain
• Frequent illness
• Fatigue/lack of energy
• No desire to pursue hobbies/interests
• Lack of focus and concentration
Accept the reality as it is. Accepting reality simply means that you recognise that it is what it is and ask yourself “Where do I go from here?”
Establish a daily schedule including a regular time for job search activities.
Don’t give up hope, continue searching! As soon as you find yourself unemployed don’t sit back and wait for the right job. You have to take the initiative to stay positive and keep searching.
Don’t be unrealistic. Don’t apply for jobs that you are not qualified to do. If you want to change careers then consider returning to school and apply for financial aid in the process. Don’t do this until you find a job that you are accustomed to in the mean time.
Finding the Silver Lining. Staying positive and active is what will help you through this dark time. Try to think about how things will improve once you do find a job. Don’t focus on how many jobs you’ve applied for or how many interviews you’ve gone on.
Job Hunt! The first thing you need to do is make sure your resume is up to scratch. There’s many websites that will assist you in this.
Set yourself a goal of a certain number of applications per week and try to meet it. Remember – 40 applications for 1 interview and 10-20 interviews for a job is the average.
December and January are the most common times for people to get hired.
Networking is King. Remember that social connections are your biggest resource.
Set daily goals that you know you can accomplish. Go for a walk, go to the library, call a friend. Not having an income will add stress on top of depression. .Seek to rectify one of those as soon as possible.
Take whatever comes your way. You can always quit when you find something more suitable.
Prepare Several Resumes. Most employers say that the first reason they reject an applicant is because their resume does not reflect the skills necessary to perform the job. You can rewrite your resume to highlight the skills necessary for a particular job, and draw you to the employer’s attention. If you have a wide range of skills, you may want to rewrite your resume for each application, moving the relative skills to the top of the list.
Communicate. Discuss the situation. Don’t carry the burden alone. Your family and friends are your support system. Networking with others may land you an interview somewhere.
Apply for unemployment benefits . As long as you were terminated through no fault of your own, you should be eligible to collect some unemployment benefits. It is not a lot of money, but it is something to help you with gas and food bills while you look for a job. If you find employment before your benefits begin you can always cancel the claim.
Do something that makes you feel good about yourself. New reports says that nearly 40% of individuals who’ve been in the job market for more than six months say they’ve lost some degree of self respect. In a job search you can’t guarantee you’ll get the job you want in short order. You can do things that make you feel good about yourself as Volunteer somewhere local.
Exercise. Doing 30 minutes of exercises, each day will dramatically improve your mood and outlook, as it is a natural mood enhancer. Never forget always to eat right because it is the natural way to help keep you in good mood.
Getting a new job takes work, perseverance and strategy. You chances of success go way up, if you don’t let the stress of unemployment get you down. Good luck, and remember, for going through this experience you will be a stronger, wiser person!
Are you currently dealing with unemployment? How are you dealing and what steps have you taken to find a job? How do you raise your spirits during a long job hunt? Please share your story with us, we would love to hear from you.