It’s one thing to be stuck in a dead-end job, but quite another to lose that job and be facing unemployment. You start optimistically, telling yourself that it’s a setback or that the company will want you back within a week. The reaction is normal—denial is one of the stages of grief.
Unemployment And Its Negative Effects
You’re not necessarily grieving over the job loss itself. You may even be relieved not to have to go back. What you’re grieving is the financial security that your work afforded you.
You’re not in dire straits, as you can still collect unemployment benefits to put food on the table. What happens if those benefits start to run out, though? What if the job search is unsuccessful?
Will you lose everything?
Do you see how quickly the mood changes?
Welcome to unemployment depression and its effects on your mood and well-being. You can expect a range of emotions, from untamed optimism to spiraling bouts of despair.
Over time, it becomes harder to suppress the unemployment anxiety, and you’re bound to start feeling self-doubt. You might even convince yourself that you’ll never find paid employment again.
You’ll start to lose interest in things that you once enjoyed. It might be too much effort to visit your friends or call anyone. You may start to feel as anything is too much effort.
You might even be lying on the couch all day, binge-watching Netflix.
How To Deal With Stress Associated With Unemployment
One of the worst things to deal with during this stressful period is well-meaning friends and relatives. For someone whose never been in this situation before, it’s difficult to understand. They might tell you to “snap out of it” or assure you not to worry.
Try to take it good-naturedly, though. It’s intended to be comforting. If they’re insistent, let them know that everyone deals with things differently.
In the meantime, it helps to take actionable steps.
Start by assessing the situation. You want to find a job tomorrow, but do you have to? How much do you have to live on in the meantime? You might well be able to go six months before your next paycheck arrives.
Next, create a workable budget that helps you stretch your money further. Simple money saving tips like canceling subscriptions, dining in instead of going out to eat, checking your internet provider and gas rates to ensure that you’re not paying more for utilities than you should, and cut unnecessary expenses to find free ways to have fun.
Find productive pastimes to fill your time. Is there an organization that allows you to volunteer? Helping others gives you a renewed sense of purpose—you might even stumble upon a job interview at the same time.
Spend time each day actively looking for work. Then, devote some time to having fun, as well. Get up every morning and get dressed, as you usually would, as sticking to a routine be a great comfort.
Find a supportive community. The depression will make you want to pull away from others, which is counterproductive. Keep going to church or join a hobbyist group to keep up your social connections.
Tips To Search And Land A New Job
The job market today is intimidating, particularly if you’ve worked for the same company for many years. That’s okay. The right amount of confidence will allow you to ace any interview.
Start by polishing your resume. Consider consulting an employment specialist to highlight your strengths, if necessary.
Focus more on your business skills achievements. That you volunteer at the SPCA is nice, but the paper that you wrote on ways your company could improve sales is more pertinent to the professional setting.
Get your resume out there. Speak to people and let them know you’re looking for work. Apply for twenty jobs, fifty jobs, a hundred jobs—the more exposure you get for yourself out there, the better.
Less is more in terms of the resume, though. Most companies don’t look past the first page of the resume unless something catches their attention.
When you are called for an interview, do your homework. Research the company and understand the market it serves. What skills of yours will best serve this company?
What approach should you adopt? Is the company conservative or more casual? What projects have you worked on that match their needs as closely as possible?
Also, be prepared to say why you lost your job. Frame it in the most positive way you can think of if they ask. Don’t use this as an opportunity to criticize your previous company, though.
Adjust your attitude at the door. You want the interviewer to see that you’re confident but not arrogant. You shouldn’t have to tell them that you’re the best person for the job—demonstrate it through your actions, attitude, and confidence.