Layoffs, poor economy, budget cuts . . . words that look less intimidating when we see them in the news but show their brutality once they belong to you. We moved to New York because of an incredible job opportunity for my husband, and now, several years later, the job no longer exists. Days turn into weeks and eventually into months, and the weight of unemployment takes its toll, pulling us under. I can’t deny that I’ve allowed it to affect me on more than one occasion, especially when I witness it delicately devour Bill.
Who knows how long this will last. And because of that reality, we’ve been working on strategies to battle the disappointment and the unknown. Having this simple plan of action provides a sense of normalcy to the situation. Just this past week Bill’s gone on several interviews and he’s talking to recruiters—on these days he feels optimistic. And in between the hard work it takes to find a new job, he’s had time to visit his sister in Pittsburgh, road trip it with our daughter for a college tour, and reconnect with his wife over badminton, batting cages, and bike rides. Not a bad way to spend his days.
Stay Calm with a Daily Routine
Between retelling the tale and spending hours applying for one job, keeping your head as Kipling encouraged seems a bit out of reach. Try to keep a daily routine. And dedicate a specific block of time to job searching. That way you’re not spending all of your time in the role of jobseeker. Take a few moments each day to meditate, sit in silence or listen to a favorite song. Just give yourself that chill moment.
Researchers have long known that major life events like losing a job require time to grieve. No shame, no guilt in releasing all of your emotions. Let it out. Allow yourself that gift.
3. And then move on
Wearing your loss on your lapel only weighs you down. People in general, but especially employers, are drawn to those who are positive, happy and confident.
Embrace your circle of friends. Now more than ever you need to laugh and connect with the people in your life.
Don’t feel guilty about those days you just want to chill at home with a pizza and a movie.
6. Plan for the future
We all need things to look forward to in life. Make plans for small things, like a night out or a staycation. Continue discussing the future and your 5-year, 10-year and 15-year plan.
7. Embrace the moment
Yes, embrace it. Use this time wisely. Go outside more. Get in shape. Read. Keep a journal. Spend time with family. Connect with colleagues. Reconnect with your passion. Treat your unemployment as an opportunity.