It happens to everyone.
If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will happen. Unemployment. Also known as: getting the boot, sacked, fired, laid off, let go, pink-slipped, dismissed, canned, terminated…
My husband recently lost his job due to cutbacks. He went to work one day, finished his shift, and as he was leaving, was called into the head honcho’s office and let go. Out of the blue. Without warning. “Your position has been eliminated,” they told him. The company found a way to eliminate his position to save money from actually employing an individual. That’s right, a machine now does my husband’s old job. A MACHINE! We love technology until someone gets fired. Maybe the Terminator movies were right: machines really will take over the whole world some day and we will all be screwed. Maybe, just maybe.
Where’s the compassion? Don’t they know that my husband needs his job? That we can’t survive on my income alone? That we need health insurance for my medical problems? That we just moved into a new place with a higher rent? No. They don’t give a shit. Companies are all about the bottom line. Now, my husband was in his dream job, which he put his whole heart into, and was devastated when they let him go. And I do mean devastated. I married a sweet, sensitive man who couldn’t help but take it personally, even though they assured him that it had nothing to do with his performance. He is the inspiration for this week’s unsolicited advice.
How do you pick yourself back up from being unemployed? I am not going to sugar coat it; it is difficult. Not only is it difficult, but it is depressing. The “what if” factor is now a part of your everyday life. The uncertainty of your path is driving you crazy and there is nothing really to get up for in the morning. Your schedule is wide open. So, what do you do with all that free time?
First of all, don’t think of it as free time. It is not free, it is costing you money. It needs to be thought of as motivation time! Time to get motivated! You are not stuck in a pot hole, but merely crossing a speed bump on the road of life! OK, maybe it is also a construction zone that will take you on an inconvenient detour, but it is not the end of the world!
From my husband: “Stay productive, stay optimistic and never forget your own value.”
Lets examine these affirmations one by one.
First of all, you are eligible for unemployment, and in order to receive unemployment you must be actively seeking employment. ACTIVELY. A job is not going to land in your lap.
What are you good at? Or, even better, what are you passionate about? What are you willing to learn? Sometimes companies only have entry level work with the incentive for advancement. Is there something you always wanted to pursue? Are you willing to move? Ask yourself all of these questions before you simply put in an application at McDonald’s, just to have a “something” job. Granted, sometimes it does come to that (what I like to call “for now” jobs). But even then, you need to be picky; because minimum wage is impossible to live on.
Not only should you stay productive in looking for employment, but you should stay productive in your life too. Don’t sit idle and watch day time television or play video games. Get out and take a walk, deep clean your house, call on friends to just pal around with, take up an inexpensive hobby, write a blog.
I know it’s difficult. Life is hard, but we get through it and it goes on whether we like it or not. Losing your job and suddenly having nothing to do can submerge you into a deep depression, and fast. I came home from work one day to McDonald’s bags and a sheepish look on my husband’s face. He told me he needed some comfort food that day. This was fine, as long as he doesn’t keep doing it… and he hasn’t. Food is not the answer, alcohol is not the answer, and drugs are not the answer. This is self-destruction, and is a slippery slope to even worse habits. My advice is to take a look around you and be thankful for the things you do have; the people in your life, the clothes on your back, etc. You have support in your life, and you will probably find a better job just around the corner. Daily affirmations of your worth are helpful too, which brings me to…
Never Forget Your Own Value
You are worth something, so don’t sell yourself short! If you are overqualified for a job, then don’t apply. Believe that you are worth more than a burger-flipping-minimum-wage job, and others will believe you too. This will come in handy during the interview process. Confidence is what employers are looking for and will be impressed with how you present yourself. A warning: don’t confuse confidence with arrogance, there is a big difference.
Apply, apply, apply, interview, interview, interview; and if you feel like a job is not for you, simply turn it down.
Keeping your chin up and staying positive is the very best thing you can do for yourself. When something is meant to be, it happens. It will happen for you too. In the meantime, stay patient, stay focused, and work hard at keeping your eye on the prize!
What did you think of Robyn’s advice for this week? Comment below and check back on Friday for Skippy’s advice!