Let’s hope you’re not in this situation. But if you are unemployed, you’re certainly not alone. With the sluggish economy, many people are out of work for the first time.
So what’s your first move if you get laid off? Honestly, it may be to freak out.
How am I going to pay my bills? How will I take care of my family? When will I find another job?
It’s natural to come unglued – particularly if you’ve never been fired. Actually, losing a job is like a death in the family or a divorce. It’s a traumatic event that you don’t immediately recover from.
Lean on friends and family. Get counseling if you need it. Most of all, don’t sink into a debilitating depression.
Once you accept the loss of your job – you may still be upset – it’s time to act. You can’t grieve forever.
“Curling up in the fetal position in bed is acceptable for a week, but then you need to rejoin the world,” writes Will Penny on LibraryJournal.com.
He offers 13 tips for surviving unemployment and making it as brief as possible. I think they’re right on the money. They deal with your maintaining your mental health as well as honing your job searching skills.
Tips for handling unemployment
Here are a few:
- Avoid daytime TV. “If you’re watching TV, how can you be looking for work?”
- Talk to people. “Get out of the house at least once a day.”
- Cut expenses. “Your current job – looking for work – doesn’t pay and carries no benefits.”
- Seek revenge, sweet revenge. “Instead of indulging in pointless vigilante fantasies, expend your energy on achieving true and lasting revenue – get a better job.”
- Reevaluate your priorities. “What did you enjoy about your last job and what do you want to avoid next time?
- Interview often. “An interview is not a therapy session. Stick to the facts, emphasize the positives, focus on your accomplishments.”
- Be patient. “Weeks will pass before you’ll get an interview or a final decision is reached. Until you receive the rejection letter, you’re still in the game.”
- It’s OK to say “no thank you…Money, benefits, and location are legitimate reasons to decline an offer.”
- Be nice to people. “You never know who might help you get a job.”
The Internet is your best friend when it comes to advice for dealing with unemployment. You can find answers to any questions you have. And you’ll tap into a network of people who have walked in your shoes.
Remember, most people who lost a job found another one. You can too.
When you’re unemployed, keep a proper perspective. Unemployment is likely just a brief phase of your life. Use the down time to chart a new direction. You may wind up happier than ever.