Dealing With The Shame of Unemployment
Being unemployed can be a very stressful situation, especially if you have people depending on you like a spouse and children.
One of the most difficult aspects of unemployment besides dealing with uncertainty of where future employment will be secured is the doubt that creeps in about your worth.
Men in particular are affected by the emotional strain unemployment brings. Men, by nature, are expected to be the strong leaders. For most men, self worth is found in achievements. Not being able to provide for a family can lead to a feeling of failure, and depression.
This is not to minimize the stress and anxiety women can feel from the situation of being unemployed. Whether a man or a women, there are important tips to being able to relieve stress and anxiety unemployment brings to be better able to take the problem head-on.
1. You Are Not Your Job
People tend to identify with what they do. They are successful if they achieve, they are a failure if they don’t. This is not a healthy way of approaching life. If you are unemployed, you must realize you are the same person. Don’t get down on yourself.
Give yourself some space to breath, and realize a job does not make or break you. Allow yourself to feel the emotions that come with being unemployed such as doubt, or anger. If you lost your job because of poor performance, allow yourself to feel guilt.
Feeling anxious and depression is normal. You may even want to take advantage of the low point by doing some self reflection, or even catch up on some sleep. You know eventually you’re going to get back on the proverbial horse and get things rolling again.
Embrace reality. This is your situation and keep in mind this is something virtually every person on the planet deals with at least one time in their life. Perhaps you were let go from your job under suspicious circumstances, unless there is some recourse, simply let it go. Spending too much time going over the situation in your mind, talking about the injustice with friends and family is only going to delay the process of getting something going again.
3. Join the Club!
Guess what, you’re one of millions of people now who don’t have a paycheck coming in. You’ve heard the expression “misery loves company”. Well, the only thing you need to do is go down to the unemployment office to meet some very unhappy people, and we’re not just talking about the people that work there!
Also keep in mind, as bad as it may seem, life could be a lot worse. It doesn’t take much of an imagination to think of how it could be worse. Instead of going down to an unemployment office, take an afternoon to volunteer at Hospice. That should get you back in the right state of mind.
4. You’re on Vacation
No, you probably can’t travel Europe for a few months, but you certainly can take advantage of the time off to do some things you’ve always wanted to do. Organize that catch-all room, remodel the kitchen if you can afford it, or better yet, spend time with the family. If you have children, they will love having you around more as long as you’re not a grump.
5. The Doors
No, we’re not talking about Jim Morrison, we’re talking about that annoying cliche you probably don’t really want to hear when you’re unemployed but here it is anyway, “when one door closes, another one opens.”
The truth is, there’s a really good chance you will be presented with amazing opportunities you would never have had if you didn’t get that pink slip. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut with our current employment and never really consider other opportunities.
You may want to consider going back to school, starting a business, or even doing something more dramatic like moving to a new country to immerse yourself in a new culture. One thing is for sure, the world is suddenly yours!
6. Bring in that Horse
Whatever you decide, eventually you’re going to need an income. The time will come to get back on that horse and get a job. You will need a plan of action. First, get ready for the search by re-working your resume, getting on professional networking sites such as Linkedin or Indeed, network with people around you letting them know you are looking for employment. Before you know it, you’ll be presented with opportunities and be back working again.
The attitude you choose to have about being unemployed is the key to everything you will do to change your situation. Below is a video from TedTalk that might help you.