Today is the start of a new day. You wake up in the morning and the first thing that hits you is the fact that you don’t have a job. With the huge amount of unemployment and layoffs, you are not alone. But, in this case,
“misery does not love company.”
Most people are now hit with a feeling of devastation and the reality that they really don’t know what to do. Along with this absurd upheaval of generally unexpected events, a new set of realistic worries come along with this position. How are you going to live? How can you support yourself and/or a family as well?
Life can be difficult under the best of circumstances.
We never really realized how true those adages that we heard were before we had to become responsible adults. Yes, youth is wasted on the young. Now, what?
Many people turn to negative ways to cope. Drugs and alcohol are temporary fixes that can only ultimately complicate your situation. You must be clear headed and be able to formulate a plan.
Start with making a list of everything that you are capable of doing. It can be as simple as changing a light bulb to running a company. List your attributes. Sometimes there are positions available based on some of your underutilized talents. Talk to everyone and let them know what you can and are available to do. Be flexible. Understand that you may have to start at a position less prestigious than the one you previously had.
A 63 year old male came to me feeling very anxious and depressed after being terminated from his position in the garment center as a salesman. For a full year, he tried to pursue other sales positions in the garment center, plus other areas, including dry cleaning companies supplying services to major hotels. All to no avail.
After over a year of unemployment, Alan (not his real name), realized he needed to think outside the box. Living near an affluent area of senior citizens, he decided to offer his services as a driver and helper. He advertised in local papers and put up fliers in the supermarkets and local stores. At a minimum of $25 an hour, Alan has built up a client base of 29 regular appointments, plus airport runs, doctor appointments and miscellaneous driving. It may not be his dream job, and it may not be forever, but he has a steady income and feels like a worthwhile member of his family.
Another patient, I will call Tom, had worked in a family owned jewelry company for 30 years. Now, at 55, after a family feud, the company dissolved along with Tom’s position. He bartended, sold cars, became a handyman, and ultimately went to school to get his real estate degree. After successfully working at an agency for 1 year, Tom has gone back to school and became a home inspector as well, This will also increase his income. Tom has found his niche. He has never been happier.
Mary, 56 years old, married, no children, has been in publishing for as long as she can remember. She transferred from a large company to a small company several years ago. Her husband is an adjunct professor at a local college, and although employed, there is never a guarantee for the next semester. Recently, Mary’s company went bankrupt. Her unemployment insurance is nearing its end. She is feeling a sense of panic but is looking at options.
She has always been the “go-to” person for her family and friends. We are now exploring opportunities as a “life coach”.
The bottom line is someone who likes to cook, can do private catering for busy moms. A shopper can shop for those unable to leave their homes.
Think outside the box! There is something for you on the way to your dream job. It may even become your dream job!!!!
Recognize another aspect that is of utmost importance– your mental health. Give yourself permission to feel your feelings. It is quite normal to feel depressed and inadequate. You may even feel hopeless at times.
We all know that things change on a daily basis, and that tomorrow might bring us closer to our hopes and dreams for the future.
Take time out each day to do something positive for yourself that can boost your endorphins. Make a list of things that make you feel good. Going for a run, taking a bubble bath, watching a movie, getting a massage, taking a long walk- find things unrelated to your job search, so you can have some time out to enjoy your life without constant pressure. You don’t have to spend every waking second trying to find employment. Trust that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Believe that this is an opportunity to grow and become a stronger, more adept individual. Surround yourself with positive people who are on your team.
Most of all, believe in yourself. Positive energy breeds positive energy. Keep it going and be patient. With each day, you are moving toward a new experience that may ultimately be a better place than where you have been.
And of course, remember, don’t forget to laugh!!!!
As a therapist, I am happy to provide services to those seeking it, on a wide variety of topics. Often, you may also see case studies based on real-life examples of my individual past patients, with many details changed to protect their confidentiality.