Whether you just graduated from college, were laid off after a long career, or, like me, found yourself in a position where you could no longer continue to work for your current employer, all unemployed individuals go through some tough emotional issues, especially if you’ve been unemployed for a long time.
It’s easy to start feeling like no one will ever hire you. Most people, in my experience, like to be wanted for their skills and talents, and when months go by without offers for employment, many people feel their confidence dwindling, and some can even end up depressed, feeling like it’s hopeless and that they will never recover. Here’s some good tips to help you ward off the unemployment blues:
A lot of unemployed people fall into the trap of putting in a handful of applications each day, then wasting the rest of the day in front of the TV. Try not to make that mistake. Keep yourself busy. With all your extra time, this is a great opportunity to work through that to-do list you’ve been neglecting for years. Clean out the garage or attic. Catch up on your reading. Start a blog. Organize your book collection.
Get Some Exercise
Try not to stay in the house all day. Take your dog for a run. Go to a local beach or the lake and go swimming. Unemployment leaves you with a lot of freedom to move around. List a cellphone number on all job applications, then go somewhere. Who cares if you’re in the middle of a five-mile hike when the phone rings? The exercise releases endorphins, which will improve your mood and your health.
Improve Your Mind
This might be the perfect opportunity to pick up a new skill. Go to your local library and find books on the topic of your choice: basic electronics, plumbing, automotive repair, carpentry, accounting, anything. Even if the skill has nothing to do with your primary field, it can’t hurt, and it might land you a few temporary gigs until you get back on your feet.
Talk to Someone
Find a friend or family member to talk to about your concerns. Someone who knows what you are capable of, someone who will encourage you to keep trying in the face of adversity. If you can’t find anyone, take up journaling. Don’t keep your concerns locked up inside yourself.
If you’re good at what you do, you ought to be able to get some funds by freelancing. Laid off from a mortgage company? Try consulting. Write articles on your chosen topic and submit them to magazines and journals in your field. Used to work in automotive repair? Write tutorials on how to perform basic automotive repairs and maintenance.
It’ll feel good to do something nice for other people, and it’s a great way to network. Often, volunteer jobs can turn into employment, either directly (the organization you’re volunteering with hires you) or indirectly (you meet someone while volunteering who helps you find a job). This might be a good way to learn a new skill. Don’t have much experience with carpentry? Try volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.
Remind yourself daily that you are a talented and skillful individual, and that sometime soon, someone will realize that and decide to hire you. Write it on sticky-notes and paste it around your home.