Forced Economic Transition
In these times of financial upheaval and constant changes in the job market, people are finding themselves unemployed at an alarming rate. From extended furloughs to unpaid vacations, the economic woes are affecting many. Most affected are those who lose their jobs with little notice. People who have dedicated many years to a certain profession or business are now finding themselves putting resumes together, calling friends and neighbors, and hitting the streets in hopes of finding a job. How does one handle the stress of the transition from being employed to anxiously searching through the papers for a job that will afford you enough to pay the bills?
While it would be easy to get caught up in the anxiety of the situation, most experts will first advise a person to breathe. My dad always said, “I was looking for a job when I found this one”, so chances are good that you will find another job. In fact, looking at the positive side will prepare you for having the necessary attitude to allow you to present yourself in the best light when applying for a new position.
Identify your contacts. The old adage “It’s not what you know but who you know” really does seem to be true when looking for a job. Identify people in the same field or in related fields. Make calls and let others know you are looking. Check out online listings, but don’t confine yourself only to the Internet. Contact Chamber offices, placement groups, and affiliated businesses. It is always okay to send letters of inquiry to places you are interested in working for, but make sure they are personal letters, not copies with no inside address.
Take your time to know the personnel director’s name and the address for the company. They may not have advertised for a job but know when a vacancy will happen.
Get your resume updated, contact your references, and make copies to be ready. Then hit the streets with those in hand. It would be tempting to sit in front of the computer and apply/search for jobs that way, but walking into a business ready to discuss options with them shows greater initiative.
Seriously identify your professional strengths. Is there some hobby you have that could turn into a job? Have you always wanted to try something different and have the personality to do that job? Sometimes when you lose a job, it actually opens up greater opportunities for you to find something more fulfilling. If you believe that things happen for a reason, the loss of a job may be the time to consider changing professions.
Consider part-time employment while you look, if you need to be employed to continue to pay your bills. You might be surprised at the contacts you make in a part-time job. And many part-time positions can turn into permanent full-time positions quite quickly.
Self-care is also very important after being laid off. It would be easy to sit and mope, to spend hours in front of the computer, or just to get caught up in the “what-ifs”. But it is important to remember that you will go through some stages of grief. Losing a job is monumental; it also includes losing financial security, future security, and often a “family” that you have been connected to through common interests and intentions. Allow yourself some time to grieve this loss, as it is very real.
Exercise and taking care of one’s self is also vitally important. Get out and do something daily: walking, biking, aerobics, something athletic to get your mind off of the negative and allow the natural endorphins in your system to help you.
Diet and nutrition are also important. This is not the time to be eating out more, indulging in high calorie foods, and using food as a “comfort”. This will only increase chances of health problems later on and often will do just the opposite of giving you more energy.
Follow up on the finances. Your company may offer a severance package. Also apply for unemployment. Unemployment benefits are not hand-outs; this is money you are entitled to—money that has been invested in case such a thing happens. Unemployment benefits differ from state to state but be sure to file. Don’t let your insurance lapse. Apply for the COBRA part of the insurance; it can be financially crippling to lose your insurance and then have a medical emergency for which you cannot pay.
While losing your job will certainly impact your lifestyle and family finances, strive to remain positive about the opportunity of finding a better and more satisfying job. Being positive in all aspects will certainly affect your approach to the next job and will be a barometer of how you handle the stress in the time of transition.
Tags: applying for a job
, economic woes
, losing your job
, self care during economic woes