This is my final post in my unemployment series.
“The world bursts at the seams with people ready to tell you you’re not good enough. On occasion, some may be correct. But do not do their work for them. Seek any job; ask anyone out; pursue any goal. Don’t take it personally when thay say “no” – they may not be smart enough to say “yes.”
-Keith Olberman Broadcast journalist and host for MSNBC
If you have lost your job due to layoffs, downsizing or being fired understand a few things:
1) You’re not alone.
2) You will feel shame, demoralized, guilty and/or embarrassed.
3) This too shall pass.
4) You need a solid plan!
The following are suggestions for your new beginning:
Be Proactive. Tell everyone you’re looking for a job. Tell family members, your friends, neighbors, previous coworkers, the mom’s club, your kid’s teacher or church members. Ask them to be on the look out for you. Give them a hard copy of your resume and ask them to read it so they understand what your skills are and what you’re looking for or interested in.
Apply for Benefits. Look into collecting unemployment, compensation, any unused vacation days. Look into food stamps, a food pantry or soup kitchen. Be willing to do what it takes. Swallow your pride. You are not alone.
Update Your Resume, gear it towards the job you want. Get help with this if necessary. Make yours stand out. This is very important. Use keywords because most resumes are scanned by computers.
Keep a Log. Write down where you sent your resume and to whom, the date you send it, and any contact you’ve had. Log your interviews and the names and contact information of the interviewers.
Send Hand Written Thank You Notes after each job interview. Or better yet get creative. Someone I know who wanted a speaking job sent the place of business a chocolate shoe with a note that read, “How can I get my foot in the door?”
Educate Yourself. Now is the time to take the class you wish you had. Spend thirty minutes a day learning a foreign language. It will give you an edge on your competition when the economy turns around.
Listen for Guidance and Direction. Spend 15-30 minutes each morning in silence. Have a notebook with you. As creative ideas come to you write them down. You will have new insights on whom you should contact or send your resume to. If you learn to quiet the chatter in your head and listen for answers you will have clarity instead of confusion.
Fresh Ideas. Create a list of your talents, skills and interests. See how you can apply them to another field. Is there a dream job you always wanted. Go for it. You have nothing to lose. You may have to go out of your comfort zone. Color outside the lines.
Take Action: Be persistent and consistent. Each day do at least 3 things you haven’t done before in your search. For example call and speak with someone new or find another networking group. Each evening jot down what three things you will do tomorrow.
Accept Part Time Work. Working part time will give you income and you’ll still have 20 hours for your job search. Some income is better than none.
Stay Motivated. Maintain a positive attitude. Psyche yourself up with positive affirmations, thoughts and actions. Read and listen to inspirational material. Hang out with postivie people. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. This too shall pass.
Keep a Regular Routine. Keep the same office hours you had when you worked. If you had an 8am to 5pm job spend that time searching and networking at least four days a week. Your current work is to find a job.
Simplify Your Life. Spend time getting rid of clutter. Clean your office. Let go of the old so the new can flow in.
Create a Budget. Concentrate on paying your essential expenses and create a budget for extras if there is money left. Don’t use credit cards unless there is a real emergency.
Cut Out and Cut Back! Small stuff adds up. Don’t use credit cards unless you have a real emergency. Get rid of any extras. You don’t need 100’s of TV channels. Cut subscriptions on and off line. Does your family really need four cell phones?
Forget the guilt. Learn to tell your children “no.” If they have essentials they have enough. Explain your position to your family and ask them to understand. You now have more time to spend with them and that’s even better than new stuff!
Strive for Emotional Wellness. Become aware of your emotions. It’s normal to feel shame, anger and upset. Feel your emotions and let them out, cry, vent and move on. Don’t blame others. Don’t carry resentment into your new place of employment.
Exercise and Eat Healthy. You now have the time to do both. Avoid too much of anything especially alcohol and overeating.
Do Something Fun and New. Go to a movie, hike, ride your bike, help a friend. Rediscover new ways of relaxing and enjoying life without spending money.
Laugh. Watch and listen to comedy. Look for ways to bring humor into your life. Find joy in simple things, a sunset, a sunny day or fresh loaf of bread.
Deal with Stress. Meditate. Lift weights. Spend time in silence. Journal. Take a dance class. Join a book club.
Seek Support. Find a group, a friend or a neighbor that will listen to your doubts and worries. Make a list of all of the people who love you. Be willing to reach out
Begin Your Own Support Group. Invite others who are unemployed. Use it in a positive way for moral support.
Stay in the Moment. Learn to live in the present. Put up a sign that says, “Just for today do not worry.” Take one day at a time. One step at a time and one minute at a time in your most difficult days.
Do you know someone who is unemployed? Would you be willing to email them my list? Thanks!