It seems like everyday on the news, updates are given on the numbers of those who are unemployed, the number of jobs available, and economic growth. For nearly two years, those rates seem to keep rising, while the economy rides a roller coaster. Currently, some reports state that 9.3% of our workforce is facing unployment, while those who are underemployed are hovering around 17.2%.
Losing a job takes a toll on how you view yourself. You wonder how others view you. Looking through possible jobs can often be depressing, with countless internet searches and completing the same information over and over again. Some jobs may seem somewhat interesting, but may mean a huge cut in pay- resulting in even more stress over what to cut from the family budget.
After a period of time, this stress related to a change in jobs and the job search can take a toll. The constant lack of surity of whether or not you should buy this, go here, or stay home to save on gas can eat away at your sanity. Even those who are usually polite may find themselves being snappy, grumpy, and depressed. Hormone levels are elevated as a result of stress. After producing an increased level of stress-related hormones for a sustained period of time, it's harder for a person to maintain their normal level of functioning or even their moods. All are signs of stress related to job loss.
So what can you do to help yourself during this stressful life event?
1. Stay Connected to Others. It's tempting to withdraw from social events because they cost money or you don't want to talk about what happened (and what's NOT happening in your life). Join a local group through Meetup.com or find classes through the recreation and parks department. Host potluck gatherings at your home. Stay active in other groups that you've been a part of, such as church, bowling leagues, book clubs, or professional groups.
2. Use Social Media. Social media sites, such as Facebook, can offer a way to connect to others. This is a positive connection. Since most jobs can be applied for online, it can help encouraging to share your findings with friends or to share a potential job that may be more suited for them through social media. While you complete applications, you can ask them for help on wordings or to even help you remember other things to list on the application. One word of caution:hour after hour and day after day of sitting in front of a computer can hinder productivity in other ways, so keep it balanced! LinkedIn offers potential jobs, connections to other professionals, and groups that can give tips and insights.
3. Get Out of Your House. Staying inside and away from others will add to your stress while looking for a job. Visit the library to find books; volunteer (a great way to find a potential NEW job) at a school, nursing home, non-profit, or even an office; or socialize with friends.
4. Physical activity. Moving will help your entire body, mentally and physically. It will also help you to sleep better. Tension will be relieved. Exercising doesn't mean you have to join a gym (more $$$ at a time when funds are tight). You can check out DVDs from the library to use at home, download workouts from the internet, find suggestions from magazines, or walk around the neighborhood. Exercise also offers a great way for you to connect to others. For example, invite a neighbor to walk with you in the mornings.
5. Stay on a routine. It's tempting to sleep in when you don't have to be somewhere at a certain time. It's also tempting to sleep more- taking naps to combat depression or to procrastinate completing another job application. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time. Make a daily routine with time to exercise, connect to others, work in the yard or around the house, tackle the “To-Do List” that you've been avoiding, and time to look for jobs. Also, set a time limit to help you stay motivated.
6. Learn new skills. While many people are going back to school to earn a degree, you may not have to do this. There are many classes at community colleges that can be taken at home, at your own pace. While they may not issue college credit, they will give you additional skills, often for as low as $60 to learn a new computer program. You can also learn these new skills through volunteer work, books, the internet, friends, and internships.
7.View the Extra Time as a Gift. There are many days when you have to go to work, that you think of all the things that you would rather be doing. So start doing them during this time!
8. Sign Up for a Class or Group on Finding Job. There are support groups in many towns, classes to help you with resumes, and people who will read over your resume. Check with your alma mater for free services to alumni on resumes, finding jobs, and even job postings that are exclusive to alumni.