If you’re struggling through job loss, these 10 tips will help you make it through till you get back on your feet.
During the course of the recession between 2008 and 2010, I lost my job twice. Those years were some of the hardest of my life.
If my parents were alive at the time, they probably would have demanded I return home immediately but I was alone and I had to figure my way out of the mess.
After the initial shock of getting laid off wore off, I realized I had two choices – feel sorry for myself every day or step to the challenge. I chose to step to the challenge.
Over the next few months, I developed and followed a set of tips that helped me stay on track and make it through those dark days:-
10 Tips For Making It Through an Unemployment Phase
1. Never Doubt Yourself
It’s easy to think if you’d done something differently, blown smoke up the right derrieres, you might have seen it coming and avoided it. Eliminate this train of thought.
It has happened to thousands before you and it will happen to thousands after you. The recession didn’t single you out because it hates you.
2. Critical Analysis
It’s time to give your resume a critical look through. Make sure there are no mistakes. Are you using the right vocabulary? Powerful adjectives? There are millions of CVs out there.
You have to make yours stand out. If necessary, get a professional to rewrite your CV. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You can get it done for as little as $50.
3. Don’t Become a Bum
It’s tempting to start sleeping in because you suddenly have all this free time on your hands. Don’t do it. It’s a mental trap. You will get used to it and become a lazy slob.
Go to bed at a reasonable hour and wake up at a reasonable hour, pretty much the same routine you had when you were employed.
4. You’ve Still Got a Job
Though you’re unemployed, you still kinda have a job – working on getting a new job. Wake up, take a shower, get dressed and get to it.
This is a full-time activity, which requires considerable acumen and creativity. It helps if you have a sort of plan in place for what your activities for the day will be and how long you’ll spend on each.
5. Remain Physically Active
Go to the gym, take a walk every day, use a work out video at home, take yoga, dance classes, tennis, anything to get your heart pumping. It’s vital that you keep your body active.
This will prevent lethargy, depression and general why-is-this-happening-to-me-&-why-does-my-life-suck-so-much blues from setting in.
6. Go Above & Beyond
You’re going to have to do more than looking up ads and sending in applications. Everybody’s doing that. What makes you different? Join boards related to your field and general-purpose boards.
Get to know everyone, be helpful, and network. Someone is sure to hear of something that might interest you.
Attend professional networking events that will place you in front of the people that you need to know.
7. Rein in the Spending
Stop spending money, literally. Restrict spending to absolute essentials like food and bills. If you have to become anti-social, outside professional networking, to achieve it, do so.
It’s not forever and the people you want to socialise with probably have jobs anyway so don’t have to worry about money.
8. Living Expenses Fund
This is probably a tip after the fact but you should have 3 – 6 months expenses saved in case of emergencies like this.
If you don’t, well learn your lesson and when you make it out of unemployment hades, save like money is about to become extinct.
9. Look Beyond Your Field
If your area of expertise isn’t hiring, you should start considering other fields where your skills can be adapted. Maybe you can quickly pick up some additional skills online.
A saying from Richard Branson comes to mind here, “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”
10. Pray and Meditate
Even if you don’t believe in it, pray and meditate. If only for 5 minutes every day. This is more about spirituality than religion. It’ll make you feel better and balance out your energy.
It doesn’t end with the tips above and there are loads of other tips out there on how to survive unemployment but following the above helped see me through my trying times.
I looked at it from a strategic point of view and no matter what happened, I always remembered to never feel sorry for myself.
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