Dozens of you have told me that you are also struggling (or have struggled) with unemployment. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your supportive and encouraging emails!
Today it occurred to me, that perhaps I should start writing about this experience. Since others are going through the same thing, let me offer a few quick tips from the trenches. This will be my first installment in the series on surviving a layoff.
1. Set aside your pride. This is THE MOST IMPORTANT on my list. You do not have the luxury to forfeit help in getting by. Unemployment is the big unknown, with no gauge as to when it will end, or how long it will take to recover.
2. Do whatever it takes. Have you looked into heating assistance? Health care assistance? Food stamps? WIC if you have small children? Your local food pantry? What other programs are in your area? Here is where #1 really is important. Swallowing your pride and getting assistance can make the difference between sinking and swimming.
3. Hyperfocus. Eat, sleep and breathe finding a new job. Make use of every resource possible to find a new job. Finding a new job, is a full-time job in itself!
4. Get honest. Evaluate your last position and where you want to be. What new skills do you need to land a job and stay competitive? Is there anything new you can teach yourself? Should you take your career in a new direction?
5. Seek support. Now is the time to rely on trusted friends to listen to your struggles. From writing resumes in 30 different formats to bypass keyword filters, to navigating unemployment benefits (and everything in between), frustration and stress are your constant companions. Go ahead and vent your feelings on a friend’s shoulder.
6. Cut all extra costs. Do you really need that smart phone, or will a prepaid cell phone without bells and whistles do? Get real, and then get trimming. There are many times I think about getting something with a coupon, but it is better to spend zero dollars than any sum of money, even after a coupon.
7. Rejuvenate. Make yourself top priority each day. Get proper nutrition, hydration, sleep, and daily exercise. Set aside time for prayer and reflection. These simple things make a world of difference in your ability to cope with stress.
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