Work matters- it helps put food on the table and clothes on our back. It connects us to an evolving world. It often develops and affirms our identities. Even when it feels like an idleness, work engages us and shapes are skills. Therefore, when an individual faces unemployment it can be traumatic. Spiraling into depression, insomnia, anxiety, feelings of helplessness, low self-esteem, and malnutrition. I have known individuals who have lost employment, and I know this can be a sometimes traumatic experience. I assure them that they are more than a position, one should not be solely defined by their professional title. Most importantly, I try to get them to see things from a different lens. Perhaps it is God’s detour; and/or way of saying slow down, you’re going the wrong direction. I also encouraged them no matter what to follow these steps:
- Reject Shame: Unemployment can happen to anyone, it’s not a crime or a failing.
- Challenge Hopelessness: Schedule 30 minutes to dwell, 15 minutes to vent, and leave the rest of you waking time to focus.
- Have a Daily Plan: Make looking for a job your current job, but also exercise and see friends and family. This is the time to create the life and schedule you want – find your new work life balance.
- Be Flexible: Consider acquiring new skills.