The Unemployment Survival Guide

By Sarah October 31, 2009 01:07 AM
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The Unemployment Survival Guide

Being laid off or fired from your job can be one of the hardest situations life throws at you. Economic hardship aside, the rejection that comes with job hunting eats away at your self-esteem and your self-worth. There’s feelings of bewilderment, despair, and longing for a job, any job.

Well, chin up, comrade. These days you’re not alone. And these tips may help you out too:

1) Meet with a Career Coach ASAP

You may think your resume is up to snuff, but with hundreds of people competing for the same job, meeting with a Career Coach is one of the smartest things you can do in today’s job market.

You may only need a session or two; one to identify your next move and go over your resume, and the second to go over interview questions. Career Coaches are experts at resume preparation and answering those curve ball questions (Tell me about a time you failed at your job) that HR likes to throw at you during the interview.

Sure, it’s an added expense, but one you can’t afford not to invest in.

2) Resist the Urge to Hide Yourself Away

When you’re let go from your job there’s often feelings of embarrassment and shame. Socializing—particularly with former colleagues—can seem like torture.

The problem is, this is the time when you have to be getting out there as much as possible. When it comes to job hunting, meeting and talking to people can be just as effective as sending resumes via the Internet day after day.

We’re not saying that you have to go to a dinner party with an armful of resumes, but networking presents itself any time there happens to be other people around. Besides, there’s really no reason to be ashamed. Practically the whole country is in the same boat.

3) Enjoy your Time Off

It may seem counterintuitive to enjoy an otherwise miserable time, but the best thing about taking time off is the time off.

The word for it is “Funemployment.” It’s okay to secretly delight in afternoons at the beach or long walks in the neighborhood. When are you going to ever have the chance again? Oh, right. Retirement.

You often hear people say that losing their job was the best thing that ever happened to them, and the time off is why. It’s the opportunity to figure out what you want to do, professionally and personally. It’s the chance to discover or re-discover passions that are brushed aside because work always takes precedence. Once you have your head clear, you’ll be ready for the next big thing that awaits. And trust us, it’s out there.

Community Question: Have you been laid off? If so, how did you deal?