Unemployment, Job loss, and Depression
When you become unemployed your view of the world may shift, and not always in a positive direction. Unemployment sucks! If you're young and unemployed it's always easier mentally, financially and emotionally to spring back from. But when you're older and have a lot of responsibilities this can be very challenging and upsetting. Companies are not what they were in the previous generations, we're all replaceable.
You may have worked for a company most of your life and find yourself out of work due to downsizing, or the company closing. Maybe you were fired unjustly. Regardless of the cause, unemployment isn't an easy thing to navigate. But you can and will spring back from this, and you may learn a lot about yourself and true desires when facing a challenge such as unemployment.
Job loss comes in so many forms. You could have suffered a health condition causing you to lose a job. Your company may have downsized, or perhaps you were just let go. As I write this article so many people are being impacted by the Covid-19/Coronavirus pandemic. Uncertain times are magnified when the entire world is facing a crisis.
Unemployment agencies can become over-run making it very hard to get that measly unemployment payment. Trying to stay afloat financially and support families when you lose your job can be very scary.
When you've lost a job or a career, it's important to remind yourself that you are not your JOB. Don't lose sight of the fact that you are a completely whole person regardless of the work you do to live in society. You are not defined by your job, nor does that make you any less when you have to make changes.
It's very easy to become depressed when you've lost your job. Suddenly your life purpose feels unknown, your schedule has been turned upside-down and you are probably feeling extreme financial stress because of it.
It's normal for everyone to feel the blues at some point in life, but when depression becomes major, you'll have to reach out for help to avoid falling further into a pit.
What constitutes needing to ask for help? If you're dealing with your unemployment by drinking or taking drugs, please get help asap.
Otherwise, most things can be managed with planning and some lifestyle adjustments.
How can you deal with job loss until you get back on your feet?
Hopefully, you're the type to prepare for unexpected events. Sadly most people are not. How can you deal with unemployment and job loss until you can get back on your feet especially when you're not prepared?
The first thing to do is avoid panic and reach out to your unemployment office. More than likely you are eligible. Unemployment will not be what your regular income was but it will be something, which is better than nothing. The sooner you apply the better because most offices have a delay to receive benefits.
This is also a good time to polish your resume and apply for other assistance if needed. Charities can help with food if that is an immediate concern. Also, don't be afraid to ask family or friends for help. Most will be happy to help you if they can.
Don't delay looking for a new job. Start that as soon as possible also most unemployment agencies will require you actively look for work to receive benefits.
Cut back and eliminate any unneeded expense
This is also a good time to review subscriptions you have that are not needed. Netflix and cable may need to go.
You can also change a lot of your lifestyle without much effort just by really paying attention to where your money has been going. Stop Starbucks, cook at home. Get a new budget sorted out.
Contact car insurance and home insurance and look into reducing your rates or finding better coverage until your financial situation improves. This is good to do regardless. Many companies get us trapped in contracts and paying for services we really don't need.
Try to avoid living off of credit or tapping into savings at all costs. Leave those resources as a last resort.
Get caught up on things you've put off
Sometimes unemployment can be a huge blessing. You no longer have that 9-5 job to punch into. You're not coming home pissed off and grouchy. You'll have time to fix up your home or learn something new.
Maybe it's time to take out a loan and go back to school for something you really want to do. Get certified in something quickly. Or find a new profession that is in high demand. The medical field is always a reliable bet. Some jobs will never face unemployment because of the need.
Since your schedule has been demolished you can take this time to really work on things you've wanted to do. Start working out, repaint that room you've had the paint for but have never gotten to. Cultivate your hobbies when you're not looking for a new job. Get your home cleaned up. Volunteering is also nice to do when not looking for a job. Help someone less fortunate than yourself. Plant a garden or learn a skill that will eliminate dependence on outside sources. Learn to can food or sew. There are so many skills we can all learn to reduce expenses!
Get a side gig
Nowadays we have more options to earn money passively or residually. You may not be able to live full time on them, but you can at least supplement your income. Delivery services are always in demand. Work for Uber Eats or even this platform Hubpages. Start a Youtube channel.
There are a lot of things we can still do to help soften the blow of unemployment. Most of us don't have the luxury to live off-grid and avoid needing money for something, even paying property taxes can't be completely avoided. But you have options to supplement income when facing hard times.
Although it's probably not ideal, now may be a good time to downsize. If you rent, it may help to find a cheaper place, or move in with family and friends. If you have a huge home, you may need to sell it to get out of a huge mortgage payment.
These are not necessarily bad changes to make. Most of us use way to many resources as it is. Do you really need a 4000 sq foot home? Most likely you don't. Even for an average family of 4, you don't need that kind of space. You may find yourself a lot happier in the long run by downsizing and getting rid of things that only cause financial stress.
Keep yourself positive
Yes, losing a job sucks, and unemployment is not fun. But stay positive. Nothing in this world lasts forever or stays the same. Money is meant to move and flow like water, not be stagnant. Keep reminding yourself that this is temporary and it will pass.
Try to avoid panic, that is bad for your health. Worry and panic are not going to make anything better. Focus on solutions. This article is really just designed to give you some ideas. Obviously everyone's circumstances will be different, but losing a job is not the end of the world.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Rebecca