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Unemployed and Learning to Deal with It

Updated on April 12, 2015


I joined the ranks of the unemployed, May 20th 2010, after 10 years of faithful service. I had not taken a vacation during my tincture, rarely a day off, but my employer, a residential home builder, could no longer afford to pay me.

I was given two weeks notice of the layoff, which enabled me to get my and the employer's affairs in order. The notice was kind, but did little to soothe the feelings of inadequacy, and rejection that inevitably sneak into one's psyche.

I Feel Old Fat and Stupid

The first week I was completely lost . . . adrift in a sea of feeling useless, old and forgotten. I immediately began my search for work, and did not heed my husband and sister’s advice to take off, at least a month, since I had not had a vacation in 10 years.

Fear is the seduction of the enemy - Bishop T.D. Jakes

My sister recently obtained a job after a year of unemployment. Her advice was to relax and enjoy the time off. Experience was her teacher, she made the mistake of worrying for an entire year instead of taking one day at a time. Worry did little to expedite her employment. Her advice, unfortunately fell on deaf ears. Was she nuts? I had to get back on the horse times a wasting!

Hope These Tips Help

In the state I reside, Utah, the national overall unemployment rate is 7.2% U.S.: 9.5% as of June 2010. I’ve finally learned to deal with this issue one day at a time and try to use this time wisely. In an effort to help those in my similar situation I want to, hopefully impart some useful tips on survival:

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
Mark Twain

  1. Contact the unemployment agency - in your area, as soon as you are notified of the impending layoff. The Workforce Department of Utah was fantastic, handled everything over the phone, fax and online.
  2. Contact your mortgagor or landlord - informing them of your new status, make arrangements for payments or rent. Ask your lender for loan modification options. I was in the middle of a mortgage modification when my notice was given. My lender was understanding and is assisting me in further modification of my mortgage.
  3. Contact creditors - I had several creditors change my due date on payments, and you use this time to negotiate lower interest rates .
  4. Check your unemployment provider - regarding educational options. Some may need to make career changes (I'm a loan processor and stand alone mortgage brokers are quickly becoming extinct). Or acquire a degree in your current career field to give you more leverage in the job market.
  5. Entrepreneurs thrive during hard times put that hobby or passion to work for you. Try working from home, but beware of internet scams. Many businesses have been created in times like these.
  6. Start or finish home projects – my yard is a procrastinators dream. I finally began to finish up all the projects I started years ago in my yard. Clean out closets, drawers and get rid of clothing and unused material items. Share them with the charity of your choice before you become the centerpiece for some hoarder reality show.
  7. Exercise – your mind and body. Exercise your mind with games you enjoy be it PC games, Xbox, reading, yoga or crossword puzzles and keep up with changes in your industry. Exercise your body; no one will be willing to hire a fat slob who looks like they may be a liability instead of an asset to their company.
  8. Keep joy in your life – no matter your belief system let nothing steal your joy. Continue to laugh and enjoy living life. Nothing will be resolved by crying and worrying except growth of an ulcer and puffy eyes.

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

R.I.P Pookie Marie Allen 1995 - July 2010

The Layoff Blues

I lost my job, my PC was working like crap and Pookie my cat died. I got angry, cried, but that didn't fix my PC or bring Pookie back. I pulled myself up by the proverbial bootstraps and took a hard long look at myself in the mirror. Instead of reinforcing the labels I already placed on myself of being old, stupid, fat and useless I reminded myself of my good points. Reminded myself of how I've been blessed with a somewhat healthy mind, body and spirit. A beautiful home, a wonderfully supportive husband, family and one more cat.

To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.

Take it one day at a time, that’s all you can do. Be thankful for what you have don’t lapse into depression or self medication this will only make matters worse. The final two won't change a thing, you'll still be unemployed except now you have a hangover or an addiction.

Well, I’ll climb off my soapbox, and get back to tending my lawn, hope this piece helps those of you experiencing this issue. Remember don’t allow feelings of worthlessness get you down, there is light at the end of the tunnel and tomorrow is another day.

The Lord is my light and the one who saves me. I fear no one, the Lord protects my life, I am afraid of no one. Psalm 27:1


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    • pmccray profile image

      pmccray 6 years ago from Utah

      Sandyspider: thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this hub. I not only appreciate the effort, but just you being here brightens my day.

      Rebecca E: as always you are my lifesaver, receiving this type of compliment from you is truly inspiring. I thank you so much for taking the time to read my hub and comment. Peace to you friend.

      boxxies; thank you for your comment. I'm hanging in and staying strong. Thank you ever so much for your kind remarks.

      yenajeon; as always a breath of fresh air. It is sad and traumatic to lose a pet, but I was blessed to have her brother to comfort me. Thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment on my hub.

    • yenajeon profile image

      yenajeon 7 years ago from California

      This is great advice. Some of my closest friends with degrees are struggling to find any job. I will share this with my friend who has been looking for 8 months.

      And! My cat also passed away ~6 months ago. He was a kitten so it was so traumatic.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • boxxies profile image

      boxxies 7 years ago

      Good luck finding a new and decent job.

      Meanwhile, enjoy your free time and follow

      all the above advice.


    • Rebecca E. profile image

      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      excellent advice and keep on building.. you are an inspiration to many... this hub proves it. Informative and everything.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Great advice. I hope you find work soon. I have been laid off for 2 years. It is tough out there and it is true that you begin to feel useless. Thanks for the tips.

    • pmccray profile image

      pmccray 7 years ago from Utah

      RevLady, Mike L, nextlexis,BKcreative, Micky Dee, Deborah Demander & tatjana-Mihaela - All of you and many others are a reason I visit this site everyday, several times a day. I really appreciate your outpouring of support, caring and love.

      RevLady: yes I'm glad I climb out of that dog house too, it was getting rather "rank".

      Mike L.: you are so right I should use this time to re-evaluate my life course and take stock. Thank you

      nexlexis: yes it is I can seek out other new avenues, and I look upon it now as a new adventure.

      BKcreative: you hit the nail right on the head. Just another rat in the old rat race. I can now explore new avenues and breath without some dolt standing over me.

      Micky Dee: I'm doing just fine, but don't stop praying. Only tick I have now is my husband is always underfoot (he works graveyard now), but he has been the best support. Thank you for your thoughts.

      DD: yes Workforce here in Utah is fantastic and have been a blessing.

      Tatjana-Mihaela; lol lol yes I'm still alive. I had become a friggin' robot this respite is truly a God send.

      Again words can't express how all of your words have lifted my spirits even more. Thank you all so much and peace to you and yours.

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      10 years without vacation and you are still alive?

      Love and hugs

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 7 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      What a well written, hopeful and helpful hub. I hope you are able to enjoy the time you have off, and I definitely know the stress of being without work. One thing I discovered, is the Work Force center offers great classes, free, which help you update your resume, prepare for interviews, and best of all, discover what it is you would really like to do with your life.

      Peace to you today.


    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      pmccray- I worry about you Dear! I pray that you will remain strong and your world is righted better. You're a beautiful person! Know that my Dear!

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Being laid off was the best thing that ever happened to me. That work world had drained all my senses and I was truly a rat in a rat race. I will never consider full time work again - it's like a life sentence. Living in NYC I was able to get rid of my car which I soon realized was about 1/3 of my outlay of expenses. I was literally working to support the purchase and maintenance of a car.

      I have a prepaid cellphone of which I only need to add $20.00 every 3 months to keep the number. I never bought cable tv because it has just as many commercials as regular tv and it was supposed to be commercial free - thus the costs - I can watch lots on right on my computer.

      Since then I write online, lots of content writing, and I sub sometimes which gets me out of the house and is just enough. But I am spending the summer working on blogs and more online writing and even hub pages to give me a monthly payout. Life is grand now. I feel human.

      And you, you are so creative and so enterprising. This is a time you use your skills and talents. And get rid of all the junk that we have to keep paying for. I was spending so much on clothes, and eating out, even travel expenses. All gone. I need so little now. Had a big garage sale last summer on my front lawn and made nearly $1,000 - I realized I was living in clutter.

      I'd love to keep hearing about all the wonderful things you start to do. I know you will and I'm looking forward to more hubs.

    • netlexis profile image

      Katherine Koch 7 years ago from Southern California

      Maybe this is an opportunity in disguise... although a scary one. It sounds like you're doing all the right things. Good luck.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      You got it exactly right--take one day at a time. An extension of unemployment benefits was recently approved, so unemployment compensation can last quite awhile if you need it to. Along with the other tasks you have mentioned, use this time to evaluate where you are relative to where you wish to be. This could be the best thing that has ever happened to you--even if it doesn't feel like it.

      Take care and stay strong.


    • RevLady profile image

      RevLady 7 years ago from Lantana, Florida

      So glad to hear PM, that you crawled out of the "dog house" and decided to accept life on its own terms. After all, you are the same PERSON you were on the job.

      Yes, dear heart, take it one day at a time. Take your concerns to God in prayer and trust in Him and His promises, thrive on your supports, do what IS in your power to do and wait on God who may be trying to give you the "time out to refresh" you probably should have taken when you were working, but did not.

      Love and hugs,

      Forever His,