Ways to Deal with Unemployment
We always agree to the ‘Life is not Perfect’ theory. Often, quite a few of us come to realise that things have not gone as planned - be it your choice of study program, the person you thought would end up befriending you, or the marks that you would have secured in an exam; so why should your professional life be an exception?
Speaking of unemployment, as of 2015-2016, about 5% of Indians are jobless. At 8.7%, a significantly high number of women are without a job, with unemployed males being at a relatively low 4.3%. Why am I mentioning statistical facts, you may ask? To tell you that there are many others who might be going through similar kinds of stress.
When you lose a job, or are simply unable to get one, it is natural to feel low, be upset, and envy the lives of those who are self-reliant, and are able to live life at their own expense. Along with a stable job comes financial independence, which is why unemployment is likely to make you feel caged, dull, overly dependent, and also lack a sense of security.
Despite experiencing what I call an ‘employment paralysis’, it is important that we take initiative to facilitate our emotional wellbeing. Remember, an individual should first be happy as a person, only then will they be happy as an employee. A healthy state of mind greatly contributes towards an optimistic outlook, as well as perseverance while looking out for a job.
What You May Often Feel
- Inability to relax and let lose
- Loss of self-esteem and self-confidence
- Feelings of anxiousness about what the future holds
- Irritability and moodiness
- Thinking more about the negatives
- Loss of interest in various activities
- Feelings of depression or unhappiness due to absence of professional identity
Like I said, it is natural to feel lost, directionless, and have racing thoughts during the unemployment phase. However, what matters is that we choose to overcome our feeling of hopelessness, and take the path towards becoming a happier, positive, and more confident version of ourselves!
Taking the Road to Perseverance and Achievement
In the very moment that we begin to take action in favour of combatting our stressors arising out of unemployment, we are halfway through already. Only when we decide to thrive through competition and distress, will we regain our inner strength and confidence.
The first thing that happens to most of us are the ‘pity parties’ wherein we’re so busy feeling sorry for ourselves, that we do not put in any efforts to get us out of that sorry state. By getting yourself involved in any activity that interests you, there will be a sense of purpose within you, and you will have something to look forward to, at the end of the day. It could be any activity - from playing a particular sport, to volunteering with a NGO of your choice, to learning a new language, etc.
Keep Your Connections Close
Always maintain contact with supportive people. At times, when we are feeling low, words of encouragement coming from another person could be the driving force that would keep us going.
Accept Your Situation, But Pledge to Change It
The key to a peaceful mind lies not only in accepting one’s present situation, but also vowing to land themselves in a favourable and happy place. So, while you're in the process of embracing your current scenario, you must also remember to keep working towards getting yourself out of it.
Support Groups, Networking, and Job Clubs
It is rightly said - those undergoing the same challenges as you can understand you best. Being a part of a support group, or a job club will help you formulate ways to feel better, and also cast a positive impact on the way you perceive things during times when things are not in your favour. Also, many a times we get to know of a job opportunity, not through an employment portal or the company’s website, but through a connection or professional acquaintance - precisely why networking is very important, because you never know when it manages to turn things around for you!
Follow a Structure
This applies even more in the case of those who were previously employed, and are now jobless. Unemployment can cause one to lose motivation, since they do not have a job or workplace to report to; hence, setting a structured daily routine that involves your job searching process, a hobby, some family and some ‘me’ time amongst others can help you remain efficient and productive.
Circle of Control v/s Circle of Concern
Given the situation of unemployment, there are two aspects to it namely: your ‘circle of control’ i.e., the things that are under your control and can be influenced by you. For example: the quality of your resume, your outlook towards your present situation, your job search plan, the initiatives taken by you to thrive an unfavourable circumstance, learning and developing skill sets, etc. The second aspect is your ‘circle of concern’ i.e., the things that worry you and make you lose focus over them despite you having no control or influence over the same. For example: how the recruiter views your profile, the quality of your competitors, how those around you judge your situation, etc. By staying focused on your ‘circle of control’ rather than your ‘circle of concern’ will help you improve yourself and become a smart worker.
Both emotional as well as physical characteristics make us the kind of people that we are. While taking measures to ensure your emotional well-being, it is also important to maintain a good physical health, so as to be proactive and proficient at anything that you wish to achieve.
Remember, stress is that lightening that strikes us all at some point in time, and is a common sighting amongst people experiencing unemployment. Here, the ‘free size’, or the ‘one size fits all’ concept cannot be applied, since every individual has their own ways of dealing with stress. A trial and error method is what works best for everyone, because in the end, what matters is the choice that we make to overcome difficult times that truly define who we are.