When you lose your job, you lose your paycheck. You knew that.
You also lose:
The major activity of your workday life
Your role as a worker and provider
Control of your life
Your relationships with your co-workers
As time goes by, most people start to experience a kind of death, like being divorced.
And, it isn’t just you who is affected. Your family is, too.
The first time you tell your son or daughter, “Sorry, we can’t get that, “or we have to cancel that service the entire family enjoyed, it hurts you and it hurts them, too.
And no one talks about it for fear that someone will become upset.
It’s not surprising.
In families that care for one another, everyone tries to take care of one another and they don’t want to upset you.
Yet, the fact is that unemployment is associated with increased rates of death, heart attack, alcoholism, and drug use, suicide, homicide, admission to mental institutions, and incarceration.
Am I trying to scare you?
You bet I am!
It’s important to understand that if you are fired, laid off, excessed, a part of a RIF (reduction in force), or terminated, your goal is to survive a layoff like a pro.”
I’m not here to pretend that everything is going to be fine and dandy.
I’m here to help get you through the emotional hell that being out of work can be and help you get focused on getting yourself working on finding your next job.
Try to notice some of the symptoms of stress that may occur and ask your family for their support with it too.
Among the symptoms to be aware of are:
- Getting sick more often
- Feeling useless and unwanted
- Feeling tired all the tie
- Becoming angry more easily
- Sadness and depression
- Eating more or eating less
- Having more headaches
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
- Being disinterested in everything
- Feeling bored
- Having trouble sleeping
- Can’t relax
- Sexual problems
- Back and stomach problems
Many of the people I work with are business leaders who have been struggling with some of these symptoms. I sometimes joke with them about staying out of the refrigerator and not watching Netflix every afternoon. I will sometimes yell at them to get going and go network, search the web for job leads, contact old colleagues and use some of the tools I point them to find out who to contact at a firm for a job.
Yet, many of them sit home, bored, complaining about this or that, instead of putting in the effort to find a job.
If you have been seeing a psychotherapist or counselor, it may be tempting to discontinue treatment to save money.
In fact, that impulse is destructive to you and your treatment.
Keep seeing your therapist or counselor, particularly now when you will be going through a challenge, unlike the ones you have faced in the past.
You need the support of a professional during this complicated time. This is not where to cutback now.
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2008, 2010, 2016, 2020
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
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