Unless you have been hiding under a rock somewhere for the past several months, you know that we are at a very critical time…….surviving a massive amount of lost jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the following report: For 2008, there was a loss of 2.6 million jobs, with 1.9 million occurring in the past four months. The unemployment rate is 7.2%, which is the highest since January 1, 1993.
For anyone who has experienced losing their job, whether because of downsizing, or being handed a pink slip, losing ones job ranks among the highest in stress-causing situations. Typical feelings are: being overwhelmed, tense, resentful, guilty, angry, worried, trapped, and in a panic, just to name a few!
It’s hard to advise a person unless you have been through this, but for those of us who have, here’s some helpful hints:
- Give yourself a little time to plan for the future.
- If you have health insurance at your place of employment, there is a law that was passed several years ago, (COBRA), that allows you to continue your health insurance coverage for a certain period of time. Be sure that this offer is made to you.
- Don’t be embarrassed to apply for Unemployment Compensation. Your employer has paid into that system, and you are entitled to it. There are job postings at the unemployment offices that might be of interest while you are seeking another job.
- It might be a good time to think about trying something new. You know what your job skills are, and you might consider taking some courses to polish up on them.
- Stay connected with family and friends. They will be there for you, just as you have been there during times that they needed support.
- Get out of the house and be around people. Don’t sit in front of the computer all day, looking for a job. Get dressed, go out there, and make connections with others. You may find some of them have been in the same boat as you at one time or another.
- Most of all, and probably the hardest, try to relax. Find ways that help your body deal with stress, like doing deep breathing exercises and counting to ten. There are many websites that help you deal with the emotions you are going through, and people to counsel you.
Take care of your health and well-being, and know that the next job may be the one that was waiting for you all along! If you are among the fortunate to keep your job, or find a new career, do your job to the best of your ability and keep safety a #1 priority on and off the job!