One thing that is lacking in today’s employment scene is, the security of one’s job. Gone are the days when employment was a sure ticket to make long-term financial planning, knowing that your source of income was more or less guaranteed. In today’s economy, you could be talking to a colleague in one minute, and the next you are being given dismal letter by your employer. The good thing is that no matter how bleak the future looks, there are some things you can do to turn this whole situation into a positive affair as demonstrated in the following article by Alan Gill.
Unemployment is a difficult thing to deal with at the best of times. With the challenges now facing the world’s economies, many are going to face this emotional rollercoaster for the first time in their working life. It is therefore important to realise that you are not alone, and by acting positively you will improve your chances significantly of finding new employment. You therefore need to recognise it for what it is, accept it and move on. Taking each of these in turn.
Recognise for what it is; a period of acute stress. There are various contributors to this stress, including….
- A journey into unknown territory – “what is going to happen to me?”
- A feeling that you are letting people down, particularly your immediate family. This feeling can be stronger if you have financial dependents, and younger children. Your family dreams may be interrupted.
- A range of completely new practical challenges, like trying to understand the benefits system.
- Worry about mounting debts, including, in some cases, concern about having homes repossessed, if there is a mortgage involved.
- Difficulty in adjusting to a new life style with a different income – “how will we keep up with our friend’s social scene”.
- Worry about how other people, friends and former colleagues will view you.
- A reduced level of self-worth – “how did I fail?”
- Anger at former employees or circumstances leading to the unemployment
- Lack of motivation “what is the point?”
Accept the situation. This may be hard to do, but once it has been achieved in a meaningful (not superficial) way you can get on with repairing the damage. Move on positively and swallow your pride. Changes will have to be made, and the financial damage of lost income will have to be managed. Do not hide from decisions. Some of the things to put on your agenda to consider include:
- Make sure that you access any benefits that you are entitled to straight away. It can be difficult and the means testing may feel intrusive, but it is important not to waste time. It is very difficult to get any form of benefits paid for the period when you should have claimed, and did not know how to. You can seek further help with this online at direct gov UK.
- Review in detail your budget. When you have completed this, do it again taking out the bits that you can live without. Make every penny count by finding ways of saving money.
- Speak immediately to your bank and other financial relationships before any damaging situations arise. They are professional and should give you some breathing space, particularly in relation to your house or mortgage.
- Don’t hide from the world. The best way to get back into employment is to get out and speak to people, so find out what friends and previous colleagues are doing. Go to social events, sports clubs, business networks etc and tell people that you are looking for work. Word gets around and generally people are willing to help. You will quickly discover that you are not alone.
- Turn the unemployment into a long-term opportunity. What do you really want to do? Update your CV and start thinking where you want to be in the future.