The United States Department of labor statistics believes 11 million people are collecting unemployment checks. Of course this doesn’t include those unemployed citizens who ran out of unemployment benefits and those citizens who whose businesses went under and are not eligible to collect unemployment benefits. Then as if that wasn’t detrimental enough, let’s add in all the foreigners coming to the US every day looking for employment and the college seniors that graduate every spring. When will this bubble burst? How are we going to get this country working again?
The US unemployment rate is at epidemic heights. How can we create new jobs? Yes, lots of great businesses are born in recessions and other bad economies. But what about the rest of the people, where will they find the jobs?
Knowing all these facts and living through being fired, down sized, absorbed, bankrupt, laid off, obsolescence or terminated, what is holding you back from getting a new job?
1) You might be feeling insecure. You might be experiencing a form of post traumatic disorder depending on what the circumstances were when you lost your job. You might think this might happen again to you. You were somehow emotionally damaged by losing your job and you feel you can’t be yourself around professionals. You might feel uneasy starting conversations without starting off with “when I was unemployed” or “at my last job”…
2) You may feel transparent. You think people see what your last experiences were when you lost your job and you may think others are thinking…”oh, now I see why he/she lost their job”…
3) Your ego won’t let you “settle” for a subordinate job. You may have been an executive, a manager, a supervisor or even a president or vice president at your last job and now, you will be working for one. Your ego might revolt the position and the lowered salary that goes with it. You feel you are worth more; you have more experience than who you will be working for and you just can’t wrap your head around this new mental demotion.
4) You might actually like not working. You were unemployed for so long that you got used to getting up late, staying up to watch late night TV that you used to be too tired to do when you worked. You might have a new routine that encompasses physical fitness, family time, personal time and vacation time that you never could balance before when you worked. Life is stress free and easy when you are unemployed and a bonus when you are eligible for those unemployment checks each week. You really don’t want to go back to the daily grind.
5) You might feel stale from being out of work for so long. You might feel that you can’t be on your best game because you’ve been out of circulation for a long time.
6) You may have gained some weight or not lost the weight you wanted to prior to losing your last job. You might have wanted that eye lift, Botox, tummy tuck or resyline injection prior to starting a new job but haven’t gotten around to it for so many reasons. You stress over it and just feel that you look like hell. You feel uncomfortable in your skin and think everyone is looking at you and saying, “gosh he/looks like hell”…”wow, I think he/she has little too many frappacoffies and donuts”…
7) You have lots of grey hairs, your nails and toes are untamed, your hairstyle is outgrown and you need lots of waxing all over. You are broke and can’t get professional attention to take care of all this before getting psyched to get a job.
8) You may not realize that you might be afraid of success. You were so used to working so much and so hard that you climbed the latter to a successful job and with that success came power and money and great responsibilities. But somehow your unemployment experience has humbled you and brought your ego down a few pegs. You realize that you have potential to get back into the saddle with the same high ranking job you used to have, but you might not want that anymore. Maybe you didn’t have time to do a lot of things you really wanted to do before. Maybe since you were unemployed you got to spend a lot of time with the kids, at the gym, cooking gourmet meals, pursuing a hobby. Maybe you feel if you become successful again you have to sacrifice this new life you have gotten used to.
The first step is to realize what is really holding you back. If you need to stay sharp, get dressed in professional work clothes a couple of times a week and go to places where there are strangers to talk to about “stuff”. This will keep you involved and sharp. Places like Starbuck’s are good. You can bring your laptop so you don’t feel awkward and seek opportunities to talk to anyone about anything. You don’t have to talk about being unemployed, just have a conversation, you can sharpen communication skills with various levels of business people.
Next make your way over to the store and buy yourself a new razor to shave your face, legs and whatever ever else needs to be shaves. Buy some hair die in a box, read the instructions and use it. For hair style needs, go to the mall and get yourself a hair cut from a place that charges cheap rates. Usually they’re the ones that employee 12-20 hair dressers and take them in as fast as they go out. They are usually very good haircuts. While at the store, get yourself a jar of Ponds, a moisturizer for your face and a facial masque. These will be your beauty treatments that will make your face look fresh. Women, I don’t care how old you are, you can’t leave the house without make up and think you look good. Don’t be lazy, part of the grooming process is applying make up to your face.
If you don’t have an interview outfit, then go to the thrift store or consignment shop and get one. Your budget may be small but there are plenty of people who find great things at the thrift store. Concentrate on your frame of mind. Go to Boarders or Barns and Noble or the library and find some books in your field. Find a corner chair and start reading them. You can buy them or take them out of the library if you want, but you will likely stay focused while in the library or the store.
For everything else, solicit your minister, priest, rabbi at your place of worship and make an appointment to see him or her. Talk about what you are feeling and ask for insight. You may want to ask for a weekly meeting just to reinforce the progress you get from this free advice source. If you don’t belong to a place of worship, now’s a good time to start, so pick one and go.
The old saying, “we are our own worst enemy”. Yes, sometimes we are. But once we realize that we are doing this to ourselves, we can change our destiny and become our own greatest ally! Be positive, it’s infectious!