Being unemployed – whether you were laid off due to downsizing, fired, or left on your own accord – is one of the most difficult periods in one’s life. Some people are lucky enough to find another job in what seems to be mere minutes, but others spend weeks, months, and sometimes even years filling in applications and sending out resumes left, right, and center.
It is, therefore, very easy for you to fall into unemployment depression, but it is critical that you don’t let that happen. It may seem like your job search is taking forever and you may feel like there’s no point in going on, but just know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. But the question is: how can you stay positive till you get there?
See Also: How Unemployment Changes Our Personality
1. Keep Yourself Busy
In between sending out applications to potential employers, you have plenty of time to spare that you would otherwise use to be productive at your old job. And with those eight hours or so freeing up in your daily schedule, it’s quite easy to spiral into a pattern of negative thinking. It is, therefore, imperative that you find ways to keep yourself busy. Learn a new language or skill, exercise, meditate, and volunteer at a local charity; do whatever it takes to keep those negative thoughts at bay.
2. Avoid Negative People
You know the kind: the twisted friend who takes great pleasure in your misfortunes; the self-absorbed relative who is only concerned with their own personal problems and who considers your unemployment to be trivial at best; and the Dementor who sucks the life out of everything. Avoid them all like the plague.
3. Know You’re Not Alone
Unemployment is a global and, unfortunately, common phenomenon, and it affects millions of people each year. In fact, following the Great Recession of 2008, 200 million people, or 6% of the world’s workforce, found themselves without a job by the end of 2012. While those statistics might not be very comforting, you might be able to find solace in the fact that you’re not alone and that many other people have found themselves in a similar position as you – and who came out of it stronger than before.
4. Join a Support Group
As mentioned previously, many other people have walked in and currently are walking in your shoes. They know exactly what you’re going through and will be able to offer you helping hand – you just need to ask for it.
There are many support groups that deal with unemployment and will help you through this difficult time. You’ll be able to share experiences with other people who understand what you’re going through and who will be able to help keep you motivated to continue your job search.
Don’t feel ashamed to ask for help – everybody needs a helping hand at one point or another in their lives.
5. Count Your Blessings
You may be out of a job, but you’re an educated, healthy, materially wealthy individual with a roof over your head and food on your table. And that’s a lot more than what many other people have. In 2012, 896 million people lived on less than $1.90 a day, according to The World Bank, and it’s highly likely that those people would love to be in your shoes with your problems.
List off all the things that you’re grateful for – family, friends, health, shelter, and whatever else you can think of – and you’ll discover that just because one area of your life isn’t going great doesn’t mean that there’s nothing else good going on.
In other words, fake it till you make it – and recent research supports the notion that smiling when you’re feeling low can, indeed, make you happier. But the idea isn’t new at all. In fact, Charles Darwin was one of the first to suggest back in 1872 that “free expression by outward signs of an emotion intensifies it”.
7. Find Other Ways to Make Money
In the Age of the Internet, it’s never been easier to make a little money on the side, and the choices are endless. You can sell your old stuff on eBay (one man’s crap really is another’s treasure), list your arts and crafts on sites like Etsy, download a moneymaking app or two, review stuff online, take surveys, and sell your services online. You could even rent out your parking place, babysit your neighbors’ kids or, yes, sell your body parts and fluids.
Can you think of any other ways to stay positive while job searching? Perhaps you found yourself in a similar position and have a few wise words you’d like to share with those of us who have recently lost their job? Let us know in the comments section below!