Advice For The Unemployed

“It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose your own.”

— Harry S Truman

When you’re jobless, it’s easy to turn inward, blame yourself, feel like a failure, and have no other desire in life than to curl up and cry.

I know. I’ve been laid off before. Unexpectedly. It was one of the worst things I felt in my life … for awhile.


Today, I was reminded of that time when I read this article on Forbes by Margie Warrell – “Bouncing Back from Job Loss: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Job Hunters.” It’s a good article, short and worth a read. Pay particular attention to these two items in her list of to-do’s:

  • 4/ Surround yourself with positive people.
  • 7/ Extend kindness. (She lumps giving time in here.)

Those two things go right along with that giving time is all about. To surround yourself with positive people, start by changing your web browser links from the negativity of the media to people with passion, positivity and kindness.

Then start noting the people in your life who are giving you “support.” If their support is bitter, they seem like they’ve got a black cloud over their head, or if they seem to find problems with everything – be kind, but avoid spending much time with them. Their black cloud will follow you around.

Then start being kind. Start by acting nicer to everyone, even if you don’t want to be. Give your time both inside and outside your home. Volunteer. Keep busy. You will build a better resume and you will feel better. And if you feel better, you’ll feel more motivated, and you’ll start seeing more opportunities which will land you a job more quickly.

I’d also add one more tip –

  • Don’t hide. Talk openly and honestly about the layoff with others, but don’t put any blame or shame on yourself. Ever.

Your psyche is fragile, and it will listen to your words eventually. If you talk openly and neutrally about your situation, you will start believing it. It was something I did when I was laid off without realizing it. Only later did I understand how that helped me make a mental turnaround I made when I was laid off.

I would say things like “They laid off 25% of the R&D staff.” and, “Some of the other engineers that were laid off were very, very talented.” Both true statements. Both honest statements. Neither put blame back on me.

The mental turnaround is far more important than the employment turnaround.

Finally, remember what Ms. Warrell wrote in her article, “Who you are is not what you do. Never was. Never will be.” You are not your job, you are much, much greater. To put that sentiment into even more eloquent words by Dr. Seuss,

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

And there’s nothing more Truer than True.

Hang in there!

Today’s gift of time … Wrote thank you notes to all the my children’s middle school teachers. With pending cuts across our school district, I’d like to let all the district teachers and staff know – Thank you! 

About Eric Winger

Our perception of time is key to how we use our time. The most fundamental way to change that perception is to give our time. This opens us up to new opportunities and ideas from which we can build to really make a difference. ... Yes, we *do* have time to make a difference!
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