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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How to Deal With Stress During Unemployment/Job Search - pt. 2

Coping with job loss and unemployment stress tip 2: Reach out

Don’t underestimate the importance of other people when you’re faced with job loss and unemployment. Be proactive. Let people know that you lost your job and are looking for work.

Taking action will help you feel more in control of your situation—and you never know what opportunities will arise. Plus, the outpouring of support you receive may pleasantly surprise you. Simple words of sympathy and encouragement can be a huge boost in this difficult time.

Turn to people you trust for support

Share what you’re going through with the people you love and trust. Ask for the support you need. Don’t try to shoulder the stress of job loss and unemployment alone. Your natural reaction may be to withdraw out of embarrassment and shame or to resist asking for help out of pride. But avoid the tendency to isolate! You will only feel worse.

Join or start a job club

Other job seekers can be invaluable sources of encouragement, support, and job leads. You can tap into this resource by joining or starting a job club. Being around other job seekers can be energizing and motivating, and help keep you on track during your job search.

To find a job club in your area, check out:

• Your local public library
• College and university career centers
• Professional networking sites
• The classifieds or career section of the newspaper

Stay connected through networking

The vast majority of job openings are never advertised; they’re filled by word of mouth. That’s why networking is the best way to find a job. Unfortunately, many job seekers are hesitant to take advantage of networking because they’re afraid of being seen as pushy, annoying, or self-serving. But networking isn’t about using other people or aggressively promoting yourself—it’s about building relationships. As you look for a new job, these relationships can provide much-needed feedback, advice, and support.

Coping with job loss and unemployment stress tip 3: Involve your family

Unemployment affects the whole family, so keep the lines of communication open. Tell your family what’s going on and involve them in major decisions. Keeping your job loss or your unemployement a secret will only make the situation worse. Working together as a family will help you survive and thrive, even in this difficult time.

Keep your family in the loop. Tell them about your job search plans, let them know how you’re spending your time, update them on promising developments, and let them know how they can support you while you’re unemployed.
Listen to their concerns. Your family members are worried about you, as well as their own stability and future. Give them a chance to talk about their concerns and offer suggestions regarding your job loss and unemployment.
Make time for family fun. Set aside regular family fun time where you can enjoy each others’ company, let off steam, and forget about your job loss and unemployment troubles. This will help the whole family stay positive.

Helping Children Cope with a Parent’s Unemployment

Children may be deeply affected by a parent's unemployment. It is important for them to know what has happened and how it will affect the family. However, try not to overburden them with the responsibility of too many of the emotional or financial details.

Keep an open dialogue with your children. Letting them know what is really going on is vital. Children have a way of imagining the worst when they write their own "scripts," so the facts can actually be far less devastating than what they envision.
Make sure your children know it's not anybody's fault. Children may not understand about job loss and immediately think that you did something wrong to cause it. Or, they may feel that somehow they are responsible or financially burdensome. They need reassurance in these matters, regardless of their age.
Children need to feel they are helping. They want to help and having them do something like taking a cut in allowance, deferring expensive purchases, or getting an after-school job can make them feel as if they are part of the team.
Source: New York State Department of Labor

Click here to read part 3 of this article

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