Recent research on unemployment shows:
"less than half (48 percent) of participants functioned as usual after losing a job, with most people taking several years to return to normal life."
If you've been going through a lengthy unemployment period, then you know the type of emotional reactions it brings. And, when these reactions take off, it's easy to succumb to the pressure.
Lots of disappointments, increasing financial obligations, and constant rejections come with unemployment. When you think about your situation, feelings of doom might result sometimes - and you might feel tempted to give up.
Resilience in Unemployment
What you need to keep you going, however, is: resilience.
In her The Science of Bouncing Back article on Time, Mandy Oaklander defines resilience as:
". . . essentially a set of skills - as opposed to a disposition or personality type - that make it possible for people not only to get through hard times but to thrive during and after them. Just as rubber rebounds after being squeezed or squished, so do resilient people."
Resilience helps you 'roll with the punches' of unemployment. Additionally, "resilience can help protect you from various mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety," says the Mayo Clinic Staff.
How can you boost your resilience skills and bounce back from the pressure of unemployment? Check out these five tips for starters.
1. Adapt to Your Change.
This is important because unemployment is considered a 'negative' transition when compared to positive transitions, such as graduating from college (and graduate school) or landing the job offer you wanted.
Upon becoming unemployed, you enter a world of unknown with additional problems: change in your every day routine, lack of a steady income, and varying moods on the regular.
This change is painful but learning to adapt is essential.
Everyone reacts differently to change, but I've found the following helpful:
Accepting the Change in Your Situation. Changes are a part of life, so you must be flexible to them - and adapt. This requires releasing past life and career expectations and your failure to meet them. This also requires the flexibility to explore new paths in your career journey.
Maintaining the Right Perspective on Unemployment. With the right perspective, you understand your area of control and do what you can to better your situation daily.
Learning from Your Failures. This is important when you're unemployed and actively looking for a job. Every employment rejection you receive is a failure to land a job you wanted. Still, it helps to bounce back and learn from these failures - assessing what you can, making necessary improvements, and moving on.
2. Thrive On Hope.
You might've already heard: your view of unemployment impacts your ability to press through. It's true, too.
You'll find it harder to function, if you're going through it, without hope.
Why? Because your suffering will have you believing it's the end of the world. You'll see unemployment as a paralyzing event instead of a challenge.
When you function with hope, on the other hand, you see your situation from the right perspective and keep going onward.
With this perspective, you foster a positive outlook. You believe there's a job for you somewhere and see every failure as a learning opportunity.
3. Learn and Grow Through This Change.
Want to know something? Active learning increases your positivity in unemployment.
It's also beneficial for your career.
You can't predict what happens in your career. If you're like me, then you didn't see unemployment coming your way. But, you have the ability to bounce back when you boost your resilience.
So, don't hesitate to learn something new throughout this time. In addition, don't hesitate to learn more about:
Your Reaction to This Change. Have you moved past your negative reactions, or are you stuck in them?
Your Life. Your progression in every aspect. Also, your interests, habits, strengths, weaknesses, skills, and values.
Your Industry of Choice. Research and stay up-to-date on trends and changes, for example.
4. Care for Yourself Daily.
When I say care for yourself daily, I mean your whole being: spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical.
It isn't hard to ignore yourself - and push yourself to the point of exhaustion - when you're coping with unemployment.
And, what happens is: you participate in the unhealthy behavior of neglecting yourself. This isn't good and affects your ability to push through your challenges with less stress.
When you take care of yourself, in contrast, you build your mental, emotional, and physical resilience. So make it a mission to care for yourself during this time.
You already know what you should do for you, right? It's just a matter of doing those things.
Additionally, you shouldn't forget to take care of your inner self. Worrying and focusing on the future aren't the hardest things to do in this situation. But, both come with negative effects on your health.
What am I saying here? Prioritize your well-being.
5. Practice Patience and Endure.
The average length of unemployment spans longer nowadays. And, patience is essential when you don't know when you'll get a job offer.
The wait is challenging, but it provides opportunities to:
Reflect on every aspect of your life for development.
Think about your career and what you really want to accomplish.
Invest your time in enriching, skill-building activities and helping others around you.
Research shows being patient comes with benefits too. A few are:
Better Mental Health.
Will You Boost Your Resilience?
Resilience is "a set of skills" enabling you to bounce back from your challenges. I've presented 5 ways I've enhanced my resilience during this time for your experimentation. However, I realize you must find the best way to rebound and press through this transition - based on your life.
Even if you move against implementing these strategies, the most important thing is: coming to grips with your life's change and refusing to let unemployment destroy every aspect of it.
A version of this post originally appeared on Serenity Amidst Frustration.
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