Some time has passed since you initially found yourself unemployed.
You feel your unemployment challenge is a never-ending one and wonder how much longer it’ll take to move past it.
Increasing financial responsibilities.
Lots of disappointments.
Multiple let downs.
Every time you think about your long-term unemployment situation, you feel doomed and feel there’s no way out. Self-doubt creeps in often, and you find it hard to move forward.
This is tough.
I personally understand your pain and feelings. I know it’s hard to move forward when you’ve received a hard hit in life.
Facing the Reality of Unemployment
But, I learned we can’t escape challenges in life but deal with them and move forward.
Upon learning this, I had a choice to make: regress backward in the face of adversity or move forward.
I went with the latter choice. I started dealing with this challenge and have been moving forward.
Side Tracking Moment: Though I learned to move forward in the face of my adversity, I still deal with periods of frustration and discouragement—as noted in my previous article, Are You Dueling with Discouragement and/or Defeat?
However, I now manage to get through these periods quickly and continue to push through.
Experiencing Unemployment and Moving Forward
Back on Track: You must move forward too. And, this requires an attitude adjustment.
While experiencing unemployment, you view this experience in one of two ways:
- “Unemployment sucks. I’m running around in circles with the job market and screwed.”
- “Unemployment is challenging. I’ve been unable to land a job, but everything will work out fine. I’ll remain hopeful.”
Now, since you’re finding it hard to move forward, chances are you’re viewing unemployment in the first way above. Your attitude must be adjusted from the first view to the second one—which takes time.
One of the things possibly preventing you from an attitude adjustment is fostering negativity, such as self-doubt, referenced above.
I’ll admit it’s easier to embrace negativity when “nothing seems to be going right” in your life. The problem is: this negativity prevents you from moving forward in the way you should.
Instead, you find yourself regressing backward.
Don’t stay there.
Fight back and move forward—which might require force on your behalf. Admit this is your life right now and push through positively.
How Do You Move Forward While Experiencing Unemployment?
As consistently noted here on the blog, one of the ways you can push through positively is by embracing a positive outlook. This requires you to focus on what you have (life, health, shelter, etc.) not what you lack (steady income, job title, career, etc.)
In addition to embracing a positive outlook on unemployment, consider the following suggestions as you ponder your move forward.
Believe You’ll Survive Unemployment.
When experiencing a life transition, such as unemployment, it’s hard to believe your circumstances will change—at some point. However, you must believe you’ll move past this and secure paid work again.
Prior to unemployment, you did at least two of the following:
- Graduated from a higher education institution;
- Held a steady job of some sort;
- Performed your job well.
This means you’re willing and able to work and possess skills and experience.
So, please believe your situation will change. Then, look forward to it.
Zoom in on What Matters.
At some point or another, you might’ve thought things were important.
Through unemployment, however, you learn material things—jobs, money, education, cars, power—don’t matter as much as you thought.
After all, you can’t take them with you when you die.
So, zoom in on the essentials.
Appreciate your relationships with the people who love you—those who have been there for you throughout your unemployment season. Also, most importantly, cherish your relationship with your creator, God.
These relationships matter.
Don’t Allow Negativity to Paralyze You Mentally.
As someone dealing with spirals of self-doubt, you know it only takes one negative thought to paralyze you mentally. When negative thoughts paralyze you, it’s easier to foster a negative rather than a positive outlook.
A negative outlook, however, will keep you from moving forward in these tough times. One negative thought will lead to another . . . then another . . . then another.
In order to prevent this, you must focus on the good things in your life right now. Choose a positive attitude and always be grateful.
Release Your Regret(s).
I’ll admit this is a hard one.
When faced with the reality of unemployment, you wonder if you could have done something differently prior to it happening. But, when you focus on regrets, you live in the past instead of living in this moment.
The result of living in the past is you’re unable to move forward. You won’t have any energy to get up and do what you can now.
Of course, it’s fine to look back over your life for evaluation and appreciation (i.e., learn from your failure), but you shouldn’t get stuck in the past.
Instead of constantly looking back and allowing regret to trouble you, the best choice is to forgive yourself for any mistakes and go forward.
Live Your Life.
As stated in my Job Search Position: No Full-Time Hours Required article, I spent a lot of extra hours job searching. I always looked out for new opportunities and always checked my e-mail.
What happened was this: I became too consumed with the job search and didn’t live my life in the moment like I should have. I didn’t turn off the pressure of the job search, became drained, and lost a lot of time.
Now, nothing’s wrong with seeking employment opportunities, updating resumes and cover letters, and reaching out to others. This is a part of the job search process.
However, I learned—the hard way—there’s more to life than job searching. I learned we must settle down and embrace the life we’ve been given—daily.
So, I say to you: Live your life this moment—regardless of your unemployment status—and enjoy it.
From Me to You: Though unemployment challenges you greatly, make the choice to move forward by faith—one foot at a time. Believe you’ll see the other side of unemployment and press on with expectation.
P. S. I’m leaving you to make a choice. Will you continue regressing backward in this challenge? Or will you make the choice to move forward today? If so, then how will you do so? I would love to hear from you here.