Coping with Unemployment
2020 has been and continues to be a major challenge for many people due to COVID-19. Staying positive in the face of unemployment is a daily struggle for many people who are living with the worry of finding another job, working out how to pay the bills, keeping a roof over their head and feeding the family. As many people know, coping with unemployment can be daunting, overwhelming and an extremely stressful period of time.
So, what can you do to keep moving forward and avoid becoming overwhelmed by your situation?
- Seek advice from Centrelink regarding any financial benefits you may be entitled to and ask for a list of organisations in the area that can help with your situation.
- Link up with an unemployment service to help increase your chances of finding another job.
- Check out the different job boards on a daily basis such as Indeed, Seek, Adzuna, LinkedIn, Australian JobSearch, Careerjet, Jobserve, etc.
- Make sure you have an up-to-date and well-presented resume or profile for job applications.
- Do up a cover letter to go with your application, making sure you outline your suitability for the position by referencing the selection criteria in the advertisement.
- Go door knocking to seek out opportunities. Sometimes you can be lucky to come across a job that hasn’t been advertised yet. Make a list of all the places you would like to work at and then visit them. Ask to speak with the manager and present him/her with your resume. Sometimes you might only get to leave your resume with the receptionist, however go dressed well in case you get the opportunity to meet with the person who might want to hire you.
- Learn new skills. Take a short course to increase your skills and make you more appealing to employers. This could also help if you are looking to work in a different industry to which you have previously worked.
- Reduce your outgoing expenses as much as possible. Close accounts you don’t need or can’t afford to keep going.
- Wherever possible, consolidate debts. It can be much easier to make one repayment instead of trying to find the money to make several smaller ones. Your bank manager should be able to advise if this is an option for you and how to go about doing it.
- Draw up a strict budget to control your spending and to identify where your money has to go each week.
- If you are renting, talk to your landlord about possibly reducing your rent.
- If you have a mortgage, talk to your financial provider about your situation and try to negotiate a new arrangement for repayments.
- If the option is available, consider living with family to reduce your costs. Contributing to household costs can be more manageable when the bills are divided between more people.
- Surround yourself with positive people. This will help you to change from a negative mindset to a positive one and also help with boosting your morale. Coping with unemployment has a lot to do with your mindset and the support you have around you.
- Volunteer your time to a charity or not-for-profit organisation. There are a number of charities out there who need volunteers to help keep their services running. Offering your time and energy will allow you to feel useful and worthwhile, will help the charity continue to operate and also keep you from dwelling on your situation. Additionally, volunteering will help you to meet new friends, reduce the risk of feeling isolated or alone and provide opportunities for socialising.
- Keep busy. Take up a new hobby such as reading, drawing or crossword puzzles. Anything you can think of to fill in your time which doesn’t cost money and occupies your mind.
- Be kind to yourself. Its easy to start feeling down on yourself and critical of your abilities when you lose your job, but its important to view this situation as a temporary setback and not a reflection of your abilities.
- Let the situation be a learning experience, reflect on who you are and how you live your life. Often people find this is the time when they realise what really matters in life.
There can be no doubt about it, coping with unemployment is difficult. However, taking positive steps to find employment, updating your skills, keeping busy and surrounding yourself with positive people will help you to keep moving forward. Yes, the challenging times will still exist, however, it’s important to keep striving forward, taking action to seize every opportunity you can.
If you or somebody you know is having trouble coping with unemployment, counselling can be of assistance. For counselling support during this difficult time, don’t hesitate to call Karen Cummins at Mindful Crossroads counselling services on 0400 416 535, or fill in the “Contact” section on the Mindful Crossroads website to arrange a confidential discussion.