It can be wildly stressful when you lose your job, so here’s some ideas for how to stay positive and strong during unemployment.
Unemployment seems like a dreadful thing. A catastrophic thing. Something so terrible we can barely bring ourselves to think about it until it happens.
But is it?
As you might know, I’m a bestselling author and happiness researcher. I wrote a book called Happy Habits.
In my book I write a lot about how to stay happy – no matter your challenges. Plus my book shares specific principals of “habit formation” to make sure you follow through on creating happy habits.
In this article I’ll be sharing ways to view unemployment with a new more positive lens – as a chance to do something different. After all, just because a role no longer exists, it doesn’t mean that you no longer have value as a human being. Quite the opposite.
Here’s how to stay positive and strong in the face of unemployment.
Imagine if nothing in the world ever changed and you had control over every aspect of your life.
Well, to start off, you might feel quite good. All your anxieties would melt away because you would know exactly what was going to happen next.
Over time, though, you’d get a gnawing sensation that things weren’t quite right. By knowing everything, there would no longer be any surprises in your life. Unexpected things wouldn’t happen. And your future would feel exactly like your past – completely known.
Eventually, you’d feel incredibly bored. Going through life would become a chore. After a while, you’d long for the return of your old, uncertain life because that was interesting and ever-changing.
Unemployment is a reminder that we live in a world of change – and that’s something you want to be grateful for. Without that, the whole nature of existence would be incredibly turgid.
The next thing to note is that you have it within you to find ways to make money.
In modern economies, there are job opportunities popping up all the time. Think about how the gig economy has opened up the world to workers in transit from one job to another. There are now platforms where you can get trucking work, freelance work, and even sell your skills for one-off jobs to companies around the world. You can put your skills up on sites like Fiverr. You can raise money for yourself on various sites like Gofundme! There are also remote working opportunities if money is tight for you.
Most people spend their entire adult lives working, chasing money the entire way. It so consumes their lives that they can’t stop for a while, sit back, and just think about what it is that they actually want from their existence.
For some people, unemployment is an opportunity to start a completely new business venture and drum up customers that way. For others, it’s a reminder that working and consuming isn’t the sum total of life. There are other things to do and explore. And there’s value in not being under pressure to perform all the time.
Thus, seeing unemployment as a sabbatical completely changes your relationship with it. You’re not some failure who can’t hold down a job. You’re just enjoying the human experience.
Staying positive and strong during unemployment is tricky in a society like ours where people equate what you do with who you are. But it is possible, so long as you have the right approach. It won’t last forever. And, while it does, it could signal a new beginning in your life – and maybe even the opportunity to make more than before. You never know!