How To Fight Unemployment


Businesswoman in boxing gloves.
Being unemployed is emotionally and financially challenging. The best way to stay unemployed is to not do anything about it. Opportunity doesn’t fall into lazy laps. Do yourself a favor and fight back! These eight tips will help you get out of your rut and beat the stigma of unemployment.

1) Volunteer…your time or skills-maybe not every day but whatever your schedule or tolerance levels allow. Focusing on someone or something other than yourself is a good way to temporarily step outside your worries. Volunteer at the local pet shelter, feed the homeless, read to the elderly-find meaning in serving others. Just because you’re presently unemployed, doesn’t mean you should be devalued. Plus, employers love to see that money is not the most important thing to you.

2) Get active. Read about current trends, take classes, pick up a hobby! Keep learning and growing so when your time to shine comes-and it will-you’ll be armed with skills to pay the bills. Expanding your knowledge base prepares you for success in your field of choice. Stay sharp, be ready.

3) Enjoy it. Downtime doesn’t last forever. Exercise. Watch your favorite shows. Spend time with family and friends. Have fun! Stress can take an unforgiving toll on your body. Do the things you enjoy and let go of the guilt. Of course, you should continue to do everything you can to achieve your goal of landing employment, but take in the moment of simply being. Try something inspiring that you’ve always wanted to do. You can always make money, but time spent is gone forever.

4) Develop a personal mantra. Something as simple as, “If I seek, I will find” can keep you motivated. Memorize a favorite quote or phrase and recite it any time you feel low. Yes, the stakes are high. You may have children, a sick parent, bills galore-and it’s rough, but you are not alone. Millions of people are looking for a job. The economy has been slow. It’s not your fault. Repeat encouraging words throughout the day to help energize your efforts.

5) Explore different industries. Maybe you’ve recently been laid off from a position. Go online and research to find out how the skills you possess can help you transition into a new industry. After you know what you want to do, get an understanding of how to make it happen. What certifications do you have? Need any special training or classes? Computer coding is in demand right now. Assess your skills to determine how to best market yourself to potential employers. Bonus: Look for free or low-cost educational opportunities to whip your resume into shape.

6) Refine your get-back-to-work strategy. Who are you? What do you stand for? Strengthen your strengths. Weaken your weaknesses. In other words, become your best self and use all the resources you can access to reach “employed” status. Know your worth and be prepared to convince employers that you can get the job done. Maintaining a sense of self-worth can be challenging, especially when so many are defined by what they do for a living. Make no mistake; your life is so much more than your chosen career. Plan to work and work your plan!

7) Apply for every job you can. Apply both online and in person if at all possible. Perhaps, you won’t get that full time position right away. In the meantime, consider taking part-time jobs or temporary jobs. Who knows, maybe that temporary position could turn into more.

8) Network. Let friends, family and professional contacts know that you’re looking for a job, and ask for their help in finding connections to the organizations you’re interested in. Use social media to establish connections. Networking sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ can put you in contact with hiring managers and recruiters-people who may lead you to your next career opportunity. Don’t let pride stand in the way of you and the potential for success. Share your story. Remain honest, optimistic, assertive and confident when communicating your current situation. Attend free networking events and interact with working professionals. Remember you are one of them—your check just hasn’t arrived yet. Resist the urge to compare yourself to people who may already have a job, maybe even the job you want. Your turn will come.

Remember: tough times never last but tough people do.

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