In adverse market conditions unemployment can happen to anyone, regardless of seniority, education or time spent with the company. For many people being laid off is a traumatic process. The biggest challenge, however, comes afterwards. Deprived of routine, it is the unemployed who are at a higher risk of depression than anyone else. So how can you prevent it and make the most of your unemployment?
Keep in touch with friends and family
Especially if you live on your own it is important to maintain interactions with others on a more personal level. Your telephone conversations and meetings with recruiters are not enough. We are social creatures and cannot live without the company of others. Make sure you meet your friends and family as often as you would normally do. If you can’t afford to go out, invite them over to yours or call them.
Learn something new
Unemployment might be a good time to work on your hobbies or learn something new. Not only will it keep your brain active but you might also learn something that will make you more employable. Find a course at a local college that you like or if you don’t want to spend any money, take an online course delivered by an experienced professional on MOOC platforms such as Coursera or edX.
Make the most of your time
Remember when you said to yourself “I want to do it but I don’t have time.” Well, now might be the right time to learn a new language, undust the piano, read that novel that your friend recommend to you, or… do all the less pleasant tasks that are long overdue such as weeding the garden, tidying up in the attic or sorting out your paperwork.
Create a routine
At the beginning of one’s unemployment the biggest shock is caused by the lack of routine. You feel that something is missing and a lot of people cannot function if their day doesn’t have a structure. It is easy not to do anything and just let the days go by, and some people find it therapeutic, but in the long run it will make you feel depressed. Take out your diary and plan your days, write timetables and deadlines for what you want to do. It will not only give your day a structure but it will also give you a sense of achievement when you look back and see what you have accomplished.
Look at the big picture
As the days go by and you read the “unfortunately you have been unsuccessful on this occasion” emails, it is easy to fall into apathy. Sometimes our focus on getting a job, any job, is so strong that our other goals become obscured by it. In such times it is important to look at the big picture and think of other goals that you have in life. Sit down and make a list of all your goals. Write down what you want to achieve this month, in the next 6 months and 12 months in all areas of your life and then write what first steps you can realistically make to make that goal a little closer. That way you will be able to take care of everything that matters to you and stick to your life’s purpose even if job hunting proves to be challenging.