Unemployment is like a nightmare that has come true for many of us. It’s understandable. After all, by becoming unemployed, we are essentially being taken away the main reason why we were working, to begin with – a source of income. This is exactly the focus of many who suddenly find themselves jobless and on the verge of a crisis.

How will I be able to carry on with my days normally from now on? How will I be able to pay taxes and make purchases necessary for a normal life? The employed – unemployed situation isn’t as black and white as we make it out to be. The path to surviving unemployment is to see the positive in it.

The path to surviving unemployment is to see the positive in it. The theoretical scenario sounds fairly easy, but we all know that this state of mind isn’t as easy to slip into as it should be. Unemployment is both a fear and motivation. Even when we have a stable workplace, we find ourselves driven to perform because we dread the possibility of having the position snatched from under us and leaving us without financial security. Emphasize on the last two

Emphasize on the last two words because financial security is the thing that always sends us into a downward spiral of panic. As far as the unemployment period goes, we may even say there are four stages to it:


Here is how you can make use of all the included factors in these stages in order to help your personal and professional growth.

1. Panic

The first wave to hit us right in the face after we pack our belongings and leave the workplace behind is definitely poignant and depression-inducing. You will find yourself lying awake at night and wondering how you’ll be able to fare without the stability of your income. Truth is, you won’t be

Truth is, you won’t be money-less. Unemployment benefits will have you covered for the most part. What we really pull our hairs out over is the fact that the money brought into our homes will be less than what we are used to.

But less doesn’t mean none, that much you can be happy over. Use this as an opportunity to shift priorities and learn how to appreciate things in a different light. Sit down and make a list of all the things you used to regularly buy for survival and personal care, then try to cut off some of the things you don’t really need.

By the time you will be employed again, stick to the same list and you’ll be surprised to find out that, at the end of the month, you’ve managed to add some cash to your savings.

Moreover, if this period is as grim and difficult to deal with as it should be, remember it. If it was your fault that the contract was broken off, use it as motivation to not let your next job go as easily.

If you were fired, try to seek out workplaces that won’t make you constantly feel like you’ll be kicked out at any moment. Use the unpleasant feeling to boost your motivation and, alternatively, learn to accept unemployment as a possibility. It will hit you less hard when you see it coming.

2. Freedom

Assuming you’ve gone through the panic time period and managed to adapt to your budget cuts and the new, temporary lifestyle, this next stage should come in easy for you. It’s the moment when the focus shifts on you alone, the moment when all the growth can be exclusively personal.

Remember all those times when you were at work and would daydream about all the other things you’d rather be doing? Do them now. Binge watch that TV show you never had time to watch, read that book that’s been collecting dust, and, most important, spend time with your family. Use this as an opportunity to rediscover yourself, to breathe in and breathe out, and to discover some activities you otherwise wouldn’t have known about.

In other words, learn how to seize the moment. This is what a lot of people pick up on after they accept the situation and realize the fact that they get to have a taste of a jobless freedom. Sure, it’s bitter-sweet, but in the long run, these moments in-between jobs are ideal for reflecting on what you want to do now rather than next. That’s for later. It’s the next stage.

3. Learning

This is the time to look toward the future and to focus on the new type of professional growth. State services often help unemployed people by proposing some job offers or by offering learning courses meant to specialize them in a particular field. You must decide whether your next job will be similar to the rest of your career history or something different. Either way, if you ever wanted to perfect yourself and acquire some new knowledge, this is the moment.

Take up some classes in a field that interests you. Intern for a while somewhere. You might even do something completely crazy, like signing up for college again to increase the field of job possibilities.

It’s all in the information. You can really increase your own personal value when you show up with an undergraduate diploma from a top business school, for example. There are many instances in which, thanks to unemployment, some people decided that their time in a particular field was done for.

They opted for a different direction, which turned out to be the thing that they’ve been truly wishing to do their whole lives.

In conclusion, you can either perfect the knowledge you already have or you can opt for a different route. The point is that your current situation released you from a job that, when you think about it, you never actually wanted.

4. Resetting

Unemployment shouldn’t be forever, obviously. But this period of trial has to lead somewhere, usually somewhere good. At the end of a period like this, a lot of people go into their new jobs with an open mind, with recharged batteries, and a lot more aware of the direction they truly wish to pursue in life.

Moreover, while there are definitely some people who will cling to any position to avoid unemployment again, some will even be more pretentious in the future.

Why is that? It’s the contrast between the freedom of unemployment and the helpless, caged feeling provided a routine that nearly resembles imprisonment. You can’t truly know bad without good and vice-versa. Once you have a taste of the relaxation provided by the time off, you’ll probably want more of it, so you’ll be less likely to tie the knot with a job that truly makes you feel miserable.

Either way, it’s safe to say that you can use your unemployed experience as an opportunity to amass new information, to question your direction career-wise, to clean your thoughts, to discover your new aspirations. By the time you take a seat at your new workplace, you might as well be a whole different person who will gradually be motivated by much more efficient things than money or fear of unemployment.

It’s tough. It’s panic-inducing. Allow yourself some time to recover, to heal, and to recharge your batteries, then pick yourself up and start anew. Sometimes that’s all you need to add a positive twist to your life.

Author Bio

Amanda Wilks is a Boston University graduate and a Contributing Editor at Quality Education and Jobs. She has a great interest in career-building, job-seeking, and entrepreneurship and loves helping people reach their true potential.

This post is written by a guest contributor. If you’d like to guest post for Calling Dreams check out our Write for Us guidelines.


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