The phrase, "idle hands are the devil's tools," seems true - especially for the long-term unemployed. Similar to the grief experienced with the loss of a loved one, job loss presents a healing process where one must go through the stages of grief.
- Shock and Denial: "I can't believe it. How could this happen? I feel like I'm walking through a fog."
- Pain and Guilt: "What did I do wrong? What could I have done differently?"
- Anger: "I am mad! How could they? I have worked so hard, why couldn't it have been someone else?"
- Sadness or Embarrassment: "It's hard to get out of bed. I just want to crawl under a rock."
- Moving Forward: "I am ready to move on. I'm updating my resume, and I'm going to hit the ground running. I'm on my way to landing a great new job."
There is nothing more destructive to your ability to find the right job than approaching an interview with bitterness or self-blame. All of the feelings you have had or are having are normal; you are not alone and this, too, shall pass. Remember your stages of grief, take a deep breath, chin up and ride out the storm.
You can't control when you'll find a job, but you can control your attitude. One way to enhance your attitude is to give back. Aside from staying busy with your job search and appreciating all that you have, giving back is a wonderful way to constructively spend some of your downtime while you are unemployed.
So what can you do? Volunteer your skills, join a committee, or look for a spot on the board of a non-profit organization that you believe in.
Not only will this help you to manage the emotions that you are going through, but it will also help you to enhance your skill set - that you will inevitably bring to your next job. And, who knows, you may discover a passion for something that you never knew you had. Whether it's working with animals, the elderly, children, or a specific cause, there are thousands of opportunities that await you. Volunteer your time and let the healing process begin.
Learn more about local volunteer opportunities on JobsInME.com.