Unemployed? Stay Positive and be Thankful for These Things.

I am not a big fan of scouring pop culture and trying to create a blog that ties into a trendy topic. Similarly, I don’t usually use the holidays as a theme to my posts. However, last week, I was contacted by a candidate – a very successful, long time security industry veteran. He is well respected within security and has a lengthy track record of success. Recently, he was laid-off as his firm downsized and reorganized. He shared with me his professional and personal circumstances and although he had many reasons to be critical and negative (like many others I have spoken with in similar settings) he however was just the opposite. In our current economy, he knows he may be unemployed for longer than he would like or can afford to be. However, as we spoke he shared with me some of things he feels thankful for and said “I am focusing on the positives of my situation.” As we talked he mentioned that had not had a “real vacation” in the past three and a half years. I pointed out that he will now have some time for himself – time he has not had for quite a while. After we finished our conversation and came up with a game plan for identifying his next career move, I thought about his approach to his circumstances and listed what he said he was thankful for. So, in this Thanksgiving week, let’s all take a moment to sit back and reflect on our past year and all we have to be thankful for.  Losing your job may be a devastating blow; as you contemplate life after getting this news, look for the positives and what you have going for you.

Health and Well Being

Unemployment is not the end of your career. It may take some time to find your next position, but you will find it. Stay healthy and be thankful for the good health you and your family enjoy.

Benefits

Losing your job can feel like someone pulled the rug out from under you. It can provoke a lot of anxiety; however, thanks to the signing of the COBRA policy in 1985 all qualifying employers must provide health insurance coverage to those who have lost their job (and their immediate families). COBRA allows for up to 18 months of health insurance coverage which is something you can be thankful for.

Think of the 26 weeks of unemployment benefits you’re receiving as cushion. It might not be a comfy cushion, you might have to find a part time job to supplement it, but having some money coming in is better than none at all.

Take Time for You

We spend at least one third of our life working. Sometimes it seems like our work dictates all aspects of our life. Today, employers expect their employees to give 110 percent. Look at your job loss as a vacation from the 60-hour work weeks, security crisis, demanding bosses, endless deadlines, and countless meetings.

Suddenly, you’re out of the rat race. What now? Be grateful for a little time for yourself. Sleep in an extra hour a day!  Volunteer. Catch up on security industry news and brush up on your skills. Start or finish projects you have going on.

Spend time with your family and friends. You’ll never get this time back, so enjoy your family while you have extra time to do so. Your kids would probably love to have more attention from you.

Got time? Finding time to exercise when you were working may not have worked with long commutes, business travel, or overtime. Appreciate that you have time for exercise and fitness.

Gift of Time

When the initial shock of losing your job lessens, look at your career life. Did you love your job? Or were you growing stale in your comfort zone? Identify what motivates you. Reevaluate your career goals. Need a career change? Now is the time to explore your options. What is important to you in your next employer and in your next work environment? Allow yourself time to find the right job. Want to return to school? Get your CPP or similar certification. Be thankful you have time to re-invent yourself.

Hone your skills – beef up your resume, practice your interview skills, take a class to improve your computer skills. Get engaged with Social Media…it’s here to stay. Network, network, network!  Be glad that you have the opportunity to make yourself more employable.

Lean on your Support Circle

Be thankful for the people in your life who support you through hard times. Being unemployed is not easy but with the emotional support of friends and family, you will emerge better prepared for your next challenge.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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