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When Laid Off, Stay Normal

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Whether we are laid off because we deserve it or not, or whether we even chose it, we are likely to somehow blame ourselves and even fall into a depression, sleeping more or less, sulking, lashing out at family and friends, and all that. Seeking a new job seems a star-crossed mistake since our attitude is one of cynical desperation. How to beat the trap of a defeatist attitude and keep upbeat and cheerful, remaining the kind of person our family and friends actually want to be around, and future employers will welcome to their team?

Keep normal. If you normally worked from 9-5 at your old job, consider those the hours you are looking for a job. Wake up, shower, eat breakfast, and leave the home. Go to the library and spend all day on the job hunt. You might not be getting paid for this, but you will still feel that you are doing the most to land your next job.

Then, at the end of the 9-5, tell yourself you won’t bring “work” home with you, and give yourself permission to enjoy the rest of the day. You might not have the money to have a fine dinner, but you can still amuse your friends and family by being your friendly happy self. Above all, don’t allow yourself to dwell on your job situation after hours. You’re not being paid to, and it won’t help.

How to control your mind? How to stop the worries that hunt you with endless persistence? Try mindfulness. When you get a worry about the bills and rent and what you owe whom, say to yourself, “Yes, such a thought is likely to cross my mind, that is natural, and now I am going to focus on what is before me.”

Certainly, you should have interesting things before you: tackle your hobbies, spend time with your spouse and children, go to the bar with your friends, not to sulk, but to have a good time. Keep busy, and don’t be lazy. If you are unemployed and also not doing anything that interests you, you are certain to feel discouraged. But if you put in some full time work seeking a job, and then permit yourself to enjoy some earned and deserved relaxation time, you will feel good about yourself.

Make the most of your unemployment, not to be lazy, but to catch up on some other projects around the house you never had time for. This is probably a blessing, though you might not see it. Getting involved with volunteering or with your church is not only satisfying in itself, but also a wise way to network. So keep busy, keep active, keep happy. Good cheer is quick to be hired. You will make it through this!

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When Laid Off, Stay Normal by
Authored by: Harrison Barnes