informal_homeAre you looking for a new job this summer?  Changing careers?  Laid off and looking for work of any kind to help you with your basic necessities?  Clearly from the news reports you are not alone.  This recession lingers as we are all caught in a world-wide seismic shift in economies.

How are you dealing with unemployment?  “Not so well!”, many of you are murmuring.  How are you keeping a positive attitude?  Or have you kind of given up?

I’ve been dealing with partial employment for nearly two years, and I’ve been trying to follow my journey through the ups and downs of endless resumes, job interviews and feelings of hope turning to ashes.  May I share what I’ve learned?

Job/career change affects everything; this is not news.  It’s not just a function of economics.  It affects us intellectually, socially, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.  Working to support ourselves and our families is so central that not being able to work can be traumatic.

  1. Intellectually we begin to wonder if our experience and skills can serve us in the future and what hoops we have to jump through in mid-life in order to satisfy the gremlins in human resources offices that seem to be skipping over our resumes.
  2. Socially we get tired of explaining our situation to friends and acquaintances.   We also may feel envious of those with jobs, especially when job security appears to be set in stone due to the nature of the position.
  3. Spiritually we begin to doubt whether or not we’ve fallen through the cracks of God’s consciousness.  “Why?” questions inevitably arise, which lead to a feeling of emptiness and futility.
  4. Emotionally we are often depressed.  Men in particular often express depression by irritability and anger.  This can lead to misunderstanding by those closest to them, who feel put upon by the oppressive and often silent contraction of their loved nes’ hearts.
  5. Physically we may stop taking care of ourselves.  We may no longer feel we can afford gym membership or the healthy food choices.   We don’t like the way we feel and it can be reflected in stress and negative emotions that affect our immune systems and energy levels.

The only thing that has brought me to a new equilibrium is answering the question: “Who is the most important person God has given me in the world?”  Once I answered that question, I knew what my priorities would have to be.  I also knew who would have to come first in order that I become able to meet the needs of others.  This question also helped me to maintain a perspective based on the here and now, so that I (almost) quit worrying about the future, while gaining new energy today to do something worthwhile that would add value to my future.

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