Losing a job, even if it was your decision to leave, can be traumatic. Suddenly having nowhere to be from nine to five can be disorientating and many people struggle to adjust to life without employment.
If a period of unemployment lasts for more than a few weeks, depression and malaise can begin to set in. Fighting this unemployment depression, and staying positive as you search for your new dream job, will help you to stay motivated and come across as more confident and more capable when your next job interview roles around.
Keep a Routine
Although you may well want to spend the first few days of your unemployment enjoying lie-ins and watching daytime TV, after this initial period of relaxation it’s time to get back into your routine.
Try to wake up early and be as productive as possible during the day. Make yourself a timetable to help plan when you’re going to search for jobs, when you’re going to fill out applications and when you’re going to make follow-up calls to prospective employers.
If there aren’t enough jobs in Norfolk to apply for to fill your time, why not look into taking an online course to update your skills? As well as giving you something to focus on, this will help your CV to look that little bit more competitive when you get that all-important interview.
Get Out and About
Everyone needs a change of scenery once in a while to keep them sane. If you stay in your living room all day and don’t get out of your pyjamas, you may well begin to feel a bit down and could end up becoming depressed.
Try to get out and about at least once a day. Use this time to do a little exercise and you can boost your endorphin levels even further. Go for a run, join an exercise class or simply go for a walk around your local park. Getting some fresh air, and getting the blood pumping, is guaranteed to boost your mood and help you stay positive.
Staying organised will help you feel like you’re in charge of your job search. Try keeping a journal of all the positions you apply for. You can use this journal to make notes on the stage of your application. For example, write down the date you applied for the job, the information that you sent and the date of the reply you received from the employer.
You should also make a note of your interview date and jot down the address, the time and information about anything that you need to bring along on the day. You can also use your job journal to keep track of the follow-up contact that you make and to make note of the names of the people you speak to as you try to get noticed by your preferred organisation.
A lot of the time, unemployment depression comes about because jobseekers feel adrift. If you don’t have a clear idea of the direction you want your career to go in, or if you just don’t know how to get there, getting good quality career advice could help to get you back on track.
A careers advisor will be able to take a look through your CV, identify your strengths and help you to find jobs where these strengths will help you to thrive. In some cases, a careers advisor may recommend that you get extra training to up your employability or they might offer you advice on how you can update and edit your CV to make it more eye-catching. As well as being good for your CV and career awareness, going to a careers advisor can help to keep you positive and ensure that you don’t sink into the depths of unemployment depression.
When sitting at home and searching for jobs online, it can be all too easy to forget about the rest of the world. However, getting stuck in a digital bubble is never good for mental wellbeing so it’s crucial you get out and meet friends, family and old colleagues as much as possible.
Whether it’s a coffee at a local café, a walk in a park or a night out, staying social will help to keep you positive and ensure you don’t become isolated while you’re unemployed.
Volunteering is a fantastic way to fill your days, meet new people and boost your CV all at the same time. Volunteering in your local community will allow you to do something positive with your new-found free time, learn new skills and show future employers that you didn’t waste a minute of your time off.
If possible, try to volunteer in an area where you can make use of the skills you’ve acquired in your working life. If this isn’t possible, look for volunteer opportunities that allow you to learn new skills or to improve your existing abilities.
Maintain a good work–life balance
Once you have secured a new role, it’s important you work hard to maintain a good work–life balance. If your feeling of self-worth and your self-esteem are tied purely to your job, you’re likely to feel depressed if you lose that job. If you have lots going on in your life outside of work, it will be easier to stay positive during periods of unemployment and you should have a good support system in place to fall back on if you do begin to feel down.
Getting active, working hard and sticking to a routine are all good ways of staying positive when you’re unemployed. To help you find the job that’s really right for you and to learn more about making yourself as employable as possible, take a look around Just Norfolk Jobs or get in touch with a member of our team today.