Coping with Being Unemployed

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Being unemployed is rarely what one might call “having a good time,” though on the other hand some people feel like it is the “end of the world.” Dealing with being unemployed can be tougher on some than on others, depending on how well you had previously prepared for a rainy day. Here are some tips that I have pulled together from various resources, sharing some ideas on getting through the tough time of being unemployed, without pulling your hair out – hopefully.


When you become unemployed, treat the days of the “work week” as a full time job itself. Wake up, and go to work finding a job. Set yourself a daily goal and achieve it. Maybe you would like to set a goal of applying for three new jobs each day, depending on your career field. When you hit the computer in the morning, do not waste all day playing games or reading for entertainment; get to work searching and networking.


Change it up often, and do not simply rely on the internet to find your new job. Get out there and “hit the pavement” as it used to be done before the internet. While it is true that pretty much all places are online now, that does not always mean that they have gotten around to posting all possible positions online, or that smaller local companies are even necessarily listed on the larger job sites you use. Dropping in physically and speaking with a hiring agent rarely ever hurts you, and can be a door to a networking relationship if you keep it up.


Spend a chunk of your day reading through job tip blogs, like you are doing here on Nexxt, and seek to apply new ideas to the job search each day. Repeating the same old tired way you have always done it may be detrimental – learn and then try something new.


As you should do for a “real” job, make sure you take periodic breaks to get a little refreshed. Take a brief walk outside, get some fresh air, anything that would be a short change of pace; then get right back to it.


Many people become somewhat depressed when they are unemployed. Times are tough, and finding a new job immediately may not happen, and so depression and frustration set in. If this is left unchecked, it can just build and get worse, and makes finding – even just getting motivated to look for – a job that much more difficult.


If you feel depression creeping in, call a friend; go do something to keep your mind off of it. Even if you do not have money to go do something that costs, simply keeping contact with friends is a big plus. If you have really good friends at your old job, do not lose contact just because you lost your position there. Give them a periodic call to keep up the friendship, plus it can be considered a form of networking to keep contact with those related to your job field.


If you let depression creep in it can drag down all motivation and stop your job search dead in its tracks. It will allow in pessimism which will also drag you down and place you in a frame of mind that is unsuitable for a proactive job search.


During this time, you will probably have a real tight budget, but be sure to budget in a small amount for yourself. Yes, most of the money will need to go to the necessities, but do not make the mistake of cutting off all “treats” during this time. Take the family out for a simple ice cream cone, or even a simple cup of coffee with a friend will do. Again, simple things like this will assist in decreasing the depression factor as well.


Now, I understand that not all tips are applicable to all people, so hopefully you can take some of these tips and use them to spawn new ideas for yourself to get you on the motivated path to securing that new job. If you do have other tips in this area, things you personally have successfully used, please share below in the comments section.


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  • Sonia M
    Sonia M
    The post that is posted on is quiet helpful in which it gives details on how to cope with unemployment. I was laid off and am  coping with unemployment and I have been unemployed for two years now since May 2010, and yes it is very depressing. I sometimes get depressed at times,so I take some time  to do some reading, go on the internet to check for jobs, go to see my mom at the Nursing home. I don't have a diploma now, but I am working on it. I was receiving unemployment benefits before , but now I am not receiving any since I already have used up my benefits. Thank God my husband has a job with benefits and at least he can the bills, but it makes me feel unuseful, but I pray to God that I will get a job and my diploma before the year is over.  
  • Sandra T
    Sandra T
    Thank you so much for your post.  It was very timely and uplifted my unemployed spirits of despair and frustration.  It can be daunting setting up profiles just to submit a resume to a "black hole" of deflated hope!  Your article gave me the incentive to hang in there and keep doing what I'm doing with a few change ups here and there.  I work on the reward system, so a frozen yogurt at the end of my job search is my carrot on the stick for sure.  Thanks again!!!
  • Patricia F
    Patricia F
    Jeffrey,Your comments are right on point.  I have been unemployed for the past 3 1/2 years and am beginning to fall into the depression stage.  I am trying to stay positive but it's been very difficult when all the door are shut in your face.  My budget has not only been tight, but at this point it's non-existant!
  • Barbara D
    Barbara D
    I have been unemployed for a year now.  I'm a laid off teacher with several degrees.  I filed grievances with my union with no results.  I decided I no longer want to teach but it's hard getting interviews in other areas because I don't have the " experience" needed.   I went through a divorce 2 years ago now unemployment..   I pray daily, find positive affirmations and volunteer at a food pantry.  It's good to hear about other people who know my pain, because everyone around me is employed and they don't understand how I feel. I have found temporary tutoring jobs here and there but nothing I can support myself on.  I haven't lost hope though.    
  • Marty j
    Marty j
    I know this isn't much help to the unemployed, and i really don't have any good suggestions for all involved, but what i do know is you could probably get a paper route and make between 600.00 to 800.00 dollars a month. This would be a 7day a week job that includes early AM hours and you can still look for employment the rest of your day. This would also be a change of pace with alone time for yourself to think and collect your thoughts. God Bless!
  • Brent W
    Brent W
    important advice. keep on keep'n on!
  • Catherine K
    Catherine K
    I'm having the same difficulties as many of the people who have posted comments.  Depression is a BIG issue.  I moved to a new area in August, and have been unemployed since then.  I am either "over" qualified or " under" qualified.  Although age discrimination isn't blantly obvious, it is part of the problem.
  • Brenda M.
    Brenda M.
    I, too, am middle aged.  I agree with others who have said age discrimination is never a topic that's touched.  It's rampant.  As for me, I have plenty of office experience, I know how to answer a phone, route a call, write ad copy, design a banner ad, even update web pages.  I even know medical terminology...BUT, I always lose out to the 20-somethings.  I've watched local news shows, and in my area, the big push is to get the young college grads hired.  Where does that leave me? I'm beyond frustrated and frankly, I'll admit that I gave up.  The reality is older workers aren't wanted, our real world work experience means nothing without a 4 year degree.  (Yes, I have been told that I am unemployable because I have a tech school diploma only, even though I've been active in my field for the 20 years since I got it.)  I don't get the big emphasis on a 4 year degree for EVERY job out there.  There ARE jobs that really are common sense and don't require the big debt load to do, such as answering a phone.I still send my resume out.  I still try, but I only spend maybe a couple hours a week looking for a full time job.  It's been almost 2 years now and still all I get are rejection letters, even for part time work.  The interviews have stopped.  Frankly, I'm done, I can't take any more rejection.
  • bryna s
    bryna s
    Having a very impressive resume is half the battle looking for a job.  There is something called age discrimination which very few employers will ever talk about.
  • Joyce Z
    Joyce Z
    Much of what you say about depression is true. However the flip side of job search is the opportunity to meet new people in new settings and  instead of thinking of your job search as an arduous chore, ''choose" to view it as an  "adventure".  Who knows what doors will open to you; job search is part planning, part engineering your circumstances and part luck.  Put yourself in the right place at the right time. Be resourceful as there are opportunities out there waiting to be discovered.   
  • Nina K
    Nina K
    I am 56 years and I can still work, but no one will give you a chance. Having this long period break of not working, plus a felony that is years is old. I have been unemployed for over three years, lost everything and I do mean everything. I now live with my Mother. I don't know what to do any more. My unemployment is out and going crazy, Please can any one tell me why! I have never had this hard of a time finding a job. It is so old sending resumes out and can't get one response. Help!!
  • Jimma E
    Jimma E
    worthwhile read
  • Mary B
    Mary B
    This is all great, but what if you don't have any money saved, and it 's impossible to save it because of my earnings and overhead bills that I can barely pay now?? I am in the field of mental health, do not make a lot of $, and must work overtime on the weekends to just make ends meet. NO savings in the bank. I need to know what services are out there to help me during this time?
  •  Aliya J
    Aliya J
    I really liked  your advice.  But most important thing is take care of your health and  avoid depression and negative thoughts be positive  and move forward also.
  • Irene K
    Irene K
    I like your article, especially on how to keep our spirit up, even if we can't find a job for a long time.
  • Melissa G
    Melissa G
    I have just recently lost my job and I think I have gone through all the scenarios listed. Good info! Thank you! I have been using the Career Center at the Unemployment Office as my "office" each day. I find it real helpful to be able to have the job search and home time separate. Feels like I am accomplishing something during the day, and then I have my downtime at home. Good luck everyone!
  • Lorna W
    Lorna W
    Thank you so much, your comments are well on point.  I have been doing what you have mentioned, however I do need to take a little time out for myself.
  • Carol G
    Carol G
    I have been out of work also for 2 plus years andI feel like I will never be employed again.  I am now in my early forties and its so freakin hard to get a job... Unless of course your are going for retail jobs like Target, Walmart, Ross.  I have even been looking for customer service jobs anything.  Unfortunately with that comes the overeating some depression and hard  days to get thru.  I am lucky to have my family: sisters.  They have been my rock and they try to support me in everything I try.  I am lucky that I don't have kids and still single.  No matter what situation you are in its difficult to deal with not being able to fully support yourself.  I feel like some days I am going nuts and think why won't they hire me what am I doing wrong... I know God has something in store for me but it gets hard sometimes to hold on to my faith.  I keep going no matter what because If I lose all hope and faith I wouldn't be able to go on.  That's when God steps in and reminds me of how much I do have with my family(siblings) and I am continuing to try and hold on to that.  Hold on guys you can and will get through it...  God Bless
  •  Larry S
    Larry S
    Thanks Jeffrey!Sometimes the most important thing is to read something positive that gives you the umph to move forward and accomplish something new in your job search.
  • Ligia M
    Ligia M
    Is a time to take care of some area in life thats needs attention, while searching a job.
  • Joe W
    Joe W
    The fact that I have been unemployed for 2 years now (the longest period in my life) has now become a real hurdle for me! I have found that exercise is a very good motivator which temporarily allows one to refocus on something other that does not pertain to your current unemployment. I go out around 7:30 AM which gives me ample time before the day gets busy with the job search and helps me to digest all that goes with it!
  • Marc R
    Marc R
    I fully relate to all of the comments made before mine. Between 4 & 5 years ago my wife of 10 years asked for a divorce. Out kids were 6 & 9 at the time. I was then let go from a job I had for 8.5 years shortly after. We nearly let the house go into foreclosure, but were spared by a quick sale. I was out of work for 13 months and then got a job making 60% of what I used to. As soon as that happened, the wife filed for divorce and claimed bankruptcy after running up tens of thousands in charges. The creditors looked to me. I ultimately filed for bankruptcy too out of necessity. The divorce took 2 years, with an ex who lied about her finances to gain more alimony. I was on Zoloft to cope with the depression, though I mostly felt bad for the kids. Then, in January of this year, the job I had for 2.5 years had to make cutbacks because their budget (supplied by the gov't) was slashed 40%. I was unemployed for 4 months, then got a job 10 minutes away! That lasted 6 weeks - they lost a major client and could not afford me. So here I am, back to 5 years ago. I am trying to stay off the Zoloft, but don't know what else to do. Friends only last so long when you're down, like a house guest that stays too long. I have no money, the ex keeps up the problems (financial and otherwise) and involves the kids, and I get few interviews. By the way, with over 23 years of experience in my field, interviewers question if I'm a "good fit" because - without saying it - I may be overqualified. I can dumb down my resume, but I dislike being dishonest. You'd think an honest, knowledgeable candidate would be an asset for any job, but that's not how money tight organizations think. I'm also in my mid-late 40's and feel like the only reason I'm around is to be a proper guiding light for my kids. Without them, I don't know if I'd be writing this. Any further suggestions are welcome!
  • Bill R
    Bill R
    I don't claim to be any expert, but the important thing is to keep moving. I got laid off Christmas week 2008, applied to numerous jobs in the area, and most of the time heard nothing back. My wife had a decent job, but the downside was that meant no relocating for me. The good news was that I was able to stay home with our daughter for a few days a week while she was part-timing preschool. The days she was at school, though, were tough. After 8 months of searching, I took a near-minimum wage job as a sales rep. Even though the pay was nothing to live on, the perks were nice and most importantly, I had another reason to get up in the morning. After several months of doing that, I went back to school and started a Master's.I'd like to say it was the advanced degree that landed me in my current job, but it was good old-fashioned networking that got me a contact with a firm that needed some help while I was going to school. I'm also not going to say it was easy working two part-time gigs while getting an M.S. in engineering AND having a young child who needed me, but by God's grace and the support of my wife, I did it.I've been with new company for a little over a year now, and it is light-years better than the company I left. Obviously, it is better to leave a place under your own power than to get pushed out the door (I saw the signs and should have left a good year before anyhow), but it was a good experience for me. I worked and studied with some wonderful folks during my professional hiatus and feel that the life experience and change in perspective more than made up for the sleepless nights and lost income. Bottom line, don't let depression grind up down, don't give up, be open to jobs you wouldn't normally do, and don't stop talking to people.
  • Doreen J
    Doreen J
    Hello To All,I haven't worked since the end of 08 and have made it purely off of Governmental help and a parent.  I'm 42 and my life has definitely not turned out like I tried to or hoped to have it.  The sad part is and backwardness to it is that I'm doing better now then when I did work.  All I can say guys is use all resources out there.  Usually you can call 211 to get numbers for agencies that will help with many needed things such as food, shelter and financial assistance for a new move or electricity/gas bill.  I have been lucky enough to receive housing assistance through my local housing agency, got back on Welfare and now even receive Federal Disability=Social Security Disability and Social Security Insurance.  Wow, what a life hah, not really but it does keep a roof over my families head, food in our bellies, gas in the car, etc.  I'm very resourceful which is what everyone should always be working or not.  I shop at Trader Joe's which is cheaper and healthier.  I go online to and add every discount to my store card which helps and even offers freebies.  Yes, I buy groupons, etc. to save money and have some fun as well.  I also joined with my email and have them scan my card each time I shop because they are always sending me emails with discounts and the store itelf gives me free dollars by receipt form all the time to use at my next shopping visit.  Never be too proud to ask for help, be resourceful and anything you need or want just google it.  Well there's my two cents and hope it all helps someone.  One day I hope to get back to the workforce but I find it hard to even do such when there's always some new tragedy happening due to just living life today and being a single parent.  The worst of all is how employers always look at your background so if you have misdemeanors from the past you will always be spoken to about them and judged for them.  Everyone who has a clean record and never made one of those mistakes be thankful because it can be worse then you're experiencing, trust me.  Good luck to all :+)
  • Patricia D
    Patricia D
    It is so important to keep some type of normalcy in one's life when unemployed.  Volunteering is a good way to take one's mind off of themselves.  Volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club, a local food bank, a nursing home but the key is to do something that nourishes your mind and soul.

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