If you are out of work, or have been in this situation before, I’m sure you’ve likely heard the expression, “Job loss is like coping with a death in the family.” There is a grieving process and everyone has to go through it at their own pace. When I lost my job it was no different for me. I had trouble sleeping, and sometimes still do, wondering, “Why did this happen to me?”
Worry doesn’t do anybody any good. In fact, it can lead to real health problems, including stress, depression, anxiety, and even in severe cases, suicidal thoughts. I can tell you that it is hard to be the head of the household in a one income family of four and not having any income coming in the door. That creates stress like you can’t believe!
What really keep me up at night are the things like losing my house, feeding my family, not being able to pay my bills, building an insurmountable amount of debt, having an illness where we don’t have enough insurance; basically, not being able to provide for my family. It’s a helpless feeling knowing that I’m trying as hard as I can to network to find new opportunities to find work but it just hasn’t worked out yet.
I still wonder why I lost my job. I didn’t get a good answer when I was released. That unanswered question of “Why?” keeps me awake, too. I work at keeping my mind away from those things. My loyalty was not returned by my previous employer. Time is passing and someday it will be completely behind me. I’m sure if I had found a job right away that it would have healed a lot of the pain that I hang onto, yet I still harbor a grudge and feel betrayed.
How I cope with this is keeping myself busy. I try not to sit in front of my computer all day and look at job boards. I make appointments to get out of the house to go do something productive. I have time off from work. I could choose to mope around the house all day, but I choose to use some of that time to pursue my hobbies and other interests. I’m also using my time to better myself, educate myself and learn things about new subjects outside of IT.
I encourage all of you that are on extended layoffs to focus hard on the job search process for a sufficient amount of time each day and then go do something else. It isn’t healthy to stew about your situation all day, feeling depressed or angry. It’s time to take control of your destiny by using your time to prepare yourself for new and additional opportunities than weren't available to you when you worked full-time.
Let me hear from you! Drop me a line to let me know what you are up to, and thanks for being a loyal “The Laid Off IT Guy” reader!
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