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by Focus on the Family


Whether you’ve been laid-off, fired, downsized, outsized or right-sized doesn’t really matter. If you’ve been forced out of a position without a new one in sight, the road you’re travelling is likely full of speed bumps, potholes and detours. You might be struggling with feelings of worry, insecurity and stress.

While the emotional stress of undergoing a situation like this may be very real, here are some practical suggestions to help you cope in this turbulent season:

  • Think ahead to where you’d like to be in one year, three years or five years. Can you imagine yourself in a better position than the one you were forced to leave?
  • Find a support system. Ask your former employer about employment counselling, check in your community for support groups or just meet with a good friend who’ll level with you even in the toughest times.
  • Put your most positive spin on the change. View this time as a chance to grow, an opportunity for new adventures in your current career. Maybe it’s even a good time for a complete career change.
  • Reach out beyond yourself. Volunteer a few hours a week at a local charity. You’ll feel better doing something good for others, and you’ll realise that your life could be worse.

Understandably, unemployment can devastate entire families too. Families suffer the financial and emotional consequences as the search for a job may go on for months or years. Be honest with yourself and your spouse about your emotions. Avoid pretending that you’re not angry or depressed, and resist putting on a good front. Honesty allows you to sort through your feelings. Some might be worth embracing while others won’t. Try keeping a journal of your rollercoaster-like emotions. Learn to show appreciation to your spouse who will be the one who supports you through this difficult time.

It is good to let your children know what you are going through but don’t allow your children to feel unnecessarily burdened by your unemployment. Family life can go on. Instead of putting life on hold, learn to live more simply. Your family can have just as much fun for less money. A little creativity can keep life normal for your children.

Take this as an opportunity to reflect and reassess your strengths, and even brush up on certain skills to prepare yourself for your next job. It may also be a good time to re-evaluate your family priorities and set new goals together. For many working parents, the daily grind might have stolen the joy out of family life. Having more time at home now will allow you to reconnect with your spouse and savour the fleeting moments of your children’s growing up years.

Ultimately, keep matters in perspective and maintain a positive attitude. As you look around, you’ll see far greater hardships than the loss of a job. Focus on the loved ones around you and you’ll realise how much you have to be grateful for. On many days, thoughts of thankfulness for what you have will keep you going.

Copyright © 2016. Focus on the Family Singapore Ltd.

Facing unemployment or know someone experiencing retrenchment? Our team of counsellors are committed to journeying with you through this difficult season. Find out more about our counselling services today. 

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