With the unemployment rate at 7.2%, (See the NYTimes) chances are you or someone close to you has recently lost their job. As a matter of fact, there’s one right here… me. As I write this, I myself am in the midst of my own layoff. Let me tell you, it sucks. I’ve been unemployed for just over a month, a victim of downsizing. I know, I wish Gear Patrol was a paid job, too. But I’ve kept my cool (as any man worth his salt should) and focused on moving forward.
The following three tips have helped me to keep my sanity while I pick up the pieces and start anew. [continued after the jump]
1. Stay Productive:
The last thing you need is to fall into a rut. Even though you no longer have to get up in the morning doesn’t mean you should let yourself become a sloth.
Create a routine for yourself. Get up, make yourself breakfast (a healthy one), and a list of tasks to complete for the day. Don’t let yourself become a figure in the “pajama index.” Tasks can range from revising your resume, taking on a do-it-yourself home project, or tackling that monster load of laundry in your closet.
Either way, when the day is over you’ll have a sense of accomplishment. I know it’s tempting to play COD: World at War all day long. Trust me, all the frenzied multiplayer madness in the world won’t make that helpless feeling any better.
Don’t Sweat It:
Exercise is a great stress-buster. The endorphins released from a vigorous workout provide a natural high. Plus, it will help you sleep better.
Losing your job is a slap in the face and a blow to your self-esteem. What better way to rejuvenate your self image than with a new exercise routine? The final benefit is that a workout can regulate your blood sugar for up to 24 hours. Why is that important? It will help you fight the food urges brought out by stress. Don’t add insult to injury by packing on 10 pounds while you’re job hunting.
3. Ask For Help:
I had a mentor that once told me, “Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.” Starting a job search, especially if you haven’t had to in a long time, can be daunting. Rely on your network of colleagues, friends, and business associates. Sounds obvious right? Yet, so many men don’t get it.
Getting laid-off is embarrassing (you and I both know that). That only happens to other people, not you right? Wrong. Get over it and ask for help – there’s no shame in it and it’s a step in the right direction. That goes for everything from writing your resume and cover letter to networking (have you joined LinkedIn?), to a workout comrade, to interview practice.