1. Allow yourself time to grieve. Feel your losses and then move on.
2. Share your feelings with family, close friends, coworkers or in a support group. Remember that some people may be reluctant to help if you share too much.
3. Assess your financial situation and take proper steps to conserve resources. Involve your family in developing a financial plan. They will feel like they are helping and you will get more support in cutting expenses. Arrange for a home equity line of credit if you need it (remember that interest is tax-deductible). Consider investing in the services of a career consultant or coach.
4. Assess your values, interests, strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments, personal resources and goals up-front. Now is an excellent time to re-assess what it is you would like to do. Compare your assessment with the needs of the organizations you contact during your job search to find your best match.
5. Set realistic personal, career and job search goals. Treat yourself the same way you would treat a dear friend in the same circumstances . . . be patient and loving with yourself.
6. Devise a job search plan. Define strategies, target companies and make contacts. Map out a schedule showing how you plan to use your time each day. Devote 40 hours a week to your job search. Maintaining your regular work hours will help reduce stress and keep you adjusted to a reasonable work schedule.
7. Work your plan. Use a day planner and block off time for networking, researching, cold calling, interviewing and keeping track of your efforts. If you treat your plan as a job, it will likely shorten your unemployment time dramatically.
8. Maintain open communication with family members. Seek their ideas and support, but remember that they are going through this stressful time with you.
9. Continually review your options and job search strategies; change course as necessary. Remember that you always have options. If you can’t see them, hook up with someone who can.
10. Devise coping strategies to reduce stress and stay motivated. Think about other times in your life that were stressful and the things that helped you cope. Exercise, reading, being with friends or solitude are a few common ways to cope with stress. Make a short list of things that you enjoy doing and take time each day to do something on that list.
Finally, although you are stressed and may not be thinking clearly, take some time to come up with things that will motivate you while you are going through this hard time. This will help you survive this period of change and flourish.
Remember, your feelings are normal and talking about them is important. BJC EAP can help. For information, contact us or call 314.747.7490 or toll-free 888.505.6444