Overcoming the Shame of Being Unemployed

Just about everyone, no matter how skilled at his or her job, no matter how valuable to an employer, will, at least once during a career, become unemployed. What’s more, unemployment can happen at any time, at any point in one’s career.

Unfortunately, our society often forgets this and looks down on those who have lost their jobs. They must be lazy, not have the right skills, don’t know how to get along with people, must be stuck in the past. The stigma about being unemployed is great.

If you’re unemployed, read below for tips on how to beat this insidious dishonor.

  • First, take a look at your own attitude about being unemployed. Do you see yourself as a loser? Remember that one can become unemployed for any number of reasons, most of which are beyond your control. Companies lay off top producers all the time. Companies go out of business. Even great employees are sometimes out-and-out fired (sometimes the greatest employees are fired first). Understand this fact – embrace it – and get rid of the humiliation you feel regarding your own unemployment!
  • The next step is to stop seeing yourself as “unemployed.” Instead, look at yourself as being “between opportunities.” Sure, you may feel it’s being a bit Pollyanna-ish to look at your lack of a job in this way. Yet what is a job but an opportunity (an opportunity to earn a paycheck, to grow, to make a positive impact, etc.). Plus, you may find that you never work for an employer again: you may decide to start free-lancing, consulting or hang out your own shingle.
  • You may think that others think negatively of you.  But you can’t know what anyone is thinking, so why worry about it. They may envy you this chance to change careers, start a business, take some much-needed time off. Sure, they may think negatively about you, but you can’t know this. So as Tony Soprano would say “Fugget about it!”
  • Use this time between opportunities wisely. Get healthy, train to run a 5K, travel (on the cheap), start a side business, or work to make a hobby into a paying enterprise. Volunteer. The point is to not sit in front of the computer all day mindlessly sending out resumes to any position that looks at all like a “fit.” Of course you should make looking for work your main priority, but use this extra free time for good, for yourself and for others.

If you’re looking for work in the Anchorage, Seattle, Lake Oswego, Portland, Tacoma, or Chicago areas, don’t forget to talk to the recruiters at the Opti Staffing Group. We have many great temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire opportunities. We look forward to hearing from you.

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