10 Things I Learned From My Layoff
Get dressed for the day, even if you have nowhere to go
Idle hands really are the devil’s playground
I let myself have about one week of idleness, and then I got busy. Busy looking for jobs; busy blogging; busy taking on freelance work, however poorly paid; busy spending time with my family and other unemployed friends.
I always say that if it weren’t for my blog, I would have lost it. It didn’t matter if it ate into some of my job search time, or if no one was reading it – the point is, I had a daily publishing deadline, and I did my best to stick to it. It kept me busy doing something I love, and made me feel useful in some way. I was also working on it with a friend, which helped stave off some of the daytime loneliness that can come with joblessness. Our little creative endeavor stopped me from sleeping the day away or zoning out to day-time television (except, of course, for research purposes ). I had a reason to get up in the morning. I think keeping busy with things you love is the key to surviving a layoff, sanity in tact.
A little bit of humor goes a long way
Like all of life’s difficult times, laughter helps a lot. Especially when it comes to dealing with friends and family who don’t quite know how to react to your predicament. They’ll tiptoe around it, or be uncomfortably sympathetic. Which will only make you feel worse.
So keep it light, and hopefully they’ll loosen up. But bear in mind that it’s kind of like making fun of your own brother – you’re allowed to mock, but no one else is.
I am not my job, and neither are you
Is your work important to you? Sure. Should you be doing something you love? Absolutely! Should your work be the only way you define yourself, or quantify your own worth? Heck no. If it does, you will find losing your job that much more devastating. More than a financial crisis, you’ll be facing an identity crisis.
But sometimes by losing your job, you gain bit of perspective. You may find that there are plenty of things you like to do, and that make you who you are, that are not tied to your work. And if you’re lucky, your unemployment might even help bring those things to light, and give you ample time to explore them.