Loss of Job

Job loss disrupts the usual patterns of life in so many ways. Schedules change. Dreams and plans often come to a sudden halt. Insecurity colors every decision. Despite these challenges, many people discover, once it’s all over, that there were great blessings to be found in what seemed to be a crisis at the time. Because we can’t see the future, we often don’t realize the job loss will bring something special later—an even better job, a home in a wonderful new place, a discovery of simple joys, and less focus on the material. Increased faith frequently accompanies the loss of a job, as people realize only God can really take charge now.

mormon-workingWhen you or your spouse first lose a job, it’s important to move past the initial grief or anger as soon as possible so you can begin to make a plan. Planning makes you feel more secure and more focused on the practical, rather than the emotional. Treat it as a transition to something better rather than as the end of something.

This temporary stage of your life begins with a budget meeting. Work with your spouse, your children, or anyone else affected to figure out how much money you have saved and how much, if anything, you will have coming in during this time. Look for fast ways to cut the budget. Often, calling cell phone companies, cable companies, and other providers and warning them you must cut your cost or cancel will cause them to offer you a special promotional deal. Of course, if your budget it tight, some of those things will have to be eliminated. However, you do need a telephone and email to conduct a job search. Just using the library is insufficient, since prospective employers often want an instant response from you.

Once you’ve worked out a plan to lower your expenses, begin working on a resume. You need to know what type of work you want to do. Just because you’ve been doing one type of work does not necessarily mean you have to do the same type of job next time. It is easier to get a job in the same field, but if you can demonstrate you are qualified to do something else, the job loss may turn out to be an opportunity to do something more rewarding—one of the many possible blessings that can come from losing a job.

Create a template for a resume in each type of job you hope to apply for. Create a cover letter for each as well. You may want a sheet of sentences that apply to various skills you can pull from. Each job requires a personalized resume and cover letter because a machine is normally scanning for keywords. Your resume must include the exact skills needed for this job and you must leave out things that don’t apply. This takes time, but you can use the templates to make the job faster.

Research to find out which job sites have the most jobs in your field. This often changes every few years. Set up searches to be emailed to you from three or four of them. Plan a schedule so you are searching two or three days a week and crafting personalized resumes the other days. Take every Sunday off for church and spiritual rejuvenation. On Saturday, do something fun with your family. Learn all the ways to have fun without spending money in your area.

Treat your job search as a job. Get up each day and dress properly. Work specific hours, taking scheduled breaks. Take the evenings to work on projects and hobbies you’ve neglected and to enjoy your family. Connect with those who can be helpful to you.

Be careful how you use social media. If you spend a lot of time posting about how angry or unhappy you are, a prospective employer may see it and decide he or she doesn’t need an employee with an attitude. Be upbeat about your experiences.

Losing a job is never easy, but it can be a time you remember with pride if you handle the time professionally. Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be happy. Make time each day to pray, study scriptures, play with your children, talk about non-stressful things with your spouse, and to notice that life is fun. Simple, inexpensive pleasures such as picnics, long walks, or playing games can remind you that life is best at its simplest. When the unemployment ends, you may be better prepared to live a simpler and richer life because you’ve remembered that fun doesn’t always have to cost money.

Remember that although you can’t see into the future, God can. He may have something special planned for you that just isn’t ready to happen yet. Be patient and when the right job comes along, if you’ve been carrying out your job search responsibilities well, He will take you to the job you need and help you obtain it.