Think You’re Alone? Think Again!
For those of you that are currently in transition, I‘m writing this to inform you that, although you can‘t imagine anyone else going through the similar daily challenges and excruciating thoughts that you’ve been experiencing – fret not. You are not alone.
You may ask yourself, ― How can this guy even come close to know what I‘m thinking?
My answer is, ―I can‘t exactly, but I know I‘m close because of the many people I’ve spoken with, those that have experienced very similar patterns, and brought on by our common situation we share called unemployment……oh, excuse me….transition. Many of us cannot imagine that someone else‘s thought patterns can appear to be as self destructive and in many cases unjustifiable, as their own, but you would be surprised.
I don‘t intend here to provide you with a remedy, since I‘m not a psychiatrist or psychologist. I‘m simply sharing some of my daily annoyances that grew into instant ―blowouts‖ for no logical reason….just that of being unemployed! So don‘t think you‘re alone when you find yourself in the same situation. It made me feel a bit more at ease knowing that I was not the only one in this boat and to realize that I‘m not in half as bad a shape as many others. I‘m here to share and help those who might want to compare notes that might help alleviate their pain.
Early on with my own career transition, normal day to day frustrations often turned quickly to anger for no reason. Flying off the handle like falsely reading into attitude‖ from my family members compounded many innocent conversations that turned them into unfortunate misinterpretations. Luckily, I realized, this was an area I needed to fix quickly, since they were similarly worried as I was.
What worked for me was to constantly remind myself of how lucky I was to have them and where I might be without them. Financial worry often led to what would normally be known as periodic maintenance and turned it into a major undertaking. Similar thoughts applied to oil changes for the car. The thought of having to do these things was very exhausting. A second round of employment transition found me thinking to myself, ―Maybe the next time I do this, I‘ll be employed. And yes, even this thought seemed unconvincing to me.
Adventures with shopping. During a couple of shopping excursions while observing people around me walking by, I thought to myself how lucky they were to be working and spending money. Little did I know, that they may be thinking the same thing about me?
Another area that could have been dangerous was the driving adventures! Often venturing out to clear my head from the day‘s frustrations of the job search, I would find myself ready to reach out and ―hurt‖ someone. Want to go for a walk? I even think I’ve experienced the excitement and the urge to wag my tail that dogs often feel when they hear their master pick up the chain just before they call them to go for a walk. Before she finished the question my mouse was at the shutdown button. After spending too many long days of job search activity, I found myself jumping at every opportunity to take a break. I justified this to myself by thinking if I did not decide to take a break, then I‘m doing all I could to find a job….thereby removing any potential guilt.
What I now realize is that I needed to understand the signals telling me it‘s time to take a break. I found myself taking shortcuts to job submissions and applying to the ―black hole‖ more often so that I could feel good about applying to 20 jobs in one day. Over time, I realized that if I were beg inning to stray from the proven methodologies (Rod Colon‘s 7 Step Process) of job search, it‘s time to ―step away from the computer.
Here‘s what I learned. A break is not to be looked as a negative and unproductive activity. Everybody from time to time needs to refresh themselves in order to regain energy levels and to become focused again. But what can I do? Get a hobby maybe? This was initially difficult for me since I really enjoyed them while things were all good…and employed. So hobbies were avoided simply because they reminded me of the good times. What was a very interesting discovery that I, or I should say my mind learned from this was, things that you did not have a choice doing and that were not always fun during the good times, like cutting the lawn, weeding or garbage collection, provided a period of distraction long enough to re-energize my mind. It was a rest period from the daily frustrations of the job search.
Then, I gradually worked in some hobbies, like fishing and gardening and ultimately began to physically feel better as time wore on. I realized my frustrations of my unemployment were affecting others to a higher degree that I had originally realized. Just by taking a walk often helped me think more clearly about what to do next.
Even sleeping worked as a break….for me.
I don‘t profess to be an expert in the study of sleep but I do know that when we sleep the body goes through repair, rebuilding and resting processes to enable us to begin freshly again when awake. But realize that sleeping can act as a defense mechanism and you may feel yourself falling into a deeper sense of tiredness every time you think you need a break. This can turn unhealthy very quickly by disrupting your normal sleep patterns. Get the phys ical rest you need during your normal sleep time. Any break I took as sleep lasted no longer than an hour or two. And this was not a daily activity.
What I‘ve also learned through experience was that sometimes after a full night‘s sleep, solutions to c omplex questions or situations made them crystal clear. Ever hear of the phrase, ―sleep on it?
Combining feelings of inferiority, lack of self worth and worry were daily battles. Prior to two years ago I‘ve never been unemployed. Over the course of two years and two rounds of transition, my mind and my body learned how to deal with it better. It is difficult, it is exhausting…. but know that you‘re not alone.
It‘s up to us to choose a way of dealing with it. For me, I‘ve learned that my mind and body became tired of being stressed out continuously day in and day out about the daily job search and financial worry. I had to find a way I might be able to trigger a release of these destructive and inhibiting thoughts. My way simply turned out to be reminding myself of everyone and everything I have and how I got to where I am today. And to thank God I have been fortunate enough for that.
Oh, and one more thing I learned…… Never …Ever…Think about giving up!
Always remember you‘re not alone!
About the Author
Richard Kroh is an experienced IT Service Manager who enjoys leading support teams, providing desktop support, hardware support and move, add, change functionality. While managing to exceed service level expectations, he enjoys building cohesive partnerships with surrounding organizations during projects that require cross functional interface. He provides performance management focused on building individual skills based on personnel career focus. Away from business, he enjoys family activities, fishing, golfing and vegetable growing.
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