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Dealing With Job Transition

Being without a job impacts every part of your life.

When you find yourself suddenly without a job, you may face challenges in several different areas. Likewise, if you find yourself headed back to the workforce after a long absence, you can be equally challenged. Follow the tips below to manage your transition as smoothly as possible.

Keep a Daily Routine

Your daily schedule is perhaps one of the biggest changes after a job loss. In order to maintain structure and routine, you can:

  • Set an alarm clock to get up at your regular time.
  • Schedule time on your calendar to work on specific job search tasks. Use this Checklist of Job Seeking Activities to track your progress.
  • Dress as you would for work.
  • Set aside a place in your home where you do all your job search activity.
  • Get out of the house. Go to the Minnesota WorkForce Center, local state employment service office, library, or meet with a job search partner or network contact.

Recognize Your Family is Also Affected

While you're unemployed, your family life may be disrupted. Even though you have more time to spend with your family, you feel the constant burden to find a job. Your family isn't used to you being at home (and vice versa). They may experience feelings of fear, anger, or confusion. Or they may expect you to take on a larger share of the household chores. These are issues you can deal with as a family. You may find it helpful to:

  • Let your family know what you need and don't need.
  • Laugh or cry. Admit your true feelings to yourself and someone you trust.
  • Say NO. When you need to take care of yourself, set limits for friends and family.
  • Find things to be thankful for.

Keep a Social Life

Employment changes often involve social changes as well. This can be because your old social life was tied to a job. Or it could be because your new situation has changed the resources — time, money, or energy — that you have to devote to a social life. But keeping social connections is important for your emotional and physical health. You may find it helpful to:

  • Maintain relationships with supportive friends.
  • Plan low-cost or free forms of entertainment. Walk or jog together, volunteer for a local organization, or invite friends over for a potluck dinner.
  • Exchange ideas with acquaintances who are also in transition.

Be Realistic About Your Budget

A job change may affect your ability to support yourself or your family. Your income determines your ability to pay bills, buy groceries, pursue your hobbies, or enjoy leisure time. Not having enough money to pay bills adds stress. Developing and keeping a budget will help you deal with this stress and ease your transition through this time and into the future.

  • Sit down with family to review the changes in your income and resources.
  • Determine spending priorities.
  • If necessary, consult a financial advisor.

Maintain Your Individual Identity

What we do for a living often defines who we are. When meeting a person for the first time, the question usually asked is, "What do you do?" It's as if by knowing what job a person has, we then know who the person is! It can be a conversation stopper when you answer, "I'm between jobs right now," or "I'm unemployed," or "I've been a student or a homemaker, now I'm looking for work."

Focus on the sources of your identity that exist regardless of your job status:

  • Visualize achieving your goals, your future position, your role, and situations to come.
  • Stay positive. Use positive self-talk and affirmations. List your strengths, and hang out with supportive people.
  • Relax daily. Take time to do something you enjoy.

Be Healthy

Remember that eating well and getting physical activity keeps you at your best. Change often leads to stress, which can negatively affect your health and emotional balance. Learning about stress management during job search can help you regain confidence.

Source: Creative Job Search, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.