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This book will help make life more bearable while searching for employment. It won't teach you how to find a job, but it will teach you how to keep from going crazy if you're between jobs, living paycheck to paycheck, worrying about losing your job, or if you have recently retired. This information has been tested and proven beneficial for a wide variety of people-from laid-off, highly paid executives to individuals just entering or reentering the workforce. Certainly, part of finding a new job is preparing and sending résumés, perusing classified ads, searching for employment on the Internet, networking, and interviewing. But until you find work-and you will find work-your biggest, most important job is taking care of you. Hopefully, you'll never have the need to read this book, but in case you do-and most likely you or someone you love will-it should serve as a guide to improving your daily life while you're unemployed.
For the purposes of this discussion, unemployed means you're jobless, looking for a job, and available for work. At some point in your life you, your partner, a parent, a friend, or a neighbor will find yourselves between jobs or out of work. Keep in mind that over 95% of the population seeking employment was terminated from their previous positions for reasons other than job performance. Over the past ten years, the unemployment rate in the United States has ranged between 3.9 and 7.8 percent. If we placed a population value on this number, consider this: At the printing of this book, a 6.4 percent rate equates approximately 9.4 million people. This statistic, while grim, does not include the estimated 4.8 million people working part-time who want full-time jobs and another 1.4 million who have looked for work in the past year, but not the last month, who are no longer counted by the U.S. Department of Labor as being unemployed. If unemployment were a disease, it would be deemed an epidemic. Looking for a job or seeking more successful employment isn't uncommon, nor is it embarrassing. Most importantly, you're not alone.
Finding a job is something we usually do alone and, in fact, can be socially difficult. It's often hard to find social support, unlike other challenges for which support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Weight Watchers exist. Unemployment may be a bit less intriguing or mysterious to discuss in social circles since talk of one's emotional well-being while job hunting isn't usually of concern-unless you yourself are unemployed. There is an abundance of resources available on how to get a job, write a resume, and even how to interview more effectively, but there isn't nearly enough information available on how to take care of you while unemployed. Don't be shocked to find that you may face many pressures and fears during your difficult-even discouraging-search for employment, but do know that you are not alone and resources do exist to help you get through the next few weeks, months, or even longer if necessary. This sounds cheesy, but it's important: No matter how dreary a day you're having, remember that every rainbow is made from the proper balance of rain and sunshine. This book will help you in nurturing yourself while you discover what the next step is for you.
Chapter 1: Nourish Your Mind
Remember, This Too Shall Pass
Facing the First Black Monday
Accept Being Unemployed as a Full-Time Job
Dealing with Your Loss
Put Poverty in Perspective
Embrace the Uncertainty of Change
Chapter 2: A Bowl of Inspiration
Be Grateful, Give Thanks
Look for Inspiration
Feed Your Soul
Chapter 3: It Boils Down to Health: Set Physical Goals
Broaden Your Identity
Maintain a Daily Structure
Get Your Beauty Rest
Run for Your Life
Eat to Live, Don't Live to Eat
Limit Personal and Social Drinking
Drop-Kick Bad Habits
Step Away from the Video Games!
Chapter 4: Take Stock in Your Finances
Explore Your Severance Package Thoroughly
Check on Your Finances
Budget the Basics
Borrow Wisely from the Bank of Dad
Ask Yourself: "What Is Wealth?"
Chapter 5: Homemade Goodness
Improve Your Surroundings
Let Kids Be Kids
Enjoy New Roles
Get Out! Your Family and Dog Will Thank You
Living at the Hotel Mom
Chapter 6: Condensed Ingredients: Be Social
Avoid Isolation: It's So . . . Isolating
Tell the Truth-It Will Set You Free
Laugh It Up! It's the Best Medicine of All!
Find Supportive People
Create a Support Group
Do for Others
Spend Quality Time with Friends-Your Other Family
Host a Party for an Unemployed Friend
Honor Holidays, Birthdays, and Anniversaries
Learn to Receive
Chapter 7: Soup Up Your Future
Work No-Brainer Jobs
Consider Your Interim Possibilities
Add New Job Skills
Jump-Start Your Energy Level
Make the Best of Being Overqualified
Chapter 8: Instant Success
End the Day at 5:00 P.M.
Adopt a New Mantra: T.G.I.Thursday
Take Some Time Off
Seek Out Free Activities
Have Fun on a Dime
Indulge in Retail Therapy
Take Care: Monday Ahead!
Conclusion: Digesting It All