With the economy still in a sluggish state of recovery, many job seekers find themselves in the category of what is now called the long-term unemployed. Being unemployed for an extended period of time can have serious consequences. Here are some of the most common issues that long-term unemployed job seekers face:
Diminished self-esteem. There is a certain amount of self-esteem that comes with being employed, especially if the person holds a prestigious position. Conversely, lack of employment can diminish a person’s self-esteem and make the person feel less important.
Solution: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Your job is only one part of your life. Make sure that you invest in the people in your life and get involved in your community. You can still make a contribution to society when you are unemployed by being a good father, mother, sister, aunt, uncle, and community member. You cannot afford to stake all of your self-worth on your employment status, especially in a bad economy where competition for jobs is stiff.
Hopelessness. People who have been unemployed for an extended period of time can start to feel that their situation is hopeless and that they will never get a full-time job again. This is especially true if the person is an older worker and feels that employers will not hire him or her because of age discrimination.
Solution: Associate with positive people. Being around positive people will help you to be positive. Isolating yourself or associating with negative people will only breed negativity. Positive people can help you look on the bright side of things and can give you encouragement when you need it.
Inattention to physical health and appearance. Because it is very easy for long-term unemployed job seekers to slip into depression, that depression can easily carry over to poor physical health. It is easy for people in this state to gain weight and not be as fastidious about their appearance since they don’t have a job to go to. Unfortunately, this inattention to one’s physical state can make one’s employment prospects worse.
Solution: Take care of yourself. It has been proven that what you eat can affect your moods. And exercise has been shown to improve your mental outlook. Taking care of your body and being in good physical shape will help you weather the ups and downs of the job search process, and there is the added benefit of making a positive impression on the interviewer. Being physically fit is one way you can make a good first impression on potential employers.
No current experience. Someone who has been unemployed for a year or two is not as likely to have current experience in his or her field as someone who is employed. This can make it more difficult for these job seekers to convince employers that they are the right person for the job.
Solution: Perform contract, temporary, or volunteer work. Doing this will help you fill in the gap on your resume, and it has the added benefit of keeping your skills fresh. Also, because you are in a work environment, you are more likely to hear about openings when they occur, and companies are more likely to hire you since they already know you and your work ethic.
Self-perpetuating cycle. The longer a person has been unemployed, the more likely it is that the person will continue to be unemployed. Employers often assume that there is some negative reason for the person being unemployed, so the person is not considered a hot prospect for employment.
Solution: Get professional help if you need it. If you find yourself spinning your wheels in your job search, consider hiring a career coach who can help you focus your energies and troubleshoot any trouble spots with your search.
Schedule an appointment today with an executive career coach to discuss how you can get back to work quickly! Call 877-743-9521 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.