Suddenly unemployed – this is the best way to cope with this exceptional situation
Stand: 10:51 a.m. | Reading time: 4 minutes
Layoffs and short-time work in times of crisis not only have effects on income – also on the mind. Experts explain how the situation can best be dealt with – and which questions those affected must first be clear about in this phase.
WAt the beginning of the year he thought he was in a crisis-proof job, may now have had an operational dismissal or is worried about being able to keep the job in short-time work.
With the loss of a job or a radical reduction in working hours, there is a lot of time left for feelings such as fear, insecurity, frustration and sadness. How can those affected deal with this emotional challenge?
As a qualified psychologist and job coach, Sabine Hirth has a lot to do with people who find themselves in a crisis or phase of reorientation. It helps to let all feelings be there first, she advises.
At the same time, you shouldn’t give them control: “I have this feeling, but I am not that feeling,” clarifies Hirth. If fear prevails, it doesn’t help to take a supposedly secure job that doesn’t make you happy at all. Otherwise fear won.
For many, a secure social network made up of partnerships, family and friends gives them stability. It helps to counteract loneliness and replaces social recognition and reinforcement, which up to now has mainly been conveyed in the workplace.
However, especially in close private relationships, permanent mixing of roles can be unhealthy. Talking to your husband or sister cannot replace the conviction that you can master difficult situations in a friendly atmosphere. And shouldn’t have to, stresses job coach Hirth.
Sometimes it is more helpful to confide in a “stranger” who has a more objective view of the situation between fear and hope, applications and rejections. This could be a friend, a career advisor or job coach.
Younger unemployed people, for whom the corona pandemic is the first consciously experienced crisis and who are not yet firmly anchored in a job, can help the exchange with older people. For example, they lost their jobs in restructuring due to reunification or the banking crisis.
Use unemployment for further training
Whoever has a time gap and more life experience can ultimately see the current phase of uncertainty more relatively. “Or you ask yourself: How do I see this time even in ten years?” Advises Hirth.
You may then perceive unemployment as a phase of reflection and reorientation. New ways can be explored. Tobias Güldenring from the job center in the Main-Kinzig district near Frankfurt advises examining alternatives: Where are talents and preferences that were not needed in the previous job? And can you bring this to good use in another profession?
In the care industry, for example, there is a shortage of skilled workers, so retraining can be a permanent way out of unemployment. In general, Güldenring recommends taking advantage of advanced training opportunities, in the job center or elsewhere.
While everyday life has so far been structured mainly by working hours, there is no fixed rhythm after losing a job. “Create a wavy daily routine by switching from active to passive phases several times. You cannot write applications ten hours a day driven by fear and force yourself to work, ”says Hirth.
In addition to a fixed starting time for workplace research, you should also set the end of the day so that you can let go at some point. And take creative breaks in between. When did you ever have time to learn to play the guitar or to paint?
Güldenring also knows how important it is to have fixed appointments and a meaningful job despite the lack of wage labor. The experience of the job center in the first high phase of the crisis would have shown that unemployed people who were engaged were more difficult to motivate due to the break of several months. An everyday life with fixed structures helps to counteract the monotony and lack of drive.
It is also important to be clear about what you miss from your everyday work. In addition to the fixed structure, this can be recognition from superiors or a chat at the coffee machine. A replacement – regular phone calls or a sense of achievement in creative work – can be incorporated into the new daily structure.
At the same time, you should calmly consider what you didn’t like at all in your previous work – and what you don’t miss at all. Linked to this is another recommendation from Hirth: a gratitude exercise. After waking up, you can give yourself ten minutes to think about what you are grateful for. That you have a home for good friends or to raise your short-time allowance.