How to cope with being unemployed?

A person searching for a job in the newspaper classifieds

While some who are unemployed may resort to stealing, there are other destructive effects. Often there is loss of confidence by the unemployed, as well as a feeling of helplessness and isolation.

“Being out of work throws you,” noted a jobless city public-relations director. “I went through a couple of months of deep depression.”

For fear of being laid off, a city worker set himself ablaze at a busy street intersection. He had reportedly been despondent over the prospect of being unable to take care of his elderly mother.

Jobless people are commonly observed literally to deteriorate, both physically and mentally.

These effects were well illustrated during the Great Depression, when about 25 percent of the work force was jobless.

One man recalls:

The change in my father was heartbreaking. I saw him change from an optimistic, dynamic and proudly successful businessman to a shattered man overwhelmed by a sense of failure.”

 Another person, who grew up in North Dakota, painfully remembers:

The depression destroyed my father. . . . The strain broke his health. He died at an early age.” 

Today there is widespread fear that another destructive depression could be starting.

How to cope with unemployment?


If company or government assistance is available, it is proper that you seek it if you become unemployed and desire the assistance.

Some companies will provide severance pay to workers they let go; you can check the possibility.

Also, you may make sure that you receive any other company benefits to which laid-off employees may be entitled.

And, of course, you can proceed immediately to the nearest State Unemployment Office and find out the unemployment benefits to which you are entitled.

If laid off from work, promptly examine family finances and rework the budget. In fact, it may be wise for many families to do this in anticipation of such a crisis.

How much will you be receiving from jobless benefits such as unemployment insurance?

How long will these benefits last? Do you have savings? Is there a second car that you can sell?

Now add up all your necessary expenses. How much do they come to, per week or per month?

By cutting these expenses to the bone, and perhaps apportioning your savings or other assets, can you cover your monthly expenses?

For how long? Some families may find that they cannot, even for a short time.

So do not hesitate to investigate other assistance possibilities as university professor Dr. Joseph Petty urges:

Unfortunately, too many working men and women feel that things like food stamps are charity rather than insurance. If you've been paying taxes to support these programs, now is the time to collect the benefits from them.”

Work together in the crisis. Perhaps a wife, or even the children, can somehow contribute to the family in a financial way.

A chemical engineer explains:

Until I landed a job, my daughters contributed half of their babysitting money to the family budget. They never felt so adult and important in their lives"

Unfortunately, however, unemployment often tears the family apart. Typically, the jobless husband grows irritable and withdrawn, even bitter.

And under the strain the wife becomes critical and, perhaps unconsciously, manifests disrespect. Tensions grow.

Thus, according to one source, three out of four persons who remain unemployed for at least nine months will face divorce proceedings!

It has been found that men who cope best with being unemployed are those who feel that their families love them and that they are important to their families.

So wives, give your husband support and encouragement. Show him that you respect him as much as ever.

At the same time, the unemployed husband needs to act. They should start looking for a job right away.

He should recognize that job hunting is not easy, and should work as hard at it as at any other job that he has had.

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