One of the tests of mortality is having to provide for oneself and often a family. “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread...” – Genesis 3:19
For many, unemployment is one of the bumps in the road that must be overcome in mortality. Each person is affected differently by the loss of a job, but for all, it presents some level of discomfort and fear.
I hit a rough patch 2 years ago where I was about to lose my job and the uncertainty led to 3 months of pretty severe depression. The “lay in my bed as soon as I got home, don’t eat anything, nor sleep for 3 months” depression.
The fear of not being able to provide for all of the needs of my six children, combined with the emotional abuse I received at work, and the lack of sleep for months led me to feel there was no hope. I literally wanted to die. It was a very bad situation.
Again, not all who become unemployed go through the same process. Someone with $50,000 in the bank is probably not going to lose a ton of sleep over losing a job. Every situation is different.
I did, however, learn some principles during that time which will benefit any person in this situation. These four reminders will help to keep a proper perspective and lead to hope for good things to come. They did that for me.
1. Don’t Look Too Far Ahead
When you are in the midst of unemployment and uncertainty, there are lots of things to worry about. There are mouths to feed, responsibilities to maintain, bills to pay, and it can be crushing. This video below from D. Todd Christofferson was one of the most powerful things I’d ever heard and completely changed the way I looked at my trial.
His counsel is to take things one day at a time, and don’t look too far ahead. “Give us this day our daily bread.” It is a short clip but it is a must-watch.
2. God is There When a Friend is There
I spent three months on my knees, and often I would fall over on my side, begging for relief. Begging for help – any help, to get me out of my horrible situation. God never once came to me. I felt abandoned, that is until I realized that when God sent someone to my aid, it was as if He were there Himself.
This story from Robyn so beautifully illustrates that God answers our prayers through the people all around us. Friends, family, ward members, and even strangers are employed by the Lord to answer our needs.
3. Failures Were at One Time Glimmers of Hope
Every now and then something would come up, a prospective job, an interview, someone who said they could help – there was always something that kept me going.
Turns out most of those things failed.
I was frustrated and wanted to give up. So many times things were so close to getting better only to have my plan fall through.
Looking back, all of those failures and disappointments were for a short time the only sources of hope that kept me going. And a lot of the job interviews that had me so hopeful at one point in time, in retrospect it is such a blessing that I didn’t end up at those companies.
Just keep riding those waves of hope even when they come crashing down – because eventually, you will reach the shore.
4. It’s Going to Get Better
This one might get you shaking your head if you are anything like my good friend. When asking for advice on Facebook regarding employment, my friend gave the warning, “And don’t tell me it’s going to get better!”
For me, this was the one thing I couldn’t believe, but it was the one thing I had to believe if I wanted to stay alive. For some reason, due to my unique circumstances which included lack of sleep and a lack of appetite, my battle with unemployment took a deep emotional toll which made it almost impossible to have hope.
The only thing that kept me going was this quote on the wall from Jeffrey R. Holland, “It’s going to get better.” It seemed impossible at the time, and I didn’t believe it, but I had to – and guess what? He was right. Things got better.
Wherever you are in your unemployment journey, I assure you that remembering these principles in your time of need will give you hope and strength to make it through today. Remember these principles, and call on them often to carry you through the dark times ahead. Also, if you need someone to talk to, send me a message. I’m here to help.
What other suggestions would you offer to those who are burdened with unemployment?