I have had a number of jobs over the past 40 years or so ( I won't count picking up acorns out of the front yard at age four for wages of 1 cent per 10 acorns as a "real" job). Of all these jobs from the grimy storefront filling out invoices by hand with no heating or air conditioning, to being a medical director, the hardest job by far was the one which is so well known these days, the job of being unemployed.
From the first day I set foot in kindergarten, "work" provided me with structure for my day, a social network, a role and provided meaning, even a sort of scorecard for my activities and my identity. When I've been unemployed these supports can be lost to me just as surely as my paycheck. At times feelings of emptiness and purposelessness can be overwhelming, as can the sense of rejection when applications filled out with hope one day leave my cell phone silent for days and days, or worse the call arrives informing me that my work is simply not needed.
So how to cope with the lose of a role as well as with financial uncertainty? The next posts will suggest both ways to find one's way to a new job as well as how to tread water while you're stuck in the limbo of unemployment.