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Help for Long-Term Unemployment

Help for Long-Term Unemployment

December 08, 2009

We heard the news not too long ago that U.S. unemployment hit the double digits for the first time in over 25 years. It’s not a surprise. All of the economists and business experts told us it was coming. But I am surprised that we aren’t talking more about people who have been out of work for months.

I know people who have been out of work for months. There are lots of articles about how to find a job and how to network more effectively. And, lots of articles about people cutting back expenses because the money is running out.

But what can we do about the emotional and intellectual impact of not being employed? Think about it. One day, you’re in the office – going to meetings, brainstorming ideas, discussing new projects, etc. – and the next day, nothing. Even if you are networking, going to association meetings, volunteering, etc., it’s not the same as everyday work.

When I was recuperating from my auto accident, I was out of work for a year. Yep, a year. And, while my body was physically not ready to work…my mind was. The home health aide that used to come to our house dreaded it. She wanted to watch General Hospital and I wanted to watch C-Span, to help keep my mind active.

Being out of work for long periods of time can will take its toll. Even if you don’t have a job lead to share, it’s still important to engage friends. Have a cup of coffee, share a book, or call on the phone. The important thing is to stay connected. When I was out of work, I wasn’t looking for a pity party – I just wanted a friend.

I found some wonderful resources to help people support an unemployed friend. Check them out here, here, here, and here. Some of these might work for you…or maybe not. The important thing is to realize there are a lot of unemployed people out there. Some have been unemployed for a really long time. A little friendship right now could go a long way.

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