As a rehabilitation counselor, Tim Truzy is an expert in matching people to employment options.
Economic Turmoil and Work
Cataclysmic troubles can arise with changes in the economy. Initially, a decrease in demand for services and products can force businesses to close. Inevitably, slowdowns lead to a reduction in employees. Coincidentally, severe national health crises, countrywide lay-offs, and regional natural disasters can leave former workers in desperate situations.
For instance, a fired laborer may endure psychological issues. Substance abuse difficulties may become apparent. Housing and merely affording to eat can be constant sources of struggle. Along with these challenges, providing ongoing child care during economic turmoil can be crippled. In short, various problems surface when the economy shudders.
As a rehabilitation counselor, I’ve learned resources dwindle during periods of unemployment. As a mental health professional, I’ve provided intense counseling services to my clients regarding the psychological toll of unemployment. Indeed, environmental, social, and negative physical health factors may develop as a result of stress relevant to being without a job. However, a little support from those close to the person frequently made a difference whether maintaining gainful work or after a lay-off. In this article, I’ve indicated the main areas in which recent joblessness affects people below with suggestions for helping.
Mental and Emotional Well-Being can Suffer When Unemployment Happens
Loss of work can result in emotional and mental difficulties. For example, a person may become depressed. Likewise, people may become angry. For these reasons, listen to what the person says about the previous employer. Notice if strong feelings intensify or decline in your talks. Be aware: News reports are filled with disgruntled employees responding to job loss with drastic behaviors. Observe the following:
- Is the person planning retaliating physically?
- Are verbal threats expressed toward former workers?
- Is self-harm a subject repeatedly mentioned?
- Are emails exchanged with the business containing strong language?
- Has the person made a plan to move on to a new job?
- Has the recently fired individual stopped participating in social groups he/she usually enjoyed?
Direct the unemployed person to meet with qualified professional therapists if appropriate. Decide if authorities need to be notified if serious issues are apparent. In summary, job loss should not place people’s lives in peril.
Consider Housing and Food Needs
Studies have shown proper nutrition is needed to complete tasks and concentrate. This includes seeking work. Invite the unemployed person to meals and routinely share groceries. Help locate community food pantries while encouraging the former worker to sign up for state related services.
In addition, keeping suitable shelter is frequently a problem during economic upheaval. Without question, homeless shelters can be filled to capacity during economic downturns. However, when a person is looking for a job, applications frequently request a place of residence. Therefore, consider offering living space to a jobless individual. Be sure to specify conditions in a written agreement signed by both parties.
Provide Transportation Assistance while Expanding Employment Contacts
Reduced transportation options will hinder job searches. Provide rides to interviews, job fairs, and employment agencies. Obtain bus passes and subway fare when needed. However, if a car is loaned, specify the terms in a signed written agreement to avoid future conflicts.
In essence, finding work involves making contact with employers. With permission from the job seeker, use social media to connect with individuals who could help with employment options. Speak to friends and family who may know of job opportunities. Research has shown having access to people in hiring positions is a determining factor in how quickly a job can be found. Help the unemployed person build his/her network.
Lend a Hand with Child Care
Economic crises could force parents to stop working to care for their children. Research reveals women suffer the most at these times. Further studies indicate females may have difficulties locating comparable employment. For these reasons, watching children is often needed while a parent finds a job. Assist with school activities and occasionally volunteer to help with household chores. Pick up items at the grocery store or pharmacy to show support when a person is out of work.
Be An Empathetic Reference
- Remember: Losing a job is painful. A person needs time to grieve and consider the emotional and other aspects of being without work. However, one way to deal with the new reality of unemployment is to keep active, including learning new skills and looking for future employment. Supportive friends and family matter substantially during these times.
- In fact, doing things to help the situation now and in the future can relieve the tension of joblessness. Show support by being a reliable reference and an encouraging ally. As a rehabilitation counselor, I frequently confirmed the work history of clients, prepared resumes, and wrote letters of recommendation. Nonetheless, there are many ways caring friends and relatives can assist.
Things to Do When Unemployment Occurs
Truthfully, supportive friends and family members can assist in some tasks as well. This includes: practice interviews, acting as a reference, and aiding in the areas mentioned above. Nevertheless, employment opportunities occur in cycles. There will be periods of available work often followed by times of massive lay-offs. Encourage the unemployed person to participate in activities to weather the altering tide of the economy. Some examples of different activities to do are:
- Take classes during periods of unemployment to improve or develop new skills. Flexibility is essential in the modern job market.
- Encourage involvement in social and religious groups. For instance, attending community centers or church could lead to information about vacancies.
- Visit job listings on websites. Fill out relevant employment applications.
- Find a hobby or exercise. For example, taking a walks alone or with others can relieve the pressure of being unemployed. Finally, try learning to play the guitar or cooking a fancy meal. Master carpentry skills. These are examples of fun activities which can ease the stress of joblessness.
- Read books and/or the newspaper. Newspapers may carry openings in the local job market.
- Pursue relaxing outlets. Watching movies can be a great way of keeping your outlook positive.
Kaufmann, W. (2012). How to find a job: A handbook of the best job search strategies for a successful future. Charleston, SC: My Greener Future.
Levinson, J. C., & Perry, D. (2011). Guerrilla marketing for job hunters 3 how to stand out from the crowd and tap into the hidden job market using social media and 999 other tactics today. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Martin, D. E. (2007). Principles and Practices of Case Management in Rehabilitation Counseling. Charles C. Thomas.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.