"God Bless the Dream, the Dreamer and the Result." 

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Surviving Unemployment

Written by: Renae Mckee-Benenson
Edited by: Wayne Benenson
Joboja Staff Writers

Just one year ago, come November I was unemployed. During that period of unemployment, I suffered. I was heartsick. I struggled with confidence issues and denigrating feelings of inadequacy despair and shame. Relationships suffered because of the uncertainty of my life. Often I isolated myself from others. Mostly I was afraid that someone would ask if I was still unemployed.

Occasionally, I would get an interview or peak the interest of a respectable company only to feel shot down later when I would receive my dear Jane letter. Many times, I did not get the job and wondered why. One time I asked the company, only to learn that companies do not address those issues with potential employees. So what was I to do?
On my bad days, I did not exude confidence, a sense of humor or poise in order to be in the running for the job. On others days, I knew it had nothing to do with me. Often it was timing and a good fit issue for the employer and me. Why waste the others time.

At times like this, the tough keep going, press on and pray. I sought out creative and ordinary life affirming outlets, volunteer opportunities and temporary work assignments that could keep me a float. Yes, I changed my behaviors, and I still had moments of fear but it did not stop me from persevering. I also had to become acquainted and comfortable with waiting. I had to develop a thicker skin and become courageous under fire. More still, I had to be willing to widening my search.

Sometimes the possibilities the universe have for us may be radically different from what we ever thought or perceived. Consequently, during difficult times it so important to share our struggles and sorrows with persons who are safe, encouraging and wise. A proverb I learned during my unemployment offered this wisdom, “where no counsel is the people fail, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”

Finding and doing work we enjoy will eventually make life sweet. Yes, I wanted to work because I needed money. I also wanted work so to create meaning for myself and for others. Whatever season you are in your job search do not despair because looking for a job is a job; a job that builds character, perseverance, patience, understanding, reliance, gentleness, self-discipline, gratitude, a sense of humor, courage, hope, faith, and charity. All fine qualities that you may need for your next work assignment.

About the Author

Currently the Director of Spiritual and Mission Care for Bethany Hospital. Graduated with a Bachelors degree from University of Illinois-Chicago in English and a Masters of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary.

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