Losing your job is undoubtedly one of the most stressful situations that you can face in life. It’s normal to feel depressed, angry, stressed and anxious about the future.
However, there are ways to cope with the situation and the change that it brings.
The impact of losing your job
First, it can help just to realise that the way you’re feeling is perfectly normal. Accepting that you’re going through a significant change in your life, and that this is usually accompanied by feelings like loss of control, is a good first step in regaining your confidence.
Also, remember that you’re very far from being alone in losing a job – the days of life-time loyalty between companies and their employees are, sadly, long gone.
Beyond the loss of income, losing a job often has these effects on a person:
- loss of professional identity
- lack of stability and loss of feeling in control
- feelings of hopelessness, anger and depression
- loss of self-esteem and confidence
- isolation, due to loss of social interaction with work colleagues
- lack of daily routine.
What can you do?
As well as accepting your emotional response, you can take some practical steps to make dealing with a period of unemployment easier.
Reduce financial strain
If you’re struggling to pay your bills, devise a realistic budget. Start by calculating how much money you can afford to spend each month, as well as how much you need for necessities and bills.
If your expenditure exceeds the amount that you have to spend, cut any and all unnecessary costs. You may also try to find short-term employment to bring in some money while you continue looking for a permanent job that’s more in line with your qualifications and interests.
Be open with your family
If you have a family, unemployment affects them too – for their sakes and yours, don’t try to hide your job loss or cope with the stress of unemployment alone. Instead be open with your family and allow them to support you.
It’s also important that you allow your family members to voice their concerns over your situation, and ensure that you all maintain balance by making time for family fun.
It’s easy to become isolated when you don’t have a job to go to every day and you can’t afford to socialise with friends in the same ways you used to (for example, over expensive meals and drinks). However, make an effort to stay social. See friends and family. You could also combat isolation by doing voluntary work, taking part-time courses or getting involved in group activities, from exercise to crafts.
Also consider joining a job club, where you’ll benefit from being surrounded by individuals in a similar situation to yours. It helps a lot to surround yourself with positive individuals who empathise with your situation.
Network in your field
The majority of job openings are never advertised. Instead jobs go to those with connections in an industry. So you can improve your job prospects by networking with others in your field.
Networking is really just about building relationships. Get to know people in as many situations as possible, whether it’s striking up a conversation with other parents at your child’s school, catching up with a former co-worker or chatting to your neighbour.
Take care of yourself
The stress of unemployment can take a toll on your health. So make an effort to eat healthily, get out and get moving, get plenty of sleep, practice relaxation techniques and make time for fun. Don’t let stress consume you to the point where you lose balance.
Focus on improving your self-esteem
Find ways to boost your sense of self-worth. For example, you might choose to sign up as a volunteer. Although you won’t get paid for your efforts, doing voluntary work can help you maintain a sense of purpose and value.
Regain your sense of control
Being unemployed for an extended period can cause you to lose your sense of control. If you feel that you lack structure in your daily life, develop a plan of action for each day. Keep job hunting as your main focus, but give yourself a sense of purpose by setting up and sticking to a clear routine. For example, exercise daily and invest time in teaching yourself new skills.
If it’s been a couple of months and you still haven’t found a job in your field, consider taking an interim job to keep you busy while you search for full-time employment that will suit you better.
If you’re unemployed and need a loan
If you’ve lost your job and are struggling to make ends meet, you can consider getting a loan to tide you over.
One problem, however, is that most banks require evidence that you’ll be able to repay a loan, typically in the form of three months of pay slips. If you’re unemployed, you won’t be able to provide this and it’s likely you’ll struggle to secure a loan.
A good alternative if you’re unemployed is a short-term, asset-based loan from Lamna. With this type of loan, you don’t have to provide pay slips or any details of your financial status. It also doesn’t matter if you have a tarnished credit record. That’s because you use a valuable asset you own, such as a car, artwork, an antique or jewellery, as collateral for the loan.
Interest rates are NCA-regulated and, once you’ve paid off the loan and the agreed interest, your asset will be returned to you.
For more information about using an asset to secure a short-term loan if you’re unemployed, contact us on 086 111 2866.
Client borrows R10,000 for 90 days.
Total Cost of Loan
Fixed rates range from 36% to 60% APR and payment options range from minimum 3 to maximum 24 months. Apart from the initiation and monthly fees shown below, the only additional fee is credit life insurance if the borrower does not have this already.