In my daily life, I encounter a large number of people who are currently unemployed. Almost to a person, aside from feelings of depression, anger, guilt, remorse, frustration etc.the one thing many have in common is a desire to move ahead and “put all of this behind me as fast as possible and forget”.
I will suggest however, that the feelings that go along with the period of unemployment be remembered. This sometimes initially strikes people as odd. Here’s my point. When we are at a low point in our careers which in turn affects our personal lives and those around us, it is a safe bet that we all wish for things to change and by consequence, feel an uplifting consequently of our self esteem, our self worth and our value to others. Once we have gained employment and taken back the positive feelings that come with it, remembering what it was like AT THE TIME can help us reach out to others, be more compassionate, more tolerant, and helpful.
When we reach out to others, lend an ear, provide some kind of advice, or job lead, etc. what we are really doing is providing hope. Helping others by having a self awareness of our own past and the feelings that were very real to us at the time, is not only helpful to others in the position we were in, but it can help ourselves.
As an Employment Counsellor, I am reminded daily of times in my own life when I was between jobs. Those memories have given me a strong appreciation for the employment I now have. I like to think I’m a better person now for having gone through that period (one I nonetheless don’t want to repeat!). The best way I believe to empathize not sympathize with others than is to allow yourself to get in touch with the real feelings that you may be experiencing during your unemployment. Resist the temptation to wallow in those feelings, but pay attention to them and recognize them for what they are.
Moving forward can be much more productive if you consider consciously being aware of your present situation and the emotional turbulence you are experiencing.