Christian Living


Unemployed or Ready to Launch?

Losing a job can lead to anger, resentment, guilt, and depression. I once worked with a gentleman who, having lost his job, tried to reposition himself and do a job search, only to become discouraged after just a few days with no success. Then he started hiding out from his wife, pretending to be doing a job search, while in reality he was going to the library to surf the Internet and read magazines. He consoled himself in fast food and high sugar snacks and quickly added about 25 pounds. This, in turn, made him self-conscious about his weight and ill-fitting clothes. “I hated my job, but I am still angry about being let go,” he said.

This story is not unusual. New research confirms that losing a job can put people at an elevated risk for emotional and physical problems. Unemployment can start a vicious cycle of depression, loss of personal discipline, and decreased emotional health. “Depression can contribute to much longer searches,” notes John Challenger, CEO of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray, & Christmas.

Failure in a business, the dissolution of a relationship, a breakdown of health, or a financial disaster can also be a set-up for these negative, self-defeating feelings. Any of these situations can make a person a candidate for the downward spiral of anger, resentment, guilt, and depression.

To break the cycle, take charge of the areas where you can experience immediate success.

Five Tips to Break the Cycle of Losing

  • Start with doing what you can to stay sharp physically. If that’s walking two miles a day, then start with that. Notice the birds, children, trees, and sky as you’re walking.
  • Spend at least two hours every day reading or listening to positive, uplifting materials. Limit TV watching – much of what you see and hear there will add to your pessimism and discouragement.
  • Invite a friend and treat yourself to a great concert – in every city I visit there are amazing concerts at the local universities and churches every week.
  • Take a class – there are multiple agencies and churches offering free career transition classes and workshops in nearly any city.
  • Volunteer to help someone else. A man asked Dr. Carl Menninger, "What would you advise a person to do if he felt a nervous breakdown coming on?" Most people expected him to reply, "Consult a psychiatrist." To their astonishment he replied, "Lock up your house, go across the railroad tracks, find someone in need, and do something to help that person." Helping at one of the prisons, your local mission, or the Salvation Army will do wonders for helping you see your own brighter future.

Making deposits of success in life areas aside from the career and financial pieces are the best way to prepare yourself for success in those areas ultimately. If you are depleted in personal areas, you will come across as weak and needy when presenting yourself for a job opportunity.

None of these are directly related to getting a new job, starting another business, rebuilding your health, or finding another friend, and yet they are very much related. From these actions come the boldness, confidence, and enthusiasm necessary to nurture the success you are seeking in the work area.

"They say when one door of happiness closes, another opens. But the problem is... we look so long at the closed door that we never notice the open one."

What are You Doing While You are Unemployed?

In 1934 Charles B. Darrow of Germantown, Pennsylvania, was unemployed. To amuse himself and pass the time, he created a board game that provided the possibility of fame and fortune.

He originally presented it to the executives at Parker Brothers, but they rejected the game due to "52 design errors"! But Mr. Darrow wasn't daunted. Like many other Americans who have been unemployed, his situation and personal passion for the game inspired him to produce it on his own.

With help from a friend who was a printer, Mr. Darrow sold 5,000 handmade sets of the game to a Philadelphia department store. People loved it! But as demand grew, he couldn't keep up with all the orders and came back to talk to Parker Brothers again. The rest, as they say, is history! That game is called MONOPOLY. Today, it's the best-selling board game in the world, sold in 80 countries and produced in 26 languages, including Croatian.

In its first year, 1935, the MONOPOLY game was the best-selling game in America. And over its 65-year history, an estimated 500 million people have played!

  • More than 200 million games have been sold worldwide.
  • More than five billion little green houses have been "built" since 1935.
  • The longest game in history lasted 70 straight days.

So what are you doing while you're unemployed? One good idea is all you need to change your life!


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