Unemployment in the times of corona-virus: The psychology of job loss
I was sitting and pondering upon how this global pandemic is going to impact us all in different ways given the present circumstances and just then I got the call from one of my closest friend saying I lost my job, how am I going to feed my family and my retired parents whose pension is also not coming I am devastated, I even don’t have full-term income from any other source that struck me what can we as people do in such tragic situation that comes without any prior notice as these influence how we see ourselves, as well as the way others see us. The jobs provide us with a framework, routine purpose, and meaning. That’s why job loss and unemployment can be so stressful especially as be added source of stress with the pandemic and self-isolation.
Given this background, the world economies are all experiencing similar symptoms as millions of people are laid off because of Covid-19. “This is going to be a global pandemic of unemployment,” says David Blustein, a professor of counseling psychology at Boston College This situation can be referred to as crisis within another crisis. This is, of course, a financial challenge for many who have suddenly lost their income, but it also presents a psychological challenge.
In Psychology, Unemployment and loss of a job are considered as equating to the trauma of losing a loved one and a serious relationship tragedy, the emotions felt and the grief, symptoms all are symmetrical with each other. The further consequences of such a situation are the stages of grief, which run from shock and denial, through to anger and bargaining, and eventually to acceptance and hope.
It’s also important to acknowledge that emotions linked to a job loss may take time to process. One of the studies conducted included 100 interviews from the recently unemployed tracked participants’ feelings 12 weeks after job loss and then again, a year later. “At first people are really angry,” says study author Sarah Damaske, an associate professor of sociology, labor and employment relations at Pennsylvania State University but later the emotions turned more towards hopelessness and despair. Even after the great recession and economic depression that people were more vulnerable to mental health problems.
So how can people suffering now maintain some measure of balance in this unprecedented situation? This tends to be the question asked by everyone so the first step in this process turns out to be allowing oneself and others to help you. Identify and ask a friend or business associate to act as your job-search coach or mentor. Apart from these baby steps, one can also engage in the following habits for the same.
- Devising a search portfolio with a mentor and then follow through.
- Preparation of a video CV including the “all about me “and share it with everyone you Know
- Start the morning well. Get up by 7:00 each morning, have breakfast with your family, revise your “to-do list,” and follow through.
- Get out of your comfort zone- It's easy to let go but sitting idle is not the solution but searching for work from home internships or jobs is what will make it happen in further professional growth. According to most experts, about 87% of all jobs are found through the Internet.
- Exercise at least 20 minutes a day, 5 days per week. Exercise is a natural depression fighter that releases endorphins into your system and helps you to maintain that positive attitude and high energy level so necessary for successful interviewing. Eat healthy meals.
- Application for government assistance as appropriate. Upon layoff, immediately apply for unemployment benefits, tax credits, and home heating assistance, if you deem it appropriate.
- Smile. Laugh. Love. Hope Make every effort to maintain your sense of humor. No one wants to hire bad-tempered employees and someone who is emotionally upset so humor should be a way of life. Playing with children and pets daily.
- Consider finding temporary, part-time work. Think about taking a part-time job or consulting for companies in your area of expertise. Those who are employed are more employable. Whatever the position you take, whether working below your skill level or part-time in your field of expertise, this will generate immediate cash flow and help relieve some of your pressure while you are job hunting.
- Engagement in the learning of a new skill
It is essentially important to engage in the learning and updating oneself given the time during quarantine and being safe and of course take the time to login into Coursera or Udemy and learn something new. This will not only boost up but also make our way ahead and appropriate choice for the jobs.
This is an uncertain period for all of us but we are in this together and are going to overcome this situation with support and love but in the most uncertain also it’s the human beings who conquer the world as Japan stands as the model that even after nuclear attacks or so to say the frequent earthquakes and tsunamis so it’s the ruins that are the road to transformation so lets pass-through this pandemic with flying colors. Some sites for part-time work include Internshala, Upwork, target, and other similar online platforms.