How to Avoid Death by Unemployment

Can being unemployed make you sick? Worse, can it kill you? You bet! According to a recent article in the New York Times, downsizing can be downright dangerous.

Forget about the unemployment statistics that are powered, in some small part, by your getting whacked.  What about the trauma that stresses you out, has you on a direct trajectory to a dirt nap?

As someone who’s worked with the unemployed, underemployed and those teetering on the verge, I know which emotion rules their psyches–fear. And what’s lurking behind fear? Powerlessness. You’ll find the core belief that survival and success lie in the hands of corporations and in the heads of politicians, out of their control.

Take Back Your Power

Not. C’mon! I helped my cleaning lady morph into a pet groomer, an IT dude become a tech recruiter for the green energy sector, and a university student create his own job stringing tennis rackets and coaching kids. And look, not one of them is bound by a Daddy. They’re all self-employed.

Easy? No. But let’s face facts. Slapping a nitro pill under your tongue isn’t exactly a trip to Disney either, is it?

Come on! Do you really believe that if Generic Co. can’t hire you, it’s all over? That if the “Administration du jour” doesn’t create opportunities, you should pour yourself a stiff one and wait for the big one?

Take a lesson from the career jockeys, the folks who are always on the hunt and who always land well. What’ve  they got that the people in decline, readying themselves for the paddles, don’t? Their own confidence and power. They believe there’s a solution. And they find it.

Unearth Your Gifts

How? Focus on your talents. Focus on what you love to do. Research the market. Ask what it needs. Even bad markets need something. Then dovetail where you shine with what the world needs.

But the first decision is the most important: the one where you take back your power and start looking at what you can do. Skip the pity party. Evict your inner victim.  Stop looking at the empty holes in the cube farm, anticipating that yours could be next. Quit commiserating with anyone who’s mired in misery. And start examining your talents. Trust me, you have something to give. It’s there.

Has your health been affected by your employment situation? What’s your story? Got any tips for reclaiming your vocational and your medical well-being?