I’ve worked at an IT firm for the last twenty years after moving out here from Europe, but I was recently made redundant in a cost cutting measure. Even though it’s only been a few months without a job, I am struggling.
I am 48 years old and have worked all of my life, going through university and really working all hours possible to get to the position I was in.
Now I sit at home, struggling to find suitable, gainful employment and I almost feel worthless and a burden to society and my family in a way. It really is soul destroying sitting alone, day after day, applying for jobs that I am more than capable to do. What gets me most and I don’t know why, is that often I don’t even hear anything at all back from the many applications that I send out.
Financially speaking, without my wage coming in, things are tight and I cannot provide the lifestyle that my wife and two daughters are accustomed to. Are things and am I as hopeless as it now appears?
I just want to say, I read your column every week and as it is one of the few English language newspapers, I look out for it here as it reminds me a bit of home. So, thank you in advance for listening to me and to the other readers you help.
“We are unnecessarily wasting our precious resources in wars… if we must wage war, we have to do it on unemployment, disease, poverty, and backwardness.”Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Thank you for your kind words. I am sorry to hear about your current experiences, especially given that you have spent your entire life working to provide for yourself and your loved ones in order to avoid a situation such as this.
It is devastating when we feel that something, we have worked so hard to achieve, slips through our fingers like grains of sand. You raise a very common fear that we all share from time to time when you ask whether or not you are hopeless. Whilst this sense of hopelessness that you carry is absolutely understandable, it is potentially harmful to you moving forwards. Maintain awareness during this time to avoid the negative thoughts that often spiral when we are faced with uncertainty or doubt. Remind yourself each and every day that you are not hopeless, nor worthless. You are not a burden. You have not failed and you have not let yourself or anybody else for that matter, down.
There are certain steps that you can take at this time to ensure that you do not buckle under the mounting pressure and that you claw back the hope that you feel to have lost.
· Rebuild your self-worth: Whilst you may or may not be able to sustain the lifestyle that you and your family members are used to for the coming months or more, prioritise your health and your well-being. Yes, you are 48 years old and whilst your circumstances were in no way planned, have belief in yourself that you can embrace the positives of this situation. Reframing your redundancy logically in your mind will enable you to see that in fact, you have been handed an opportunity for change. This can be a gift if you choose to see it that way. You have experience and wisdom in all of your years of working that are invaluable. You have a family that loves you. Keep sending out the applications.
· Research research, research: With regards to the positions that you are applying for, are you being open to all of the potential avenues of employment? Could you be open to a different career path or trajectory altogether? With regards to your applications, have you considered sending a copy to a friend or two in order to gain their opinion as to any details you might have missed? Perhaps there is a way to refresh your current CV or cover letter? Getting feedback from others is a great way to attain alternative perspectives and insight as to ways we could potentially improve. There are also many articles online that explain in detail the multiple ways to modernise job applications and to ensure that your documents stand out from the crowd.
· Take a break: Allow yourself time to prioritise relaxation and rest, particularly if you are experiencing high bouts of stress or anxiety. Whilst this may prove difficult initially, attempt to take at least one hour each day to do something restorative. Perhaps this is something as simple as taking a nap or listening to music. Exercise, even gentle exercise, is a key way to feel active and accomplished. Taking some time to unwind and enjoy the moment, is a necessary act and will work wonders to effectively balance your emotions and boost your mood.
· Learn to identify depression triggers: Are you feeling intensely angry or sad? Are you sleeping well enough? Do you currently possess a healthy appetite? Are you avoiding the company of others? It is essential that you take extra special care of yourself during this period.
· Seek therapeutic support: If you find that you are experiencing a feeling of overwhelming worthlessness or depression, do not hesitate to seek therapeutic support. The therapy process can also be a productive way to consider what your next steps should be and what you want for your life moving forwards. Resist any urge to isolate yourself. Talk to somebody and do not be afraid to reach out.
Above all, remain dedicated to your future goals and keep connected to your loved ones. Welcome each day with determination. A new job awaits you Geoffrey. Do not give up.
Wishing you every success and happiness,
Caroline Holbrook: Psychotherapist | Life Coach | Counsellor
If you are looking for professional and qualified advice in and around Sitges (Spain), then please call me directly at +34 603 63 29 24. If you are based remotely, then you can also email me at email@example.com Either way, more information about the services I offer can be found here at the Here to Help website.