by Kathy Kirchoff

Are you unemployed? Experiencing a variety of feelings? It’s common for unemployed workers to feel hopeless, worthless, and lost.


Maybe you are older and things were going along fine. The kids have left and you were looking forward to being comfortable, taking some nice vacations, pursuing your own interests, and being able to put additional savings away for retirement. You were planning to work a few more years and then you are hit with a layoff. You question how you are going to find another job and your future is up in the air. Your dream is gone. You are worried about your pension and social security benefits. You are now considering early retirement. You are discouraged and uncertain.


Maybe you are middle-aged with kids still at home, trying to cover all their expenses while putting aside money for college with a mortgage and two car payments. Now everything has changed. Your company has downsized and your job is gone. You are not confident about your job skills and have no medical benefits. Your savings are minimal. You are wondering how to keep the bills paid. You are frustrated and anxious.


Maybe you are younger, full of hope. You had just gotten out in the world and lost your job due to budget cuts. You have little savings or assets, your car and rent payments are due, and you may have young children and daycare bills. You don’t know which way to go. You are disillusioned and scared.


The current economy is affecting all age groups, emotionally and financially. Do you see yourself in one of these groups? You are probably thinking now what?


First of all, remember you are not alone. There are services to assist you. Check with your local WorkForce Center, job service, and social service agencies. Don’t blame yourself. It is not your fault. Be willing to accept help and do whatever you can to stabilize yourself and your family.


Next in Unemployment: This is Going to Hurt – a Lot. Part 2, learn what you can do to preserve your financial and emotional health as you look for a new job.


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