Have you ever faced unexpected unemployment? If not, it's likely you know someone who has. Being out of a job may be precipitated by broader economic circumstances or by a lack of productivity and workplace fit. We may find ourselves out of work because we resigned, were terminated, or received a pink slip due to company job reduction.
However unemployment strikes, it has an immediate impact on our emotional and financial wellbeing. Our work is often closely tied to our sense of self-worth, and when our work disappears we can feel a great deal of worthlessness. Fear can rob us of a good night’s sleep. We also can find ourselves in an energy-zapping black hole of bitterness and discouragement. We may even blame God for what has happened to us.
When we find ourselves unemployed, how do we make the most of it?
Five Steps Forward
While looking back and assessing what we can learn from our previous job experiences may be helpful, our primary energy should be focused on wisely navigating the road ahead. We can have confidence that a sovereign God is in control of our lives and circumstances and that he will guide and provide for us as we walk in faith. Writing to believers in Rome, Paul reminds them of God’s steadfast love and offers a bedrock promise on which to securely anchor their lives: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good” (Rom. 8:28).
Trusting God and his promises, we can take positive steps in moving forward. Here are five.
1. Create a working-type schedule for your life.
In many cases, securing employment is a full-time job in itself, so structure your day and week accordingly. Manage your new workplace like you would in a full-time job context.
2. Get in a disciplined life rhythm.
This includes good eating, physical exercise, and spiritual formation. Though your finances may be limited, include some fun and recreation opportunities as well.