How To Deal With The Psychological Backlash Of Chronic Unemployment
Having a job gives you an identity, a place in society. In a casual conversation men often break the ice by saying: “What kind of job do you have?” There is a stigma attached to unemployment so much so that people would skirt around the previous question by saying: “I am between jobs…”

Missing out on a place to go to work and the pay that goes with it can be devastating both for the individuals and the family who depends on them.

People’s self-worth and self-esteem can get in the way of survival. An entrepreneurial spirit on the other end sees no shame in grabbing an opportunity no matter how unpleasant it might be at the time.

A substantial number of positions filled have never been advertised. How then did people hear about it? Through the grapevine.

People in position of authority are sometimes very risk-adverse. Just like banks like to lend to people who already have money, employers like to hire people who already have a job. Sound stupid huh? But it’s true. Those who have been outside of the employment circuit suffer a double whammy. First they miss out on having a job, secondly they miss out on being connected with contacts that may open doors for them.

So how can you pretend you have a job when you don’t have a job? The short answer is: offer your services as a volunteer.
“Working for nothing is the lowest point I can think of!” Very well then but set your disapproval aside for a moment and look at the benefits: What about throwing your weight behind a worthwhile cause? What about having a place to go each day rather than sitting at home watching TV or worse? What about being respected because you donate your time for a cause you are passionate about? Nobody needs to know that you are a volunteer because you are unemployed. You may donate your time because you are retired or for some other undisclosed reason.

As a volunteer you have some extra benefits as opposed to an employee. An organisation may put on a party every now and then to show appreciation for its volunteers and sponsors. Mingle around and get people’s phone numbers. As a volunteer you belong somewhere and no longer feel like an outcast. The root of rejection behind you, your countenance will be much better at the next job interview.

Volunteer work is highly regarded on a resume because employers know you are not a narrow-minded, clock watching civil servant who would not dare venture beyond the call of duty. Volunteer work shows that you have high values. High enough to donate your time to a cause you believe in. Volunteers who have demonstrated they can be trusted may take on a management role which would otherwise be out of reach. It is especially true for senior workers whose experience can finally be recognized.

Any volunteers?