Five Lessons Learned While Being Unemployed

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Five Lessons Learned While Being Unemployed

By: Terry Burgess, Founder and Men’s Mid-life Coach, Upward MC

The thought of being unemployed at any time is nerve wracking.  However, as you get older the more challenging it becomes to navigate the challenges of finding new employment.

Today I wanted to bring you five lessons I have learned about unemployment during my lifetime.

Lesson 1 – Take time to “Freak Out” or Mourn about the loss of your job.  I learned this lesson after I lost my job in 2010.  It is OK to take a day or two to adjust to the fact that you are not employed any longer.  Your immediate thought is “I have to find a job quickly.”   I suggest taking at least a day or two to work through your feelings of loss and hurt.  If you do not do this, you may see your feelings of hurt and anger showing through your personality as your go on the hunt for a new job.


Lesson 2 – Unemployment is not a reflection on you as a person.  This is especially true of involuntary unemployment.  Remember that unemployment is an opportunity for change.  Always ask yourself this question to help you “OK, how can I make this challenging point of change in to a positive opportunity for a better life than what I had during my employment.


Lesson 3 – Work your personal and business network – Do not crawl in to a hole and fail to use your networks to help support you and even find your next opportunity.  Many of the job opportunities our in the world are not found by blindly applying for jobs.  However, many individuals have found new opportunities by having members of their network recommend them for openings where they are employed.


Lesson 4 – Volunteer in your community –  A friend who I know who was going through a period of unemployment told me that volunteering at local organizations helped him in many ways.  He stated not only did he feel good about contributing and helping others, but it also helped him to avoid becoming depressed.   He also met someone while he was volunteering that hired him after getting to know him during his volunteering at a local non-profit organization.


Lesson 5 – Don’t overlook “part-time” jobs and/or temp agencies –  When I was unemployed I learned that it will be difficulty to find full time employment.  However, if you take a “part-time” or temporary job you will be able to keep cash flowing to help pay your bills while showing the supervisors your work ethic, knowledge, and skills you can offer them.   If you show great promise as an employee, they may end up hiring you full-time to avoid losing you.


I hope these five lessons will help you if your unemployed or find yourself in that predicament in the future.  If you have any other lessons you have learned,  please share them with me for future reference as I reach out to help others.


If you are needing help or discernment on where to go next in your mid-life journey. Please feel free to contact me for a complimentary 1-hour coaching session.  I can help you develop a simple starting point plan to help you get on the road from your “mid-life crisis” to your “mid-life rediscovery and redesign” for your life.  You can visit to schedule you complimentary coaching hour!


Terry is a Personal Leadership and Mid-life Coach for Men with Upward MC in Benton, Kentucky.  He can be contacted via e-mail at  or by phone at 270-493-0967. His website can be found at


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