With the pandemic, we have been asked to shelter-in-place, meaning thousands have lost their jobs. The income they depended on to pay their rent and living essentials disappeared overnight. The loss of your job, income, and livelihood can leave you in a state of shock. However, when the shock of our new reality begins to wear off, a large percentage of American families will experience depression, anger, and frustration.
When you lose a job, it does not just happen to you; the anxiety happens to your partner, too. Here are suggestions for you as you regroup and move ahead together in this uncertain time.
For the unemployed spouse:
1. Give yourself a week or two to grieve. When you lose your job, you lose a part of your identity. It is important to make a peace with the loss and accept that it happened in order to move forward.
2. Revise your resume. Look at your resume and make updates and changes that need to be made. Pitch yourself as the most capable employee possible.
3. Tell everyone you know. Include friends, family, social media contacts, church members, and other organizations you belong to. They will help support you and remember you when you’re job hunting. You have an incredible resource in your friends.
4. Be a class act. Be the sort of person you would like to hire. Talking with bitterness or vengeance toward an employer will backfire on you and rob you of useful energy. How you act also influences your marriage greatly.
For the supporting spouse:
1. Encourage your partner with their past success. You are in place of influence when your partner feels defeated. Reminding them of how successful they have been and how much you respect them boosts their confidence.
2. Stay away from shaming your partner or making them feel desperate. After losing a job, people already feel badly about themselves. Your role is to be there and support them. Your actions help motivate them to find another job.
3. Continue being physical with your partner. A job loss can make you feel worthless and alone. Reach out to your partner with touch; hug them and remind them you are with them 100%.
What you both can do to help manage finances during job loss:
1. Reduce expenditures as much as possible. There are less opportunities to spend money during the pandemic. Use this time to talk about your finances and get on the same pages with what is necessary and what is not.
2. Make every effort possible to not spend money in savings as well as 401K’s, and pensions.
3. Invest your time in what is most important. That means your relationship, family, and your faith. These things are priceless.
Losing a job is worrisome; your family depends on the money and insurance. But the loss of a job is not a loss of your values, worth, or survival. You cannot control what happens with your job, but you can control how you react and go on.