By Diane Stafford
Paul Smith is looking for work. And in this job market, that can be a frustrating and scary thing.
He’s been fortunate to have some severance pay, but that runs out next month, and he’s facing the prospect of tapping his 401(k) savings — money he’d counted on to help in retirement.
In short, he’s worried. But he is working hard to keep worry and depression at bay. What he’s trying to do for himself during this troublesome out-of-work time may be smart advice for others:
“It’s good to point out there are good points to this time in a person’s life,” Smith said.
The good points start with the time he’s been able to spend with his youngest child. When he was working, he missed a lot of time with his children. Those lost hours, like the current opportunity for face time, will never come again, he quite rightly notes.
“When I do land, I’ll be right back in the busy, busy world, juggling a lot of things, and won’t get to all the home projects and discussions with my kids I’ve had now,” Smith said.
He’s not trying to come across as some Daddy Pollyanna, wearing irrationally rose-colored glasses. Financial security is huge.
And, “in a job search there will inevitably be down days,” Smith acknowledged. But “when this happens, I’ll pick something that costs little or nothing to do that I like.”
He’s taken time off from his job search to go to a museum for free. He’s caught occasional move matinees for $5. He’s found little escapes from real-world pressures.
Head-of-household wage earners can’t let up, no matter how dreary the job market statistics seem. They have to keep at their searches, keep doing the networking that’s their best hope for re-employment.
But it’s vital, too, that they take care of themselves emotionally. Get out. Volunteer for a cause they care about. Play with their kids.
It’s good, too, when they step away from the computer, and try not to get overwhelmingly frustrated by sending hundreds of resumes that get no response.
Diane Stafford covers career and workplace issues. To reach her send e-mail to email@example.com. Read recent columns at http://economy.kansascity.com. She tweets @kcstarstafford.