Then you start to see that your whole social life and friend structure may have hinged on the career you had or the location where you were working, etc. It can be a shock initially, so you have to prepare yourself and see some of the major changes that may come up and either head them off by coming up with a plan or just accepting them and readjusting your attitude. Either way you are vulnerable to feel lonely or that no one understands what you are going through because they are not in the same boat as you. Here are some things that may need to be acknowledged as you try to get through this change and keep yourself in the main stream of your old social life, or the new social life that will eventually form.
When you were getting paid more it went hand in hand that you would be out and about more socially to the stores, shopping, restaurants, meeting friends for events, running errands, etc. now, you may have to hold back due to money restrictions.
Your hours and your friends hours of operation may change drastically; this also involves when and where you meet for socializing like a park (cheaper than eating out) or over at one another’s house for a meal.
When you do get invited out to lunch or over to a friend’s house that you previously worked with, the conversation is almost always structured around work related issues. After awhile if you are with people who are all working and you are not; it tends to get boring listening to them recite the same issues and ask you the same questions.
There is also a certain wall that goes up between the “working” and the “not working” people when it comes to socializing. It seems as though some who would rather have some time off can’t get it and others who are about to be laid off are scared to death to come to the reality of the situation. If you are in the conversation or group mix, other people may project some of their worst fears or even some of their jealousy on you, no matter what your real monetary status is.
Watch out for advice that is over 5 years old; if you have lost your job in the last few years or months the systems, companies, employment agencies, internet job boards, unemployment offices, etc., etc. have all changed. So, if someone is trying to give you advice of how they tackled the job market in the 1980’s; remember that they don’t understand how much things have changed in the last few year’s or even the last few months. Just remember not to berate yourself because of someone else’s stories of how they got a job when no one else could and you should be able to do the same.
Change in our lives is sometimes a bitter pill to swallow, but in the end we may see that without that first initial change we could not have gotten onto the path that was our true and noble calling to begin with. So, prepare yourself to ward off some of the loneliness that being jobless can create and then you will have more energy and enthusiasm to make this experience the best that you can.