Procrastination can be a major issue challenging people who are need employment. You have been searching for a job for months, maybe even several years now. You’re in this situation because you: were laid off from work since your company experienced downsizing, merged with another company or was sold; bit the bullet and left the job in which you were a miserable wreck; had a major client as a personal injury lawyer but got sick, lost that account, and just did not recover; retired and need more income; relocated to a new geographic location; were fired because you just could not do a good job for whatever the reason.
Perhaps you’ve been working with a career counselor or employment service; have networked like crazy, and been to loads of career expos or fairs; have been performing extensive job searches using Indeed.com, the great gateway job portal; have signed up with divorce lawyer offices but are not getting calls, have been on unemployment but it ended; applied for public assistance to make ends meet but were denied or lost it; or have taken part-time gigs that pay no where near to meeting your cost of living needs.
It is increasingly difficult that you get up in the morning with a positive attitude anymore. Television, book reading, listening to music, and engaging in virtually any other activity other than looking for a job has taken hold. You have become a procrastinator.
What is Procrastination?
There are lots of ways procrastination could be defined and explained using dictionary terms and personal experiences. To procrastinate is to put off to tomorrow; to delay; to postpone; immobility or stagnation. It is not acting. It is an escape from discomfort or fear of rejection or failure. Procrastination is self-destruction: it keeps people from achieving goals and objectives. It can be a disease with life, and depress (depress meaning to lower in force or activity). Procrastination can be a form of rebellion, or resistance to change.
Why is This Happening?
People who are unemployed for significant amounts of time are often stretched mentally and emotionally beyond their comfort and patience level, especially people who are having financial difficulties making ends meet, or are threatened with poverty, homelessness, or loss of personal or company property of value.
If a you’ve lost your health insurance, this adds physical problems to the list of real concerns. After a while, you just get tired of putting in the time and effort day after day with no or little result, and feel as if you’re just going through the motions. It takes so much energy, also it begins to feel like a waste.
Sometimes friends and family who appear to support you say encouraging words that begin to sound stale, and at times it seems like they think it’s your fault that you’re not getting hired. You begin to wonder too. You have been acting as if everything is normal on the surface, but on the inside, you’re hurting.
You don’t want to move. You don’t want to be seen. You don’t want to interact with life anymore. There is a powerful attraction to become invisible, and to escape from responsibilities which don’t want to have anything to do with you anymore. It becomes harder and harder to maintain self-esteem, have faith in yourself, and trust the proper job or career is in your future.
After procrastination becomes a regular activity, isolation creeps in, and depression begins to peer out from the shadows. It is not hard to see why people in this situation procrastinate. Unfortunately, what’s sometimes harder to see is how to keep the faith, self-esteem, and hope alive during this incredibly real stressful time.
Ten Suggestions That Can Help
1) Get out of bed.
2) Exercise (do something physical to move a muscle and change a negative thought).
3) Go outside and get some fresh air in your lungs.
4) Do something that is healthy for your spirit (pray, meditate, help someone, hug your child or another loved one, revisit your values, whatever works for you).
5) Reach out, talk to, and get suggestions from people who are in a similar situation.
6) Get professional counseling if you’re able to afford it.
7) Cry your eyeballs out, blow your nose, send out more resumes or make more cold calls.
8) Write a gratitude list to remember what’s good in your life, and share it with someone.
9) Be careful with using alcohol or other drugs to medicate your feelings.
10) Check out Mother Earth, the care and simplicity in how complex life forms and systems work. The earth’s abundance cares for a variety of forms.
Remember you’re one of these forms.
It is not easy to keep up the job search pace without dropping out some days and doing nothing. There is a Spanish proverb that says: “How lovely it’s to rest, and then do nothing afterward.” Just be aware that life is about balance, and procrastination isn’t the same thing. It could be stormy, but the sun is always there shining. Know that being unemployed does not negate your value or worth as a creature on this planet.