My husband, a six-figure income earner, lost his job in the early 90’s when the economy was bad. It was because of some illegal actions conducted by the financial partner on the project. We’ve suffered bouts of under and unemployment ever since. We’re both unemployed now (Fall of 2009) and have been since July. We truly know what it’s like and that’s why I am a hard-working advocate for those under and unemployed.
One of the first things that people discover when faced with under or unemployment is how far-reaching it is emotionally, mentally and even spiritually, and how all this can take a serious toll on marriage and family.
Brad Remillard, co-founder of Impact Hiring Solutions works primarily with Sr. Executives. He’s repeatedly seen individuals “in transition” who think they have their game-face on during an interview, when it’s obvious that they are dealing with serious inner turmoil. For most, the reality of having to deal with unexpected emotions, thoughts and spiritual concerns is more overwhelming than being under or unemployed. Getting a job resolves unemployment, but how does one successfully maneuver through all the inner issues?
Well, the first thing to note is not to ignore the feelings and thoughts with the belief that they will be resolved once you’re gainfully employed. They will not. In fact, unless you deliberately work to process your feelings and thoughts to a healthy place, you will actually sabotage yourself. Think about it: What employer would jump at the chance of hiring a mentally insecure, emotionally unstable person, even with all the right qualifications and experience? And if you manage to put on the game face during the interview and get hired, these unresolved feelings and thoughts will ultimately surface and will most likely become the reason you find yourself unemployed again.
My husband wrestled with feelings of being a failure to such an extent that he wrongly concluded that I saw him that way too. Then believing that I would therefore leave him, he started treating me unkindly which was an attempt to be in control of the situation. Had I not realized the reason for his actions, we would be divorced and our children would have suffered the ravages of a broken home. Instead, recognizing the thinking process behind this atypical behavior, I spoke to his pain, (code for I got in his face), and convinced him that I had no intentions of leaving him — that I had every intention of going through the storm with him. He was so deep into his negative emotions and thoughts that it took several earnest conversations before he believed me and realized his own destructive thinking.
You need to deliberately and intentionally take every thought captive and cause it to line up with truth. Generally speaking, for many men, simply identifying emotions and feelings as anything other than anger is difficult. Women seem to be better at identifying their emotions. In reality there are a host of feelings and thoughts that can stir up anger. It’s these underlying thoughts and feelings that must be identified, examined and caused to line up with truth.
One of the best books I ever read to help in this regard is Telling Yourself The Truth by William Bacus and Marie Chapian. I understand there’s also a Workbook and a newer book, Learning to Tell Myself the Truth by Bacus.
So instead of going home and kicking the dog or punching the wall, or worse taking matters out on your spouse in reaction to all that’s going on inside, get out your favoriate wedding picture, remember your vows and determine to manage the very real emotions and thoughts by swiftly and thoroughly identifying them, then properly working them through to a healthy reality. Not only will your family (including your dog) thank you, but you’ll be able to be your best at that next interview.