Isolation is the job seeker’s worst enemy. Anybody who experienced a job loss and went through unemployment for a short or long period of time will tell you that it is a difficult situation. Job seekers are going through different stages: demoralization, negative opinion about the job market, loss of self-esteem, etc. Here are the main states of mind of the job seeker :
The first days or weeks following the job loss are often perceived as vacations, often well deserved ones. But the situation changes if the unemployment period lasts longer.
Job loss will often lead to anger. After a few weeks of inactivity the person can experience a feeling of injustice regardless of the reasons which led to the job loss. Wasn’t I dedicated and efficient? Wasn’t I recognized for my qualifications and capacity to do the job? Wasn’t I appreciated by my colleagues as an amicable person? So, why did I lose my job? Why me? You start seeing the job market with distrust for being so unfair and ungrateful to you.
After anger, if there is no improvement in your situation and your job search is unsuccessful then comes withdrawal and isolation. You watch your friends and relatives going on with their daily routine. You see them going to work and coming home at night satisfied with what they accomplished at work. When they meet you they keep asking “So, what are you doing these days?”
At the beginning you answer that you are looking for a job and meanwhile appreciating your free time to pursue activities you didn’t have the time to do when you were working. Then after, when asked the question again you explain that you are looking for a job but it is difficult. However, after being asked the question many times you try to elude the question as well as them. Why? Because a person who is not looking for work does not understand what a job seeker is going through and how frustrating it is to have to justify how you spend your time.
In our society work gives us an identity. People evaluate us by our occupation. We wish it would be otherwise, that we could be recognized for our leasures for example but work is the reference which gives us identity and status. So, even though the question “What do you do?” is a simple question it is perceived differently by those who are unemployed for a long period of time.
Furthermore, work helps us organize and plan our life since we have to respect schedules and carry on responsibilities. For many people it is difficult to maintain this organization after a job loss. When you are on your own effectively organizing and planning each day may be more difficult then it seems.
As the unemployment period continues, it becomes more and more difficult to organize your life. Even though you reply to as many job offers posted in newspapers as possible nothing seems to work. You feel as if you are living in a parallel world, outside the real one. You are slowly tossed aside by your friends because you are no longer part of their world. Your relatives are becoming critical. They feel that you are lacking ambition and initiative, that you are not putting enough efforts on your job search. So, you are gradually withdrawing from social life.
You also have more doubts about your competencies and qualifications. Very few people are sending you back a positive image of yourself that would boost your confidence. If the isolation continues, you end up forgetting who you are.
Do you have to go through all these stages in order to find a job? Is it compulsory? No, not at all!
The Job Finding Club : a practical solution to isolation
At the Job Finding Club we recognize that job hunting is a full-time job. We provide support, understanding and encouragement to job seekers. We also help to break isolation and provide tools to reintegrate the workforce. The job seeker’s job is difficult to learn. You need the right tools in order to maximize the time you spend searching.
All our life we learn to work but rarely have the opportunity to learn how to integrate or reintegrate the workforce. For a couple of years now, resources have been available to job seekers to help them reintegrate the job market. The Côte-des-Neiges Job Search Centre offers such a service in an environment which recreates the workplace. At the Centre you will also meet people who are sharing the same objective: finding a job.
Professional counsellors are guiding the job seekers. They are giving you tips to stand out yourselves in front of a potential employer. They are teaching you how to do an effective job search and how to become autonomous and effective in your job search.
The Centre provides the tools to succeed. It also creates an environment that promotes the development of bonds between job seekers, of mutual support and a positive self-image. So, instead of isolation come and meet us.