On Monday the AJC featured an article about how anxiety of the unemployed follow them even after their return to the workplace. It went into detail saying after being unemployed, most have great fear once they are back in an office. For those who have been out for six months or more the worries can be "much worse."
There is a constant fear that they will not fit in or that this new job will be eliminated just as the old one. This can be even more stressful for those who have college degrees and feel as though they should have a job.
We spoke to Re'Nate Lopez, a recent graduate of West Georgia, about her unemployment experience after graduation. She left college with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Criminology, with the hopes of becoming a counselor or mentor for troubled youth. Unfortunately, she found it more difficult than expected to find a job. She explained how stressful it was to be unemployed.
"I didn't have two dimes to rub together. Luckily, my income taxes came in and helped, but it still wasn't enough. I was used to hardship, but not like this."
After five months, she found a position working at the local Walmart.
"It's frustrating to have a college degree and yet still have to monitor your hours at your job to make sure you are on the schedule enough to pay your bills."
This month she finally received a position as a Cadet Advisor at Fort Gordon. Lopez says the feeling is "bittersweet."
"It is great to be working in my field, but I still have to keep my hourly job because it is not a secure position. I feel like my foot is in the door and now I have to get in the rest of my body. Everyday I still fear loosing my job, but I'm not going to give up."
Karen Lingrell, assistant director of career employment at UWG also validates the AJC article. She explains that not only are people frustrated and stressed, but they have a hard time explaining their situation and how they feel. Lingrell offers ways to ease the stress. The first step is to realize that cutbacks are happening everywhere and if you have been in your position less than 18 months, you have to make them need you.
"Make yourself irreplaceable. Be the very best employee, go to all the offered trainings and be a sponge. Then ask how you can best fulfill this job and finally don't just be status quo!"
Both Lopez and Lingrell agree that patience is key to getting you through this difficult time. It makes sense to feel helpless, but you have to remain "diligent, tenacious and proactive" says Lingrell. Please also remember to use your resources such as Career Services, Department of Labor, and social networking sites such as LinkedIn.
If you are constantly updating your resume and putting yourself out there "something will come along, but you have to keep that hopeful mentality" said Lopez.