Lifestyle, Parenting

When the rug gets pulled out from under you {Dealing with unemployment}

We found ourselves in the unfortunate situation a few months ago, where we suddenly became a one income household. UNEMPLOYMENT. Such an ugly word. I’ve always felt myself envious of households where only one parent/spouse had to work. Maybe the universe misunderstood my envy? I didn’t want to be MINUS a salary….I kind of wanted one salary to be GINORMOUS so I could have spa days and jet around the world. So maybe…just be specific when you put anything out in the universe. The ‘man I wish only one of us had to work’  non-specific sort of thinking may get you into the same sort of trouble I find myself in.

When one goes through anything huge like this, you find yourself very obviously stressed, worried for your future, worried about your kids…wondering how you’ll store your makeup when you’re homeless. Maybe in a tree?? I don’t know. Normal concerns right? We have 3 children, a bond, medical aid….and and and….

Recently I’ve been on social media, and all of a sudden I spot the plight of so many people begging for work or food in groups. Concerned about their kids, having no electricity or money for petrol. I wish I didn’t, but I click on these posts and I see story after story…..of educated people, sitting without jobs. For months and months and months. Somebody with a diploma…working as a domestic. It makes me so sad…. That’s not how they pictured their lives once they qualified for that degree/diploma! Then my anxiety level peaks. I never in my life thought we’d be in this position. Initially I was optimistic as hell…..but when I see how many people are living this life, the optimism starts disappearing.

I am a firm believer in all the cliches :

  • When one door closes, another one opens.
  • Something better is on its way.
  • Change is as good as a holiday. (Again not what I was thinking when I dreamt of the white beaches of Mauritius)

BUT I always worry…is it optimism or stupidity?

Right now, I still find myself in a fog of optimism…..that this is better for our family. We’re getting more quality time together. One of us is available for the kids after school. There are no more crazy working hours. No more dealing with the emotions of being in a difficult, helpless and self-esteem destroying work environment. All of that is positive. Emotionally and mentally, this is the best thing about this situation. Financially….not so much. Kumbaya…we all stand together….ain’t going to pay the bills.

Some pearls of wisdom….for if you ever find yourself in this situation:

Stay positive

You’ll want to wallow in self-pity, but just don’t let those feelings over take your life. As a spouse, reiterate that you will be okay and get through it…together. You need to rebuild the self-esteem of the person that may now feel they failed their family – take that roll seriously.

Update your CV

If you need to work again, you’ll need to haul out that outdated CV and spruce it up…give it a makeover 😉 Enlist the help of somebody that may be good with wording a CV and cover letters, if that’s not your thing.

Think about what you want

The field you just left, is it what you loved and want to do again? Is this the change in your career you’ve been looking for?

Use your payouts wisely!

This one is important if you perhaps had a pension or provident fund payout. Do not think you’re Oprah now and splurge with your cash. Write down any and ALL debt you have. Look at your budget and obligations going forward. Does it make sense to pay off debt? Biggest first? Smallest? Leave it all in your account and let the debit orders roll off as a reserve? Invest the money? Transfer it to a new pension/provident fund? There is A LOT to consider here. There is no right or wrong thing to do…..

UIF

If you were retrenched or dismissed, get your UIF documents together and register for that AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! It may not be boat loads of cash, but every little bit helps when you’re trying to make ends meet.

CCMA

If you have any reason to go this route, consult with somebody first. Companies have resources, money, lawyers…something a newly unemployed person may not have. I am sure this is a hard road, but if you’re properly prepared, you may get your job back, the reason for dismissal changed, perhaps a cash payout. Not being prepared when you have a strong case, will cost you dearly here.

Stay healthy

I think finding yourself at home permanently, suddenly…could initially be fun. Think of all the snacking, naps and series marathons you could partake in!!!??? #LivingTheLife That is bound to take a toll though, so establish a routine, eat well and maybe incorporate some exercise into your daily routine.

Prayer

If you’re that way inclined, faith and prayer will get you far in this situation. You cannot know how powerful our Lord is, and think that He doesn’t have a plan for you in this situation. It may sound foolish to some, but only faith has kept me from completely losing my shit and sobbing in a corner all day. There is a lesson in this…there is a plan…our job (if it paid that would be great) is to wait it out (but I mean, be productive as well on your side. The Man Upstairs cannot do all the work 😉 )

So many people on Twitter have shared that they’ve been through this, and it’s been the best thing for them…they survived and are thriving today! Focus on the good stories and surround yourself with supportive people. The friend that offers you a loaf of bread from 1200kms away…..even though I hope I never need to cash in on that offer, it warms my heart to know there are people who care 😉 Those are the people you need around you right now.

I know I’ve spoken like this only happens in a 2 parent household, when I know the reality is that there are single parents doing it all, unemployed. If you don’t have a significant other, I hope you have a good friend or family member to turn to <3 Have you or somebody close to you, ever gone through unemployment? How did you cope? Any words of wisdom for my family?

Note: All photos used in this post are stock photos from Oh Tilly and  Wonderfelle.

 

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46 thoughts on “When the rug gets pulled out from under you {Dealing with unemployment}”

  1. These are some really awesome relevant tips, although I cant say I understand exactly what this must be like. Starting a business has been tough on our financials too. Faith has definitely kept me sane… <3 all the best, I know like I know like I know that God is faithful. And His plans for us are greater than our plans… In a year or two we'll be looking back laughing at these times when we stressed so much!
    P.S. You can't have a testimony to show God's goodness if you don't go through tribulations! xx

  2. You have just made me realise that we have so much to be grateful for, even with what we have. Im reading this and im getting so emotional because Im at a point in my life when i have days that i feel i just cant go on.You look at people’s situations and you think, it could be so much worse. Having a partner who doesnt get a salary at the end of the month can be so strenuous, and then you think – atleast we are not single parents. Family support and love is so important. yes, it doesn’t pay the bills, but it sure keeps you sane and healthy ( a smile , a laugh or even a hug can go a long way). We can only pray my friend, God has carried us thus far – He will not forsake us.
    Thank you for sharing what so many are going through in silence.

  3. Hugs*** thank you for sharing this. I might be facing retrenchments soon, we got the news last week and I’m breadwinner of the household. So worried as hell but also optimistic.

  4. I am so sorry to hear this but I love your optimism.
    Also those are really great tips and will help so many going the same thing.
    Wishing you guys so much luck with the job hunt xx

  5. Reading this, I was expecting that this post would go in a completely different direction. But, you’re handling this challenge in the most amazing way.

    1. It very well started out as a ‘woe is me’ post, but the more I typed and deleted and edited, the more I knew I needed to turn it around 😉 Thanks for reading and for the kind words. xxx

  6. Love this post, im sorry you have had to go through this, we have been here three and a half times now and not once have I had to put my makeup in a tree…you have got this! I am so sure you will come out better for it

    1. Oh my word…thank goodness somebody gave me some hope on the makeup dilemma!!! lol. Thanks Ella for the optimism. Seems so many people have been there and done that!

  7. Aaaw my friend. I know it’s been tough but you’re a tough cookie yourself. I’ve told you this before, you are definitely the older sister I never had and just reading this and knowing (not all, but some of what you’ve been dealing with) about some of the things you’ve had to deal with has been a real eye opener. There’s soo much I’ve learnt from you and I admire your strength. Know that I’m a message or call away because sometime we just need a shoulder when everything gets too much. Know that you’re always in my prayer and just like you, I believe that the Almighty has better in store for us. We just need to have faith.

  8. My husband was unemployed for a while a few years back. I also believe in all those cliches and can tell you with certainty we had food to eat every day.

    Another cliche I enjoy is that your test will become your testimony. Every time we ran out of money God provided in unexpectant ways.

    Good luck.

    1. Rolene that’s so inspiring to read♥️ my biggest fear is our bond at this stage…but Lord willing it’s going to work out. Your test will become your testimony…..I love that!

  9. Some great tips, and I can tell you, optimism saves you. I’ve been through this twice. Once as at 5 months pregnant, and a month later my mom also became unemployed. Then more recently, when my dad died and I became the only source of Financial stability for my family. You find a way to make it work, and you surround yourself with people who can help keep your spirits high, and not become caught up in all the negative impact that this has on your family’s lifestyle, etc. and you figure out how to survive in the meantime.

  10. I’m a firm believer in all of those cliches too. Something just right will come around for him, have faith. Great, practical advice you’ve shared x

  11. Such a good article Simone. I think this will encourage many out there who are fighting a similar struggle to keep having faith as well as making wise decisions in this season. I hope a job opens up really soon!!xx

  12. A friend of ours was laid off a last year. They have a daughter who has cerebral palsy – so he needed a job with medical aid and had to find one quickly. He worked in finance previously but couldn’t find anything and ended up taking a job in a call centre. He hates it but it pays the bills for now and he has medical aid. Dealing with unemployment affects the whole family as you need to make the right decisions for everyone. I love your tips that you listing, we often forget all of the logistics. Amidst all, you are still so optimistic and positive and you are still holding on to your faith. Good luck and hoping that 2018 will be a year where doors open up for you in the job market.#lekkerlinky

    1. My heart breaks for all these stories. Thankfully there are men/women that will do any job (as menial as it feels) to support their families.

      Thank you so much for the kind words <3

  13. Love the cliches and the last one, Prayer!!! So powerful. We have been in a similar boat for a good couple of months with my husband who is struggling to find work in his field which is dead quiet at the moment. He does odd jobs wherever he can because bills gotta be paid but these tips are extremely helpful for people who find them selves in this unfortunate position. Thank you for sharing #lekkerlinky

  14. When your financial future is uncertain, and your family’s security is at risk, it changes a person.
    This is a great post! I wish you and your family all the best and I really hope something comes along that will suit your new version of normal and help pay the bills!
    I will be praying for you!
    #lekkerlinky

    1. I agree….though I feel eerily calm. I think if I have to face the reality where I really have to start paying the bond (which will be soon) it’s going to be a different ball game. Lord willing something comes along before then.

      Prayers are always appreciated ♥️

  15. So true what Momof2LGs has said about a person changing you perspective in general is just different. You are handling this like a pro! Thinking of you and your family xx #lekkerlinky

  16. Great Article. I too was caught off guard when my hubby lost his job last year right after we had a run in with a bad building contractor who ran off with R82k of our money leaving is with a brick and cement structure. I prayed day and night 3 kids on school, bills to pay, Lord I need a miracle. Three weeks after hubby was out of work he won a R2.5mill dream home makeover with a construction and architectural firm now we have professionals building us a bigger better home right down to all the finishes. A home that we would never have been able to afford on both our salaries. So I firmly believe If one door closes another door opens. Just pray and have faith. God answers our prayers in his own time.

    1. Wow Abby…what a story and testimony! Something good has happened just today. Not employment or 2.5mil windfalls…but something I’m grateful for so I hope next year this time, I also have an amazing story to share. Thanks so much for reading and sharing ♥️

  17. I have been through this and it is horrible and very stressful. Looking after yourself and your family’s emotional health first is critical. Also, Prayer work and miracles do happen. Good luck when this. #lekkerlinky

  18. I saw this post flash by on my timeline a while ago and I thought, I should go read that. But then I was worried that I’d read it and I’d not have the words. So I kept putting off coming to read this… and today I thought, it’s time to pull up my big girl panties. So I read it and honestly, I still don’t have the words. I’m sorry and I hope things aren’t too rough. Such a horrible position to be in!

    1. Ahh thanks for reading though, I appreciate it. Everybody is sending me such good vibes…and on the plus side, got my first paid (actual money coming into my account and not products) gig the other day. So Lord willing..it’s a sign of things to come <3

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