A blog can be a useful thing. I went back to my own experience of being laid off in order to see what my husband might find useful in the way of support in his unemployment.
I found that I spent three days being really unhappy and worried. Wallowing in misery, in fact. By two weeks out I was earning money as a freelance and apparently pretty well fully employed in little bits and bobs of jobs. I remember that I kept applying for jobs for another six months, because I was assuming that all that freelance work would be temporary, just while I was looking for a proper job.
Here’s something I wrote in that first week of unemployment, as I was working on my resume:
What I have done my entire working life, it seems to me, is to gather, analyze, synthesize, and disseminate information for the purpose of helping others reach their goals. In lots and lots of different ways. Under “objective,” if I were honest, I would put that I want a job that will allow me to continue doing that, in a pleasant working environment, toward some goal that strikes me as worthy.
Yeah, I succeeded.
But I didn’t know for sure that I would.
My husband worries, as I did, that he will get a job he doesn’t want, and he particularly worries that he will have to take something that pays less. He worries about his English a lot, too. I worry that he will be lonely while he is jobhunting, because he is an extrovert. I hope he will take the training opportunity, but I can see that this idea is not appealing to him. Maybe even a little bit frightening.
“I can’t learn English,” he assured me.
I wouldn’t go along with that. “Nadia can’t learn English,” I said, “because she is a cat. You can learn English.”
There is a little bit of humor in this, since my husband has been living here and speaking English since he was in his twenties. English is the language we all speak at home. But his English, and especially his written English, is not near native. I can see that it would be an issue in job interviews and also in technical training courses.
I’m worrying about how my husband’s unemployment will affect me, I admit it. I would like it if he took a bit of vacation, perhaps with me, and then got right down to the training and job hunting, so that he would have a new job by the time the severance pay ends. And would not be hanging around the house watching TV all day while I try to work here.
I’m worrying about being able to fit in my exercise, which for me is a private thing, not something I want to do while my husband watches. I worry that he will not be up for fish and salad for lunch every day. I worry that he will be stressed and this will increase my own stress.
This is all pretty selfish of me, but I have a nice life. I want to keep it.