Throw an Unemployment Party

According to the US Department of Labor 7.2 million people were unemployed in the month of January 2006. This number reflects only those that have reported in to employment offices around the country. The number of people who no longer get unemployment benefits or who never reported their unemployment to the government offices would inflate that number dramatically. Add to those numbers all the people who have at some point in their lives been unemployed and the number would be truly staggering. Being unemployed creates feelings of inadequacy, humiliation, and fear. Depression sets in and before the pendulum swings back from the right the “I’m stuck in a rut” attitude becomes overwhelming. So, get up, take a deep breath and plan a party. Perhaps you know a group of people with the same unemployment status as you. Get them together for an Unemployed LunchâÂ?¦ or dinnerâÂ?¦or whatever the mind can conjure up.

Misery loves company. Why be miserable alone? Call up anyone you know that has become unemployed. Perhaps people you’ve met in line at the government unemployment agency. Plan the party around comfort. You want to be comfortedâÂ?¦you want to give comfort. Think about what makes you feel good. Is it a pot of hot soup, the smell of bread baking in the oven? Plan your party around comfort foods. Macaroni and cheese is inexpensive to make and one of the best-known comfort foods. In fact, many of what we call comfort foods are the good old stand bys from childhood days. Meatloaf, whipped potatoes, roast beef, spaghetti, fried chicken, ice cream, chocolate, and cookies. If serving lunch or dinner is out of the question consider cookies and coffee, tea, or be bold and serve large glasses of milk for dunking. There’s no need for extravagance, make it simple. You might even challenge yourself; figure out how to have a party on a shoestring. The key is to be comforted by good conversation and tasty food before the work begins.

The notion that we can always do it on our own needs to be set aside. Everyone needs help now and then. Make some time for show and tell at your unemployment party. Show your battle scars, that letter of rejection. Tell the number of applications you’ve filled out, how many resumes you’ve sent off, only to get zero interviews. Whine, wail, weep if you must, but get it out and allow yourself to be angry for a bit. Give everyone a chance to rant. While listening to someone relate a tale of woe, be compassionate. Just listen. For the moment, don’t try to fix it or make it better.

Ask each person to bring a notebook and pen. They’re going to need to take lots of notes. This is the start of the brainstorming session. Brainstorming requires several people to put their heads together to come up with a solution for a challenge. The challenge for each person present is finding employment. Look at your current situation in a new light, unemployment gives you the opportunity to do some soul searching. The time may be right to pursue a dream. Share your dream job with the group. Everyone concentrates on ideas to help you succeed in that dream. As the ideas begin to fly, write everything down. A really great guide for brainstorming and catching that dream you pursue is Wishcraft By Barbara Sher. The entire ebook can be downloaded off the Internet. You’ll fine URL in the resource section of this article. Use this book as a guide to move your brainstorming session along. Be sure to give everyone a turn. Things you never thought possible suddenly come into focus through the thoughts and ideas of others. There’s always someone who knows someone who just might be able to get you just what you’re seeking. Give it a try.

WN Murray wrote eloquently in The Scottish Himalayan Mountain Expedition , “Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would otherwise never have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: Whatever you can do or dream you can-begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

Take the chance; throw an unemployment party and who knows what may come of it. With a little help from your friends, you may find yourself with some good leads on jobs or doing something you’ve always dreamed of, but thought impossible to achieve.

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