Civil rights activist Whitney M. Young Jr. said, “The hardest work in the world is being out of work.”
If you’ve ever been there you might agree. Being unemployed can be absolutely draining. It can impact a person’s self-image as well as drain the energy and motivation out of you. It has been known to sap one’s sense of purpose and dignity as well.
Even the sense of security and satisfaction from taking responsibility for your family can be lost when unemployed. But with all that unemployment can take, it does not have to take our sense of humor, self-worth or our sense of accomplishment, does it?
Take humor. The ability to laugh and make light of a situation can reflect a sound mind. It fights depression and self-pity. A person with a good sense of humor is often the type of individual others like to be around and may be more likely to be offered a job.
When it comes to self-worth, we would be wise not to let money define who we are. We must realize there are more important things in life than money — such as an education, having good common sense, having honor, decency and morals. We need money, but money has its limits.
Ecclesiastes 7:12 says, “For wisdom is a defense as money is a defense, But the excellence of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to those who have it.” — New King James Version
The New World Translation reads, “For wisdom is for a protection the same as money is for a protection; but the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom itself preserves alive its owners.”
Knowing what programs and agencies are available and willing to help you can be priceless when money is scarce. Such information can be a lifesaver in times of unemployment.
How about our sense of accomplishment? Must we get paid for our work to have value in the eyes of God? Jesus Christ invites us to work for a greater reward when he said at John 6:27 “Work, not for the food that perishes, but for the food that remains for everlasting life.” Sharing the good news about God’s Kingdom, Christ Jesus, a new heavens and a new earth where righteousness is to dwell, according to 2Peter 3:13 — all of this good news can change a person’s life who is slipping into despair.
We may find there is more happiness in giving than receiving and store up treasures in heaven that can never be taken away. If you are between jobs or know someone who is unemployed the following suggestions might help during an unemployment crisis:
— House-sitting: When people are away on business or on vacation and want their home to be looked after
— Cleaning: stores; offices; homes and apartments after construction, after fires, after people move out; housework (in homes of others); windows (business and domestic)
— Repairs: bicycles; appliances of all kinds (libraries contain easy-to-follow “How to ...” books on repairs)
— Handyman jobs: siding houses; building cabinets, doors, porches; painting; fencing; roofing
— Farmwork: Planting crops, picking fruit, harvesting
— Plant care at offices, banks, lobbies and shopping plazas
— Property management: janitor, superintendent which sometimes includes free living quarters
— Carpet and laminate wood floor installation, cleaning
— Newspaper routes (adults and children) and other delivery services: ads, bills for municipalities
— Moving, storage
— Landscaping, tree trimming, lawn care, woodcutting
— School-bus driver
— Photography (portraits and public events)
— Selling bait to fishermen
— Swap work: barter car repairs for electrical work, etc.
— Babysitting, child care
— Selling homegrown vegetables, flowers or juice drinks
— Sewing, altering, and repairing clothing
— Baking and food preparation
— Quilting, crocheting, knitting; making pottery; other crafts
— Bookkeeping, typing, home computer services
— Taking in boarders
— Addressing and filling envelopes for advertisers
— Washing and waxing cars (customer brings car to your home)
— Pet grooming and exercising
— Lock repair and key making (workshop at home)
Just remember what someone once said about the joys of working: “Work is the greatest thing in the world, so we should always save some of it for tomorrow.” Translation: Keep your sense of humor about work and your own self-worth.