What to do When You?re Unemployed Long-term

One of my regular readers left a couple of comments on my Easter post, The Promise of Easter, that were deep enough in scope that I thought it best to respond to it with a full post rather than with just a comment. The subject of her question is just that important – what to do when you’re unemployed long-term.

One thing before we get started: this is a BIG topic, so this will be a LONG post. Anyway?

“What about doing some research to see how folks are using their FAITH to deal with the recession ? whether they have an income or don?t…How to not give up when you get tired of stressing over income generation and feeling something is wrong with you??”

What to do When You?re Unemployed Long-term
What to do When You?re Unemployed Long-term

Angela has been dealing with the unemployment issue for the last several years. Most people see unemployment as mostly a statistic?one the government confidently and regularly reports is getting better. Those statistics, I believe, mask much bigger issues. The number of people who are chronically unemployed, or chronically underemployed, is well in the millions and the options for these people appear slim.

The real story on unemployment

Some reports are showing the number of combined unemployed and underemployed is in the neighborhood of 17 to 18% of the workforce?that?s one out of every six adults who want a job.? Meanwhile, tens millions of people are still without? health insurance coverage. It?s an outstanding bet that many people are going without coverage because they were either unemployed or underemployed.

But let?s get past statistics?most of us know people who are in this situation and often we know more than a few. Maybe you?re in it yourself, and if you are you?re hardly alone. There are millions of people who?ve lost well paying, fully benefited jobs they held at the beginning of the recession, and are now doing a balancing act that includes part-time, temporary or contract work mixed with periods of complete unemployment.

Age doesn?t seem to be a barrier either, though it does seem most acute at the extremes. A report out just this week indicates that new college graduates face the prospect of a 50% unemployment/ underemployment rate upon graduation. And if you?re over 50, or even over 40, the loss of a job can mean the loss of a career.

How do you cope with that, either through faith or by tactical means?

Clear the decks – your life has changed

Denial can be your mortal enemy. Many people who lose their jobs continue on with life as they always have, confident that they?ll soon get another job that will restore their lives to ?normal?. But if you lose your job, normal might start looking very different, and this is especially true if you?re middle aged or older.

That may mean changing your lifestyle, maybe even radically. That includes spending less money and maybe even selling off some expensive possessions. It?s quite possible that your new normal life won?t allow you to keep your home or a late model car, and if that?s the case, the sooner you deal with it the better off you?ll be.

Stay out of debt!(!!!)

One of the first things people do to maintain their lifestyles after a job loss is borrow money, reasoning that it will ?only be temporary?. But debt isn?t temporary–it?s cumulative–which is to say that it grows and grows. If your unemployment becomes chronic, any debt you take to keep your old ship afloat will soon become an unsustainable burden.

Get a part-time job and keep busy

There are at least two reasons for doing this; one is that it can be vitally important to your sense of self worth to work at something productive, and the other is that it gets you out and about and meeting people in the real world. Applying for jobs on the web that never get back to you can wear down your self-esteem so you need to be out doing ?real? things.

Here?s a bonus third reason: some part-time jobs offer health insurance. I?ve compiled a list of some of the larger ones in my post 20 Part-time Jobs With Health Insurance – 2015.

Angela has an interesting story on her site about a young man for whom a part-time job became something more. We never know where opportunity will come from, and sometimes it can start with a part-time arrangement.

Get healthy (seriously!)

Unemployment is stressful?chronic unemployment is really stressful. You?ll need to take that very seriously. Eating healthy when no money is coming in is almost impossible, but you can offset this by eating less, which will also help your finances. The other half of this is exercise, and that can be a major stress reliever. Walk, bike, jog slowly, but do it every day if you can. Not only will it help you maintain your health, but it helps you to connect with your body and with the world around you.

Get new skills

The first suggestion on this is usually to attend some sort of school, but that costs money you probably don?t have. That shouldn?t stop you. Part-time jobs can be a chance to learn new skills, but you can also consider doing volunteer work.

Consider working for free?just a few hours per week?at your church, the library, a local school, a non-profit agency or even for a small, local business. You may get a chance to learn how to use a new software program, as well as an opportunity to obtain references and new contacts. You might even convert your volunteer work into a paid job. What do you have to lose?

Find what it is you really want to do

My final suggestion on the tactical side?you probably have been working to pay your bills up until this point, but now that that situation is gone, it?s time to focus on what it is you really want to do with your life. Most people don?t seriously consider this during their working lives, but this is an opportunity to do it. Start gearing up to do something you like doing, something you?d do even if it didn?t make any money for you.

And here?s something most people don?t like to think about (but you must!): if you?re middle age, and draining your retirement accounts to survive, you may not be able to retire. But you might still be able to semi-retire, and that won?t feel nearly as bad if you?re doing work you actually like. This might very well be another part of your new, normal life so it?s well worth embracing.

Some form of self-employment may the better route here, and I have a whole category of of posts on this topic. Sometimes the best way to deal with unemployment is self-employment because you can?t be fired, you won?t be forced into retirement and you have an opportunity to grow the business in a way you might not be able to do with a job. Consider it, even if you never have in the past.

Faith in the face of chronic unemployment/underemployment

Crisis can be a time when our faith is at its strongest, but if the crisis lasts long enough, and especially when it goes on for several years, we can sometimes feel abandoned by God. It?s a constant struggle to remain faithful in the face of a relentless, daily struggle just to survive. Making it worse is that you can be surrounded by people who are doing much better?people who are not in crisis?and asking yourself, why me Lord?.

How do we reconcile those feelings with the idea of a loving, merciful God? Are we being punished for a past sin? Or for not having enough faith in the midst of our troubles?


What we have to understand is that crisis is as normal in life as blessings are. Consider what the Bible says about this?

Peter gives us this message:

?Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.??1 Peter 4:12 (NIV)

And in the Book of John, Jesus tells us:

?In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.??John 16:33 (NIV)

Jesus is telling us in very direct language that we will have trouble! He doesn?t say may, might or could possibly?he says that we will. Having trouble doesn?t make us weird, cursed or condemned?its part of the package we call life. And He has us covered, no matter what we?re experiencing. In Matthew 28:20 he gives us these very comforting words: ??and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world? (KJV). Always, as in always and forever.

Along the same line, Job experienced an avalanche of troubles few of us will ever know, but here?s how his story ended:

?After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.??Job 42:10 (NIV)

No, we don?t like crisis, but its part of our lives and we can never know when God is preparing us?through our crisis?for something better.

In my own life I?ve found that it helps to focus heavily on the last time?or several times?we faced serious troubles. They may not have been employment or finance related, but crisis comes in many forms. It could have been a health issue, a legal matter, a broken relationship or just about any problem we can imagine life can throw at us. The fact that you?re reading this article means that in some way you?ve overcome what ever problems you?ve faced in the past. The takeaway is: God has delivered you through those troubles, and He will deliver you again!

I?d like to leave you with the lyrics to the song Hold Me Jesus, by Rich Mullins. Maybe it?s been around for a while, but I just discovered it, and find the words to be a real comfort at a time of trouble:

?Well, sometimes my life
Just don’t make sense at all
When the mountains look so big
And my faith just seems so small

So hold me Jesus, ’cause I’m shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won’t You be my Prince of Peace

And I wake up in the night and feel the dark
It’s so hot inside my soul
I swear there must be blisters on my heart

Surrender don’t come natural to me
I’d rather fight You for something
I don’t really want
Than to take what You give that I need
And I’ve beat my head against so many walls
Now I’m falling down, I’m falling on my knees

And this Salvation Army band
Is playing this hymn
And Your grace rings out so deep
It makes my resistance seem so thin

You have been King of my glory
Won’t You be my Prince of Peace?

(Suggested reading: Psalm 23. Though it?s often recited at funerals, if you read to the words carefully, it seems to me it?s more about how God navigates us through the trials of life. Read it from that perspective and see what it says to you.)

If you fall in the chronically unemployed or underemployed group?or if you?ve recently triumphed over it?what advice do you have for others who are still dealing with it? How has your faith helped you along the way?

( Photo by Bytemarks )

34 Responses to What to do When You?re Unemployed Long-term

  1. Hi Kevin:

    Thank you SO MUCH for finally getting around to working on your FAITH FORUM = I guess “nagging” does sometimes bring GOOD things(lol).

    On the serious side, I am looking forward to hearing the comments as I sure need some HOPE that what I have been facing since 2008 (laid of in my 50’s), others have faced and are now back to some type of normal living. And by normal I mean, that shame that lives with me daily when I head home with ZERO to contribute to my household.

    God has ALWAYS been there, even during the times when I was so ANGRY with HIM. He forgave me and took me right back into his arms. Folks, Kevin needs help with getting the word about about this much needed Faith Forum – so join in the conversations, suggest topics you would like to hear about and hey, maybe volunteer to write a post yourself. I first met Kevin through his “unemployment” forum and he asked me to send him an article to post on this particular topic. This was about a year ago, and ever since then, I have been checking on his site to see what has been posted.

    In ending, share this site through Facebook, Twitter, any other social network you may be hooked up to and of course the good old fashion emails and word of mouth works too.

    Be Blessed EVERYONE,

  2. Hi Angela–Thanks for the gentle push–I had been tossing around taking a greater faith direction with the site and this is step in the right direction. I’ll go back to writing faith posts, but will include more that deal with faith in day-to-day life.

    To stay on topic, is anyone dealing with long-term unemployment (or underemployment) who could add some experience or advice to what’s been written here?

  3. So many folks are giving up and we need to encourage each other and believe that 2013 will better. I am already walking in FAITH today 5/4/12 – BELIEVING that the recession is already gone…

    That is how I am coping today.

  4. Hi Angela–There’s much to be said for thinking that way. Yes, there are troubles and obstacles, but focusing on them won’t get us anywhere. We have to focus our energies on where it is we’re going, not on the crises that are in front of us. Positive motion sometimes makes the bad stuff go away, or at least to be less important. And as human beings I think we need to be heading in a positive direction. Not easy when the problems you have are very real, but we need to know that there’s hope. God is there walking with us, but we have to go forward into the unknown for him to help us. Sitting in the same place can be a trap. If we’re out moving, there’s a chance of finding something better and I think that’s what we need to focus on.

  5. Hi Kevin:

    I did not get a notification that you had posted a comment and glad I stopped by to see what was going on.

    The challenge for me today – understanding why my 25 year old daughter has not been able to locate a job. It is like my insides hurt for her today when she shared that she had to call about two jobs she had interviewed only to find out she did not get them. I admire her doing a “follow up” call as I no longer do when I don’t hear anything.

    Here is a young lady with her Masters – lol, then I wonder why I feel I should be gainfully employed – no degree. I do have plans to go back and complete my incomplete two year degree.

    Yes, FAITH is important – but like today, all I could say to her was “I am sorry” – I just did not have the heart to say anything else. I am now listening to Joyce Meyer’s “Power Thoughts”… Yep, those famous thoughts!

    Anyone else been in these shoes?


  6. Hi Angela–I’m reading Joyce Myer’s Power Thoughts book, it’s excellent and one I’d recommend to anyone going through a career crisis. We have to find ways to movtivate ourselves to keep pressing on and this book is a help.

    As to your daughter, I’m hearing more all the time about the plight of new college graduates, they’re even saying the unemployment rate among grads this year will be in the area of 50%! My son is a senior in high school and he’s been unable to find a part time job where we live. It’s difficult to motivate him to get more education when the schooling he’s gotten up to this point has no economic value.

    I think the solution, if that’s what we can call it, is to seek out opportunity, rather than a job. That can mean a lot of things–contract, part-time, temporary jobs, self-employment–anything to keep busy and bring in some money. Maybe we should be focusing on forward motion in the hope that momentum will carry us to our calling, what ever that might be.

  7. Hi Kevin:

    I did not receive my notification that you had responded to my comment but God was good and reminded me today/lol.

    This is AWESOME – I have been listening to her every day at the library while I work on my laptop. Nothing like having some headphones so as not to disturb others. And one of her subjects is the one you mentioned. I listen to that particular one over and over on some days – as she is so right, our mind is the area we have to really watch. Listening through her site is free – right up my alley. When I can, I do plan on purchasing her book for a donation. To be honest, I just don’t have the time to read for pleasure these days as I do book reviews for free on the side for “job hunting book” authors. The neat part about this, I got blessed with two paid gigs (virtual) from 2 of the 4 authors I have reviewed. Folks, you just never know…

    My daughter is doing a temporary job through Kelly Services that started yesterday. Thank you Jesus!! It pays $10 an hour and goes until June. She is grading papers for some university up north. I am amazed that they would contract someone in Florida to do this and not in their area. She is getting 40 hours and found the job through her old university’s website. I told her how proud I was that she did not give up and got blessed in the process.

    Angela J. Shirley, Virtual Assistant
    Whatever Needs To Be Done, Inc.

  8. Hi Angela–that’s great to hear about your daughter! It’s important to try what ever you can, not the least of which since you never know where it will lead. Everyone is looking for a full-time, living wage permanent job with full benefits, but those are getting harder to find. The best alternative is to think in terms of self-employment and take what every you can until some better comes along. At least she’s out circulating, gaining experience and making contacts. That’s putting the power of forward motion to work for you.

    “Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.”–Victor Kiam

  9. Today was a day of “realization” of what “miracles” are!

    Yes, I have been battling with “believing” since 2008 (laid off for the 3rd time) and at age 54 this year I had my personal miracle. Yes, there have been miracles throughout my life – ones I was not paying attention to/lol.

    This one I did!!!! Why?

    The power cord to the second-hand laptop I had been “blessed” with this January 2012 decided to act up, just when I do not have it in my budget to replace it. With the battery being old, I have to stay hooked up at the local library I go to use their free wifi. It was about 1 week of stressing myself and my daughter out over finding a replacement and the cost attached.

    LOL, just when I had resolved myself to going back to using the library’s free computers for 3 hours each day if they are available – the power cord now works.

    Now that is a “miracle” and of course the enemy tried to tell me each day I hooked it up that it would not work.

    Thank you Jesus for not giving up on me even when I had.

    Now your turn…

    Be Blessed,
    Angela J. Shirley
    Blog: How To Survive Unemployment
    Virtual Assistant Site: Whatever Needs To Be Done, Inc.

  10. Hi Angela–it’s those “little” blessings along the way that remind us that we’re always in God’s care no matter what our circumstances. Keep believing and looking for those miracles, they’re everywhere!

  11. Hi Kevin:

    I will be stepping out on FAITH towards the end of this month.

    What will I be doing?

    Taking the Greyhound Bus one way to Texas to visit TD Jakes and Joel Osteen – I have been watching them over the years both online and on TV.

    Today was a day of literally giving up on life or making a decision. It has been a year and 4 months of being here and finally over the depression and heartache. I had my last discussion about my relationship with “him” – finally realized that for the last 2 years after giving up my the apartment I had for 14 years to move in with him – has been years of me wanting things to work. Bottom line I realized today – he is not going to change and now it is time for me to save my own life.

    I want to make the move without “alerting” him until I am actually on the bus to make sure I don’t get put out or have the locks changed.

    I am so GLAD God never gave up on me even when I did this week. I had lost all HOPE and was just existing. Now I have HOPE – HOPE that I will finally be able to get back to caring about life and other people. I have been filled with so much hurt and bitterness there was no room for hope, life, joy and so on. I am still drained, not wanting to interact with anyone but my daughter (now 25) – but I will leave that issue with God. My issue right now, is to continue to make cash online to add on to what I have saved.

    The ticket will cost $159, which I have and plan on hanging onto. If I stayed past my deadline – I would have to pay on the water and electric again. I use to feel guilty and obligated and of course not wanting them off. But now realize it is not my job to take care of a 58 year old man.

    Tonight, I will have “peace” – the “peace” I have been missing….

    Be Blessed Everyone!

    Angela J. Shirley
    “How To Survive Unemployment” site
    “Whatever Needs To Be Done, Inc.”
    ***When you get a chance, google my two sites and stop by when you can :)***

  12. As long as man controls this economy its end is inevitable. I’m 49 and I got sick I tried to leave on short term disability but as soon as my company found out I was trying to do this they fired me and said it was performance related. I cannot find a Job not even an 8 dollar an hour job this economy. It’s a sign of the end times, don’t expect it to get better and if it has a temporary spurt don’t be fooled that all is well.

  13. Hi Ken–I’ve heard of the disability claim issue getting other people in the dog house too. You may have to try to go the self-employment route if you can. Find work doning ANYTHING you can, and try to move it forward from there. Activity generates activity so keep going no matter what. The traditonal job market has gotten so tight that you can be fired for anything and nothing, and as you get older you can’t rely on it. (BTW, don’t stop looking for a job, just don’t think of it as long term security, and keep working toward self employment).

    I don’t know if this is THE end times, we have had bad turns in the past. The collapse of the Roman Empire comes to mind, and the world survived that. The Depression and Word War 2, are another example. Just keep plugging no matter what. I know that sounds simplistic, but it’s really all we can do.

  14. There is nothing wrong with the seasonal projects that collect toys and food for the less fortunate, but is this helping the economy?


    What would help the economy?


    Our homeless shelters are filled to the maximum while more families with children are being added to the ones that now reside on our streets.

    If ONE person gave ONE homeless person a job, that would be ONE less person in a shelter or on our streets. And you can be that ONE person!!!

    Think of ways you could do this. Maybe hire one to cut your lawn. Wash your car. And so on.

    There are so many SMALL ways we can help a homeless person regain their dignity and ability to contribute to society.

    ONE job, ONE person off the streets.

    Angela J. Shirley
    A Homeless “Virtual & On-Site Assistant” (age 55)
    Whatever Needs To Be Done, Inc.

  15. Please sign this petition & tells others about it. It is located on the Change.Org website & here is a copy of what it is all about.

    The President of the United States
    The U.S. Senate
    The U.S. House of Representatives
    Barack Obama, President
    We need programs that reward employers for hiring a homeless person knowing that they may not have the best wardrobe or a way to work.
    [Your name]


  16. 3/1/16 UPDATE ON “Jobs For The Homeless” PETITION on change.org website. This petition has ended and I wanted to thank everyone for their participation 🙂

  17. GOD’S JOB

    To this day I have to pinch myself to make sure I do have the part-time job I now have. At age 58 this year, it has been 8 years of often wondering WHY??? and dealing with the anger of the unfairness of the economy. It was not until I stepped out on FAITH did my journey start to move forward and make sense. Lol, it took relocating to another state to finally get a job. Yes, I had been able to support myself with temporary jobs and online work – but nothing that I could add to my resume to prove my loyalty and hard work. This year April will be ONE YEAR in this part-time job that I did not apply for. Yes, that is exactly what happened. Last year I visited this retail store to purchase a pair of steel toed boots to work for Labor Ready which is a same day pay company for those that are not familiar with them. I had asked one of the employees for help when I saw him setting up shelves nearby. At the time I did not realize he was the Store Manager/lol – I just wanted help and to get out of the store ASAP. I hate shopping with a passion and really did not want to go there in the first place. Anyway, being the people person I was – I shared with him why I needed the boots. Come to find out he had a college roommate who was Jamaican like I was. I had been in the USA since age 16 (my dad was born in New York) in spite of being born in Jamaica and always got excited when talking about my island. Upon getting ready to leave the store, he offered me a job. Yes, I said that!!!! Now keep in mind (1) I did not go there to find a job (2) I have NEVER been able to find a job for 7 years at that time (3) I did not have to interview. And I am still at this job and on those days when I think I just cannot do it – I REMEMBER THAT GOD GAVE ME THIS JOB and he has a plan for me. PATIENCE is not my strong point but learning to be patient as I LET God set up things for me. I write this today to ENCOURAGE anyone who is either unemployed or underemployed (I am technically in this category now) – when you do your part and then let God do his part, things have a way of falling in place when you least expect it. Believers and non believers, FAITH works all the time. I would love to hear your stories. Let us ENCOURAGE each other. Thank you Kevin for this Faith Forum and I will be going back to tweeting about it. People need this forum!!

  18. Hi Angela – I think finding an income stream (which means not just strictly a job) is often about getting out and about, and you’re experience shows this to be true. That’s not just getting out in person – though that’s probably the best way – but also sending out emails, making phone calls and participating in conversations.

    One of the best questions I’ve ever heard in connection with finding opportunity is “Who do you know who…”, as in who do you know who needs a (fill in the blank) and asking that question of just about everyone you come in contact with. It’s amazing what comes up!

  19. Hi Kevin, to be honest – I did what I was suppose to do both online and offline to find jobs but never had any luck for 7 years. The same with my now 29 year old only child, but she COMBINED her job hunting with BELIEF. She stayed steadfast in her FAITH while I took vacations throughout the years. I asked her how she knew she was suppose to take a job offer in another state last year. She said she had a dream. The fascinating part about this relocation for her was the fact that shortly after, her old job ended up laying people off! I am learning so much from her faith walk as I battle my life challenges on a daily basis. Once you have been unemployed long term, once you get a job – the fear that you will lose the job exists. Satan knows our weak areas and mine is in my mind. Today was another challenging day at my part-time job as once again I was in the hot seat due to personality issues with another co-worker. To be honest, I wanted to quit!!!! But I knew that is exactly what Satan wanted to happen. With any job, there will be challenges and possible layoffs or firings. But if we give our jobs over to God to handle, we can relax and concentrate on doing a good job. Our jobs should not only be for an income, but also a place to show others what believing is all about. Years ago I would not have been able to apologize even though I knew I was not in the wrong. My flesh showed up this morning and I responded in a way that only gave Satan glory. I was angry and tired of the harassment! But I was able to cancel the damage (possible job loss) with my apology. In ending, DEDICATE your income sources to God and things will fall in place for you! My daughter taught me this and this is the reason I am still employed today. The old Angela would have either walked off the job or been fired for refusing to apologize. And yes, I am still very upset over the injustice but KNOW from past experience that something AWESOME is coming my way and I have to WAIT on God to fix things up for delivery. Being unemployed takes a toll on your self esteem no matter how long the length of the unemployment or your age. God is in CONTROL and when we LET him take the wheel for our finances, things fall in place.Thank you Jesus for loving me when I did not love myself or trust you with my life. I have no idea how long I will be employed where I am , but know you have some GREAT plans for me professionally. Amen.

  20. Hi Angela – I find that these verses help me. They’ve proven out in my life many times, and in the lives of others that I know. I find that God usually gives me just what I need, but little more – and it’s always OK.

    “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” – Philippians 4:6

    “Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10

    “Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4

    “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

    “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.” – Psalm 34:7

    “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” – Matthew 6:25-27

    “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

    A pastor I watched recently focused on Psalm 91, and said that it shows us that God will not exempt us from our troubles, but he will see us through them (Psalm 23). God is building up perseverance in us, and asking us to trust Him. It’s a difficult path, but when we accept it we find that we’re in a better place for it.

  21. Hi Kevin, thanks for the bible verses. Yes, I pass birds and geese on my daily walk to work and I MARVEL at what God has created every time I see them. Thanks for the REMINDER!!! I had a quick chat with my daughter via phone and that also helped me to regain what sanity I had left after today’s trauma. She has promised to come see me this Saturday. Nothing like caring people in your life for those times you just need a hug. The challenge for me tomorrow at work is not “disliking” these people that have harassed me from day one on this job and TRUSTING God to give help me to eliminate the “dislike” I am feeling right now. I NEED this job and that alone adds fuel to the “dislike” I am feeling every time the harassment is there. But God is so GOOD and I know he has my back as usual. Prayer, prayer and more prayer daily is the secret. Blessings, Angela

  22. Hi Angela – One thing you wrote really jumps out at me – “I NEED this job and that alone adds fuel to the ?dislike? ” – there is a definite connection there. The more we need anything, the more contempt we have for it. I think that’s connected with our deep contempt for dependency. We want to believe that we control our own destinies, but there are times and circumstances in life when that isn’t true. We need certain people and situations in order to survive. That makes us come to hate that which sustains us.

    It may help if you focus on the fact that you need God to sustain you, not the job. But the job is the method that God is currently using to make that come about. That may change soon, so try not to dig your roots too deeply into the negative feelings. Trust that it will change at the appointed time.


    Well God came through today just as I KNEW HE would!!! Have a “peaceful” day and did not have to deal with the “difficult” co-worker. In fact, I got REMOVED from her group and I had no reason to “think” too much about whether I liked her or not. Thank you Jesus for once again rescuing me from a situation that you knew was trying to overcome me.

    Kevin, yes God has been PROVIDING as technically I am not getting enough hours each week. I do ask for extra and get the usual “we don’t have a lot of hours” and I say thank you and ask again. I am able to pick up a few hours each week and GRATEFUL. The old Angela would not have kept asking.

    I finally figured out WHY God gave me this part-time job!!! Oh yes and it is such a comfort knowing. I needed to LEARN how to deal with DIFFICULT people instead of RUNNING from them – quitting the job. Or the other option, losing my “hot” temper and being fired. I did lose it a little yesterday as I “snapped” at the young lady who is 21. I had to ask God for help with the “disrespect” she shows me at my age (58). A bitter pill to take, but one I finally gave to God to take care of.

    Now I EXPECT another “peaceful” day tomorrow and was actually able to go back to wishing everybody (including the “difficult” young lady) good morning and actually mean’t it. Somehow I was able to “smile” and I know this was God.

    We as believers have to realize that if we focus too much on the job drama, we will lose the job and maybe end up homeless or on someone’s couch. Been there and done that a few years ago (couch and homeless shelter) and Satan had TRIED to SCARE me into thinking that was where I was heading again yesterday.

    As we get older, our PRIDE really takes a licking when we cannot provide for ourselves. I thank God every day for my daughter and it is only through him that we have a relationship today. Yes, lots of tears and hurt – but we made it and give all the credit to God.

    If there are any unemployed people out there, I encourage you to keep praying and ACCEPT any help that comes your way. I was at a point of choosing to stay in the homeless shelter rather than face the shame I felt with sleeping on my daughter’s couch. The interesting part is that when she too was in between jobs and had to sleep on a friend’s couch – she remembered my journey. I was out of the state at this time with my last ex. It hurt my insides so much when she called and I could not be there for her. I did not trust my ex around her, so that was not an option. But my baby came out of this who experience a stronger believer and knows God gave her the job that allowed her to get her own place again. She too had to LEARN some things and during her brief time of unemployment (about 6 months), she learn’t to appreciate any income she got. She has changed so much and I am so proud of her. She learn’t what I learn’t at an earlier age.

    In ending, sometimes we are the cause of our unemployment. Yikes, I lost many jobs when I was younger due to my temper and general irresponsible habits such as calling out and being late. If this is your situation, FORGIVE yourself and ASK God for peace about the whole thing and KNOW your next income source is on its way. Pay attention DAILY to opportunities. As they say, when there is a need – there is an opportunity.

    In 2008, that unemployment for 7 years was not my fault as by that time I had grown up. What made it more of a challenge to find another job back then was my age. The first 2 layoffs, I was younger and had a job before my unemployment ran out. In 2008 to 2010, I was on unemployment (back then they were extending the benefits) and living on my savings. You cannot ideally live on unemployment only. By 2010 I knew I was in trouble as my savings had dwindled to zero and no job in sight. I am mentioning this situation as an example of unemployment not being our fault. I did my part, but society did not help out. There is age discrimination out there in spite of it being illegal. Who has the time while unemployed to try to prove this discrimination. I just made up my mind I was not going to HIDE my age in spite of a lot of well meaning people saying I should. My opinion, they are going to find out when they see you so why waste my time and their time with setting up a job interview. If they do not want me due to my age, might as well save my time and gas and not pursue a job interview. Sometimes we try too hard and end up with nothing but stress and bitterness. I suggest you pray, seek both online and in real life job opportunities and also see if there is anything you can do online. I know Kevin does blogging. I tried it but really do not enjoy it or feel that is one of my gifts. I do online consulting for authors and businesses. I give them ideas on how to increase their sales. Yes, this was an opportunity that came my way a few years back when I was unemployed and desperate to leave my ex. As I look back I know God brought this opportunity my way. Real quick I will explain how. I was reading all the job hunting books I could get my hands on and keeping in mind I could not afford one book I really wanted. I contacted the author and offered to do a book review. He was my first online client and things took off from there. This is why I encourage any unemployed person to PAY ATTENTION to your life. There are HIDDEN income source messages there. God as a way of PROVIDING for us when we trust HIM and pay attention to life daily.

    Blessings everyone!

  24. Hello Everyone! Wanted to share a PRAISE REPORT for today. Have you had one of those days when things just seem to fall into place not due to anything you did or planned? Well today was one of those days for me = confirmation that God has been paying attention to me. To make a long story short, last year I had been frantically emailing and researching ways to get in some free Conversational Spanish sessions as the economy in my location in Virginia continues to grow in the Spanish Language. A lot of office jobs are now requiring you know both English and Spanish. Anyway, I finally made the effort to get on the local city bus and head up to the local community college. Now keep in mind that I have a bunch of “excuses” of why I could not do this since there was no way to guarantee the time and bus far would yield the results I wanted. I had received two FREE bus passes in the mail this week and figured it was time to do this. I got there, did not get what I wanted but decided to pursue my line of thinking while I waited on the return bus. So glad I did not give up as I discovered that in Virginia anyone 60 and older get to take 3 courses for FREE at the colleges. Yay!!! Although I do have 2 more years to go and not sure if I will be back in Florida by then – it was something to keep in mind just in case. As I was heading out of the Counseling Office I ran into a lady I had “smiled” at while at work not thinking she would be working for the college/lol. She remembered me and gave me a card and told me to email her so that she can research some “options” for my desire to get Conversational Spanish into my life. I know this was God and to top it off, she is also a Christian. In ending, the bus driver refused to take my FREE bus passes to and from the college so I still have them to use before they expire in October. Now that is God’s FAVOR on my day and now to TRUST him to provide like he ALWAYS does in ways I do not expect or predict. Anyone else has a PRAISE report to share? Blessings to everyone and their loved ones. Thanks Kevin for having this Faith Forum!!

  25. I personally have lost my faith and am embracing atheism after 3 years of unemployment. It’s the only thing that explains what’s happening to me.

  26. I can understand why you feel that way. But the fact that bad things happen doesn’t mean there is no God. I’ve learned that despite the bad things that happen, I count my blessings each day. At the end of the day I’m always pleasantly surprised at the number of blessings I receive. It doesn’t make my problems go away, but it does make me realize that somehow God’s hand is on me in spite of my problems. That’s the “juice” that keeps me moving forward.

    In fact, I’m having such a moment right now. My wife and I just experienced a new “issue”, one that isn’t likely to go away anytime soon. But once again I’ve counted the blessings I’ve received on this very day, and it’s making me realize that we’ll get through it. I don’t have a clue how, but I do know from past experience that we will, and for reasons that aren’t apparent right now. That’s an extremely comforting thought in the face of more troubles.

  27. Kevin – you sound way too optimistic. After 3 years of unemployment, I am out of optimism. I look at my future and see nothing…nothing but uncertainty and poverty. And to know that the people who put me in this situation refuse to rectify the situation and reinstate me is beyond comprehension.

  28. Nope, not optimistic at all. In fact, I have a generally dim view of the future. But no matter what happens, I’ll never quit trying, and I’ll keep having faith in God. The worse things get, the closer I draw to Him. Jesus Christ is the Light in a dark world.

  29. B – I read both of your comments and not seeing the REASON for the loss of your job as you mention there is BLAME somewhere. Not wanting to get into your business as I respect everyone’s privacy, would you like to share what happened. Maybe I can suggest some “possible” solutions. At age 58 I still live with the FEAR of being “homeless” again and to be HONEST, I have my days when I am ANGRY with God right along with people. I am now in a part-time job from hell that does not pay me enough and I “cringe” every time I have to keep my mouth shut and do what they say.

    Now it is not illegal what I am doing/lol – but it is an environment where I have to constantly ask God to help me with my “flesh” that wants to tell them off and hit the front door. Did that in the past and only ended up in a worse situation. I have no idea when God is going to move on my behalf and how, but HOPE is what keeps me going. The economy is CHALLENGING right now and I am not impressed with the political dance the world does every time there is an election in some location. It is time for the “regular” people to run their own country. Why? For example here in the USA, I get so “upset” every time I read about the Obamas taking “expensive” vacations. Lol, cannot remember when I had one since 2008 when I was last laid off in my 50’s. Anyway, just wanted to let you know I HEAR you as it took me being HOMELESS to understand the ISSUES I am faced with from age discrimination, long-term unemployment once my unemployment benefits ran out and of course obsolete skills for the office environment I love and miss.

    But not one to sit around anymore (did it for far too many years) I am now being proactive and updating my skills online due to once again not being able to go back to school at the moment. Start somewhere B and crawl if you can. Keep in mind that you are loved and respected on this forum and we DO NOT judge anyone and you are welcome to stop by and vent, share, praise reports and so on.

    Today I need prayer big time and just called my only child who is at church to call me after. Why? I have to go back into my job and so DEPRESSED over it. Yes, Christians are like all other religions – we need that HUMAN SUPPORT SYSTEM for those times we know things are going to change SOON, but not knowing WHEN, but know from past experience what to do. In my case, get to work ON TIME as this alone will get me fired – being late. Lol, been there and done that and not about to do that to myself. Why? Then I would be angry with myself for giving them a reason to get rid of me. Now they may get rid of me for whatever reason, but I have learned that when I am RESPONSIBLE about any job I have – GOOD things do come my way. Hope today is the day as Lord, I am so tired spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally. Be Blessed everyone and hope to hear from you again B. Angela

  30. Hi Angela – I’m SO with you with this line “The economy is CHALLENGING right now and I am not impressed with the political dance the world does every time there is an election in some location.” Politics have failed us and have turned into a circus that provides much fanfare but no hope to look forward to. We are in dark times, and that’s the reason why so many are struggling. When the time comes that we join together and realize that WE have a problem on a grand scale, we might see the change that’s always promised, but fast disregarded once elections are over. Our problem is largely that we all suffer alone and in silence, without ever realizing how common our problems really are.

    B – I became self-employed out of necessity when I realized that at age 50, there was no job for me. What Angela says about age discrimination is right on the money. The interesting thing is that I have the ability to make money on my own, even though no one would hire me for a steady job. And for what it’s worth, I had young, dependent kids when this was all playing out. I have to have faith in God when I consider this outcome, and how things could have turned out. I have not had a storybook life in any sense of the term, but late in life I’ve come to appreciate that I’ve been walking and living by faith my whole life and never knew it.

  31. Bottom line, God GAVE me the job I am in although I have to deal with my “flesh” on a daily basis as it is not enough in my opinion – but like the birds, as long as I go to work “on time” and show proper respect even though I am not getting it from some at work – I am able to pay my weekly room rent. Now that is God and not ME!!! Some know my story about how I got the job, so I will not go into details but hoping B will see this very quick testimony. B – I did not go into the retail store to look for a job as I knew from years of trying they were NOT going to even look my way (no experience and my age). While I was shopping for a “steel toed” boot to do “daily” labor (yes I had exhausted all my savings and not happy about having to do this type of work), I could not figure out which one to buy. I am usually a “sociable” person, and went over to ask an employee for help not realizing it was the Store Manager. He offered me a job and all I had to do was complete the online application which I did as soon as I got back to my room. B – I was totally out of this life as I was so TIRED of not being able to get a job and regain my dignity. Now I have to TRUST God with the job as I so want to QUIT and sit down and CRY. Life is not easy with or without a Higher Power in your life. But mine is much more “peaceful” and as I LET GO & LET GOD – things have a way of falling in place for my best. It may take YEARS for me to see this, but those PAST MIRACLES help to REMIND me of how GOOD God has been to me. If it was not for him, I would not be alive today. Yes, way before I had my now 29 year old daughter (only child) – I tried to take my life. It took moving away from family for me to realize I had to make CHANGES in my life!!! We can sit around and complain and be VICTIMS or we can pray and ask for guidance and follow the guidance. I am planning another relocation next year and trust me, I am on my KNEES about this move. While I want to be near my daughter who is moving back due to being homesick – I DREAD the family drama and no job. It took being moved to another state, following my daughter to get my 1st job in 7 years that was a “real” job. Yes I do the online work and temporary as needed – but I know God gave me this job. I HONOR him every time someone is in my face at work, but not going off on them. It may take going to the Ladies Room to “calm down & pray” or it may take walking away. One thing I do know at age 58 which I am teaching my daughter (who is a lot wiser about the world than I was at her age, in face I had her at that age) – we cannot control how people treat us, what happens to us, but we do have control over how we REACT. We can lay down and let people or situations walk all over us, or we can get up and do things differently. I do not have all the answers to life, but I know one thing – I am sticking CLOSE to God. Blessings everyone, Angela

  32. I am currently unemployed, although not long-term as of yet. I have found this article a blessing and provides a thorough biblical perspective on what to do — Lean on Him!

    I am learning to lean on Jesus so that he can direct and guide my steps so that I am not doing things with my own strength but through His.


  33. Hi Marita – Thanks for your kind words. You WILL get through this. It’s tough to have faith and to trust in the valleys of life, but that’s exactly what we’re called to do. I’ve known enough people who, upon losing a job or a career, ended up in a better place. That includes me. Have faith in that outcome. Sometimes God is just clearing a path for us to move onto something else. But I’ve also found He’s usually working on multiple fronts – be open to whatever he sends your way and sensitive to what He may be trying to tell you. It may not all be about the job situation.

    I like that link you included. It’s a long form version of this article in a lot of ways, and well worth the read. Thanks for stopping by.

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