Life is full of ups and downs as it should be - if there were only ups, we would never learn how to deal with the downs and vice versa. Unemployment is probably one of the biggest and hardest troughs that we must cross, and most of us dread the very thought of this word. When we have families to feed and kids to put through school, it's hard to face the fact that you don't have a job that puts money in your pocket and keeps you out of debt. But, there are ways to create crests out of troughs and turn your negative experiences into positive ones, by:

  • Being prepared: Calamity can strike anyone, so if you think you're sheltered, you're living in a dream world. It's always good to be positive, but with a tinge of realism. Only when you plan for emergencies before they occur are you prepared to deal with them without panicking when they do happen. And in order to be prepared for unemployment, you must have some money set aside as savings to cover your basic necessities until you're able to find a new job.
  • Considering other alternatives: While it's easy to talk of being prepared, most people are very often taken unawares when unemployment does catch up with them. In such cases, it's best to get over your depression and anger and channel them into positive avenues like considering other job options. Sometimes, being laid off from one job is a blessing in disguise because you may end up with something much bigger and better a few months down the line. I remember the day I was fired from my job as a sub editor at a newspaper that was downsizing its staff. I cried and moped around for days. But as I slowly began to develop my freelance writing career, I started to realize that I was making much more money working at something I really loved, with a flexible schedule to boot. So use unemployment as a stepping stone to greater or better career options.
  • Continuing your education: Some people feel it's a waste of money to go back to school when you're unemployed and have to pinch pennies to meet your daily expenses. Others however, see it as an opportunity to develop their skills and strengthen their resumes, a move that will hopefully help them acquire better jobs with higher salaries. If you're hoping to acquire new skills, community college is an inexpensive option.

It's not the end of the world if you're unemployed; all you have to do is have the patience to ride out the downturn and the determination to find a better opportunity.