5 Ways to Keep the Faith When You’re Unemployed

untitled-design-7I accepted an internship with the hopes that it would turn into a full-time job. In March, I discovered it wouldn’t, so I started the long and sometimes frustrating task of looking for a job. Although it took a long time to find one (I started a new job last week), I was always hopeful that the next step in my journey was near. One part of scripture I kept in mind during my job search was “Knock and the door will be opened.” Here are some ways I nurtured my faith and strengthened my spirit during my journey to a new job.

Inviting God into my job search

Looking for a job can seem like a full-time job in itself. It’s frustrating. Before you start your daily search for job postings, pause to take a deep breath. Invite God into the search with you. You could imagine a door, or even draw one, and visualize God leading you to the door God wants you to enter. Ask God to guide your search each day and to help you be open to the possibilities that are out there.

Volunteering

It’s always important to give back to the community whenever you can, and doing so while you’re unemployed will keep you busy and connected to others. Your parish bulletin may have suggestions or you could call the parish office to see if they know of anyone who needs assistance. Check out websites like Catholic Volunteering or VolunteerMatch for opportunities in your area.

Maintaining healthy habits

Eating junk food, binge-watching TV, and lounging on the couch all day can be very tempting. When you’re unemployed, you’re already feeling low. Unhealthy habits can make you feel even lower. Maintain healthy eating habits, get plenty of rest and exercise. It’s tempting to stay up late and get up late. Having a free schedule was nice in the beginning, but I felt lost and unfocused. So I started scheduling certain hours to search for a job, pray, relax and spend time with friends. It helped me find the purpose that I was missing without structure.

Avoiding isolation

You are no longer seeing coworkers on a regular basis or going to office happy hours. And now you’re short on cash to spend on a fun time. It can be a lonely, depressing time and a difficult time to have faith. Are there groups at your parish that you could join — young adults, Bible study, prayer group, or others? These are a great way to connect with other people. And most cities have lists of free and inexpensive activities to do with friends.

Seeking spiritual direction

Meet with a spiritual director, one you have now or find one who is available. They can help you find ways to deal with your fears about the future in light of your relationship with God. It helps to have an outside perspective. Sometimes when we are stressed we can spend too much time in our heads. Having someone to talk to about your concerns can give you a necessary break.

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Unemployment can be a scary time, but it can also be one of unexpected blessings and a deeper relationship with God. Perhaps you will find a better job than you could imagine. No matter how long you’ve been searching, stay focused and hopeful. Your faith and a determined spirit will help you through.

Elizabeth A. Elliott

Elizabeth A. Elliott is a staff writer for the Arlington Catholic Herald in Arlington, Virginia, and a freelance writer from Omaha, Nebraska. She has degrees in journalism and music from Creighton University, an MFA in Creative Writing from Creighton University and a certificate in paralegal studies from the College of Saint Mary. Elizabeth has written for several publications including “America,” “National Catholic Reporter,” “Catholic Voice” and “Omaha World-Herald.” Elizabeth is also a flutist and has played for more than 20 years.