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How to Support your Spouse Through a Layoff

Anuja Marathe Kanhere
One of the side effects of an economic depression happens to be layoff from employment. An employment layoff is naturally very depressing not only for an employee but also for his/her whole family. Let's see how to handle this situation.
Economic downturn or turmoil in the economy can have many unfavorable repercussions. Unstable jobs and large-scale layoffs are frequent during an economic depression. In spite of efficiency and dedication towards one's job, an employee faces a constant fear of layoff by the organization, in order to handle the economic depression.
If the situation befalls your spouse too, then it is your sole responsibility as a husband or wife to help your spouse get through this jobless phase and move on. Listed here are a few things to do and things not to do to support your spouse through a layoff, and still ensure that your ship sails smoothly.

The Pink Slip: The Initial Reaction

When your spouse receives a pink slip, it is natural for you to be suddenly disappointed, frustrated and may be even feel depressed. If you are employed too, then there is an assurance of some income flowing in at regular intervals.
However, the sudden layoff can cause a huge financial crunch in families where only one spouse is working, or when there are young children to be taken care of. This might sound way too practical, but it is you who needs to recover first from the initial shock so as to support your spouse post the job layoff.

Sounding Board

The state of joblessness may lead your spouse to vent out his or her frustration on you for a few days. However, this reaction is natural, and should be handled sympathetically without flaring up yourself. Your spouse will recover faster from the shock of being unemployed once all the anger dies down.
You may use motivating and encouraging language to assure your spouse that there is life beyond the layoff too. Be a good listener and try to counsel your spouse to come out of the situation as quickly as possible. There is a necessity to assure your spouse that he or she is still loved and much wanted by the entire family.
Any hints of feeling unwanted or incapable should be erased promptly. However, you can also help your spouse through a layoff by refraining from passing reminders to search for a new job. After all, your partner is not happy to be at home without a job and an assurance of a steady income.
Refrain from sticking job vacancies or listings around the house to catch your spouse's attention. In case your spouse requests for your help and support in searching a new job, then go ahead and take the utmost efforts to help him/her search a new job.

Rework Finances

One of the most important step to take when dealing with a layoff situation is to rework your finances. You might have to start by curtailing your expenses and reworking your financial plans with the help of your spouse to make the situation easier. You may opt for professional advice, in order to plan your future savings.
If you and your spouse are paying off a loan, then you might need to request the bank or loan institution to rework the amortization installments and increase the duration of the loan. If your spouse had been the sole bread-winner, then there is nothing wrong in stepping out and start looking for a job for yourself to help support your family needs.

Unemployment Benefits

It is essential to apply for unemployment benefits, immediately after your spouse gets his/her pink slip. These monetary benefits can help by reducing the sudden monetary shortage faced by your family. The United States offers unemployment benefits or social welfare benefits to all their unemployed citizens provided they qualify for their criteria.
The application for the same needs to be supported with certificates stating the reason for unemployment and willingness to work if there is a job opportunity. The processing time for unemployment benefits is generally two weeks.
However, these benefits are not available for people who are self-employed or working part-time, or doing temporary jobs. The benefit amount is approximately 36% of the person's regular income.

Search for the Brighter Side

Your spouse will gradually start making rapid attempts to secure a new job. So, encourage your partner to help you take care of your home and kids while they are free. You may even support a temporary or part-time job till the perfect full-time job comes by. Your spouse may also use this time to update their knowledge by taking some special training courses.
And do not forget, that such time is also an opportunity to spend as much time with each other as possible. There are numerous things to do, be it a day of trekking, bird-watching, walking on the beaches or watching movies. Don't brood too much on the situation, help your spouse find the brighter side of this situation.
Be as supportive as you can and perform your daily duties. Avoid playing the blame game with your spouse and creating resentment in your relationship. There is no better healer in troubled times than meditation and prayers. If you or your spouse are religious by nature then pray to avoid stress and help your spouse stay focused on rebuilding his/her career.