It's easy to think of job loss, or unemployment in general, as a dark situation, but like Mandino says, in darkness is when we see the stars.
There is a space that opens up when you have no job to go to. Sure, it can be scary and frustrating, but it can also be liberating and bring about a happiness that didn't exist before.
Let me tell you a story about a girl (me) who was without a job two years ago. I had just moved to San Antonio, TX, I was 27, and I had no idea what I was going to do. I was scared to death not knowing what I would do after using up my savings and also not knowing how to function in a large city. I got temp jobs here and there, but nothing came about for six months. For six months I woke up early and glued myself to the computer scouring for jobs. For six months I sent out tons of resumes, got a few interviews, and then got rejected. There were moments when I wanted to crawl under the bed and never come out. But there were also moments that led to great clarity and knowledge that I wouldn't have received otherwise.
What happiness can you find in unemployment?
1. The need for material things fade away. Before being unemployed I had what was almost an addiction to shopping. I needed this and that and I needed it right then. I even have journal entries where I wrote down how exhausting it was trying to keep up with all the stuff I wanted. I'd get one thing and then immediately felt like I needed something else. When you don't have a job and money coming in, you can't throw money around like that. What little money I had went to food and bills, but I wasn't unhappy like I thought I'd be. I actually felt relieved knowing that I couldn't afford all that stuff I really didn't need. I treated myself to little things here and there (a smoothie, an incense burner), but overall I felt free from material consumption.
2. Unemployment allows you time to think. There were days when I sat outside and meditated and journaled about what was really important to me in all aspects of my life. I had just gotten out of a long-term relationship, quit my job, and moved from Tennessee to Texas. There was a lot on my mind for sure, but not having to go to work allowed me to heal and process everything that was going on. I couldn't "escape" into a job and pretend like nothing happened. I was able to fully heal and learn what I needed and truly wanted in my life.
3. It also leaves you to do to all the stuff you didn't have time to do before. When my neighbor lost her job she mentioned she was actually quite happy because she'd have time to work on her art. I hear things like this all the time. People rediscover passions when they aren't chained to a desk 8 + hours a day. During my unemployment I journaled like there was no tomorrow. I was also free to hang out with friends in a different city during the weekday, take a nap at 3:00 p.m., and do yoga whenever I felt like it.
4. You are not your job title. Some people get lost in their job and allow it to define who they are. With or without the fancy title, you are who you are. If you're unemployed and feeling like a failure, stop and realize that you were never defined by your job. People like you because of who you are, not what you do. You have amazing qualities outside of what you did at your 9-5. Take inventory of everything you're proud of. Take time to get to know the real you.
5. New people can come into your life. I must say I have some pretty cool coworkers and don't mind hanging out with them during or outside of work, but I also admit that I don't make a lot of effort to go outside of that comfort zone to meet new people. Plus, after work I'm too tired to hang out and on the weekends I just want to laze around and read all day. When I didn't have a job I craved getting out of the house and meeting new people because I was alone most of the day. As a result, I joined a local meetup group and met some amazing ladies that I'm still friends with. You never know who you'll meet - maybe your next business partner!
6. Anything is possible. One of the best things about being unemployed for me was that I felt like anything was possible. My future was wide open. Yes, I had times of worry and doubt, but there was also this lingering hope that cloaked me in positivity. Write on a note card, "Something magical is about to happen," and place it by your bedside. Believe in that magic, and in the meantime, know you are right where you need to be.