Loneliness is hard. We were not built by God to be alone; we need to be in community. Job seekers struggle every day with loneliness in two significant ways.
They spend a lot of time alone. They are separated from the people they used to work with, whom they probably spent more time with than they did their family. Where they live might also be empty as their spouse leaves for work each day and their children to school.
They are also alone because most of the people they interact with don’t “get it”, i.e., have no idea of the challenges and emotions of being unemployed. There are so few, and maybe no one they can talk openly and honestly about their experience without feeling judged.
When a job seeker enters Crossroads Career Community, they are no longer alone, and the hole begins to get filled. They have a community that understands their experience and can receive help in their job search.
I became connected with Crossroads Career earlier this year as an Ambassador and am so excited. Why? Because I no longer feel alone. I wrote How Long, O Lord, How Long? Devotions for the Unemployed and Those Who Love Them, to help job seekers understand the emotional journey of unemployment, something millions struggle with every year. I’ve been there (twice) and have been looking for ways to help those who are unemployed, as well as those who care for them. I struggled to find them, until I found the community of Crossroads Career who care like I do. I’m no longer alone.
I now have an opportunity to partner with likeminded people, to share what I know to help their ministry and to learn from others. I feel like an only child who just married into a big family. Suddenly, I’m connected with people around our country that care about job seekers. The opportunities for Crossroads Career are endless.
I attended the recent Crossroads National Conference in Atlanta. I came away with two observations. The first observation is passion. Everyone I met is filled with passion to help others. No one was lukewarm. They are excited and energized help others in this difficult time of life. They are committed to the mission.
My second observation was there are many unique and different ways Crossroad Career partners are helping the unemployed. While there are some common elements in most groups, I kept learning about unique opportunities from a Christmas Party for those in transition, to providing clothing for interviews to small groups just talking together. My hope is we share what’s going on in this big family so that we can all benefit from different ideas.
That’s what I meant about a big family. We are bonded together in a common purpose, but the “how” we do it can and should be different, and we celebrate those differences. Let’s keep growing and enriching this family.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
Dale Kreienkamp is the President & CEO of Thriving Through Transitions, a consultancy focused on helping individuals and organizations successfully navigate difficult, personal and professional, transitions and become better through the process. His professional background includes over 40+ years as a Human Resources Executive and Consultant, coaching and guiding leaders. He is a speaker, and the author of How Long, O Lord, How Long? Devotions for the Unemployed and Those Who Love Them, written after he personally experienced a journey of unemployment twice when his positions were eliminated in organizational restructuring.