Tips On Looking For Work
In early 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that over 40 states recorded an increase over last year in the number of layoffs. In February alone over 600,000 workers were caught up in layoffs.
Many of my friends are currently laid off. It’s definitely not a fun and exciting work environment out there.
The other night a friend, who has been recently laid off, and I brainstormed for a strategy for him during this tough time we came up with the following unemployment tips and strategy.
1. Reassess your finances:
What do you have in savings?
What are your monthly expenses vs. bills?
Try to focus on cutting any nonessential expenses from your budget. Living within your means will be more difficult as you make this transition. Update your budget with the new income amount and see where you can make adjustments.
Spend carefully, paying the most important things first: rent or mortgage, car payment, electricity, groceries, etc.
How much am I receiving for severance?
What do we need to cut back on, modify, or stop to reduce expenses?
2. Get the word out!
Tell your family, friends it’s important to have peer and emotional support. Tell your story to as many people as possible.
Ask your network connections to please keep their eyes and ears open for any employment opportunities that they might hear about.
Be proactive and do something career related every day. Anywhere and everywhere you go talk to people, network, and ask questions.
Develop a truthful smart summary explaining why you’re out of work. Future employers need to understand that the reason was not performance related.
Make a list of strong references. They should be smart, successful, articulate people who’ve seen you on the job at your best. Put together or update your resume, a powerful story that focuses on your accomplishments and positive experiences.
Research jobs and companies that would be a good fit for you to focus your search.
Ask family members to curtail spending, and help come up with ideas to decrease expenses. It is important that everyone work toward this goal and be on the same page.
Update or create your Facebook or LinkedIn profile. Employers are using social networks to look for employees these days, so make these sites work for you.
Consider a starting a blog, use it as your business platform; promote your skills to become a thought leader in your field.
3. Evaluate your Career Choice
Being too focused on one particular job may decrease your chances of finding work. This may be a good time to evaluate your career choice and take steps to pursue other avenues.
You might also consider taking on part-time work to keep you from hemorrhaging financially.
4. Avoid Using Credit Cards or Your 401k
One of the best unemployment tips is to avoid using your credit cards and only use them as a last resort. Relying on credit cards can put you in an even deeper hole given the high interest rates and associated fee.
Contact your creditors (credit card companies, etc.), tell them you’ve lost your job but are actively seeking employment, and request an arrangement that allows you to make token or reduced payments for a limited time.
Resist the temptation to tap your 401(k) or charge everything on your credit card. Tapping into a retirement account should always be a last resort. Not only are you depleting your nest egg, but you’ll take a significant tax hit.
5. Get help:
Apply for unemployment or other government assistance to help make ends meet and take advantage of it. It is a benefit that your supported while employed and is there for you as well.
6. Other Considerations:
Keep to your old schedule. Get up at the same time as you did when you had a job. Treat your job search as if it was your new job and show up for it on time every day. Looking for work is a full-time job!
Create to-do lists, schedules and action plans so that you can keep your life structured and measure progress toward your goals.
Eat well and exercise to reduce stress.
Consider pro-bono work or volunteering to help network.