Best Tips for Surviving Unemployment

Take a break and relax while looking for a job.
Take a break and relax while looking for a job.

If you are one of the millions who are unemployed, it may take you months to find a job. It almost takes a special kind of skill or mentality to work your way through a daily job search and maintain a calm, sane attitude at the same time. As an unemployed person, you may feel anger, helplessness, being "stuck", and, ultimately, depressed. If you go down this road for too long, you may give up your job search and remain unemployed. This is a path you wish to avoid.

The following tips can help you establish a plan for finding the best job for your skills. Finding a job using these tips will take you awhile. If you need immediate money, then it may be easier, while you are looking for the best job to match your skills, to accept any open job in your neigborhood (local retail stores or restaurants, etc.) part-time or full-time that you can perform. You can, also, apply for all government benefits for which you may be eligible.

Search for Jobs Online

The process for finding a job is to create a resume and start looking for jobs online. Many job seekers use careerbuilder.com, simplyhired.com, monster.com, retiredstars.com (for older workers), and USAJobs.gov. You can search for jobs by job category and location on these search engines. You can, also, post your resume for potential employers to review. If you find a job that interests you, you can apply online and download your resume.

My experience with applying for jobs online is that the applicant rarely hears from the employer because there may be 300 applications for that one job. Also, you may find that it is difficult to match your job skills with the job descriptions since many of the open jobs require special certifications or licenses, or they are technical, requiring you to have worked in a specialized industry.

You may try your best to match your skills to the job description, but, in this job market, there are applicants that may be a perfect fit for the job, or there are so many applicants that the employer may have settled for a less than perfect fit for the job before seeing your application. If you can find the names of some of these hiring managers and speak with them directly, your chances of at least obtaining a job interview may be better.

Of course, you may still find a job by taking this route in your job search, but to increase your chances for success, I suggest you develop a plan for your job search that,also, includes all or some of the following activities.

Build Your Profile

 Building your profile involves more than just writing a resume. It includes writing a self-assessment of your skills that contains information on your successes in the job market, your interests, and overall career goals. Begin by listing the types of jobs that are best matches for your skills and interests. Answer the following questions. What are your key accomplishments in the jobs you held and in other pursuits? What do you spend more of your leisure time doing? Do you have multiple skills that match a variety of job categories? What differentiates you from other job seekers in your area? Five years from now, what would be your ideal job?

Building your profile will help you determine how to list your job experiences, education, and major strengths on your resume. It will, also, help you determine your self marketing strategy and the types of companies that may be a target for your job search. If you are multi-skilled, it will help you determine your first and second job category priorities. To employers, you will appear more confident about your skills in your written materials and on job interviews.

Expand Your Job Skills and Knowledge

If you determine that you have only one job skill, assess yourself very carefully to see if you actually have other skills you may not have noticed. You may have written journals of your trips, or created pottery that is displayed in your home, or worked on landscaping projects. Perhaps, these skills can become part of another job or a small business you create, increasing your flexibility in the job market. Take some time to learn more about these skills and how you may develop them into "money making" pursuits. Keep thinking always about expanding your skills and interests in as many areas as possible.

Network

Networking may be a faster way to find a job than using the online search engines or your local newspaper. Start with your family or friends. They may have contacts with employers or other persons who know where there are open jobs that match your skills. Your former managers or peers may know of job openings. Send these persons a copy of your resume and an email requesting their assistance. Call them regularly to check up on what is happening, from their perspective, in the job market. You may also find that retailers and service providers that you use in your area know of job opportunities for you. Talk to them regularly.

You can also open an account on linkedin.com and post your profile. On linkedin.com, you have the opportunity to develop a unique profile that includes not only your education and job experiences, but your job successes, your interests, and anything you might decide to mention that makes you unique. In your summary comments, you can request assistance in finding a job.

You can invite former employers, peers, friends, etc. to connect with you. When they connect with you, you can review their connections to find other persons that may be involved in companies that interest you. You can invite these persons to join you also. You can join groups with your interests and job skills and search jobs that these groups post. You can obtain information about a variety of companies, including their products, the types of jobs they fill, and who works for them.

Join a support group for unemployed persons or create a group in your local area on unemployed.meetup.com. Participation in these groups will help you express your concerns about being unemployed. You may, also, obtain job resources from other persons in the group.

Volunteer

Volunteering part-time or full-time may be another way to network and develop other skills. Volunteer work can be included on your resume and is counted as part of your job experience. The organization in which you volunteer may eventually hire you or may know of other job opportunities for you. This is a great way to obtain additional job references. Volunteering assists you with social networking. You remain involved with your community. Look for new organizations that you can help grow. You may have an expanded volunteer role in a new organization. Below is a selection of volunteer web sites for you to consider.

1-800-volunteer.org

volunteermatch.org

idealist.org

Manage Your Thoughts

I find that it is important to manage your thoughts while you are seeking jobs. Your thoughts have GREAT POWER over you. Negative thoughts can undermine your progress in finding a job. Develop the habit of substituting each negative thought you have with a positive thought. For example, you may be thinking that you will never find a job because you are over 50 years old. Substitute that thought with the thought that you have more experiences and successes to offer an employer than the average job seeker.

Remember that negative thoughts create stress and will make you feel overwhelmed. It is not the fact that you are unemployed that is creating the stress. Stress is created by your reaction to being unemployed.

Stress is also created by staying "stuck" in the past (i.e.perpetual thinking about why you were terminated) or by thinking about how terrible things may be in the future (i.e. I will never get hired). I feel better when I think only about the present because "now" is all that actually exists.

Besides substituting positive self talk about your situation, develop a daily structure. When you were working you had a daily structure. Put this structure into your day and you will feel almost like you are working again. Determine what your activities will be in the morning (perhaps, seeking jobs on the search engines), break for lunch, and, then, create your afternoon activities(perhaps, calling your network contacts or taking an online tutorial to further develop your secondary skill). Take breaks for exercising, meditating,listening to music, smelling the flowers, or taking a walk. These activities will not allow time for negative thinking and will move you forward in your job search.

Click on Rosalie Koslof's hubs on Managing Job Stress and Stuffed Animals Can Be Therapeutic to read about other ways to manage your thoughts and reduce stress.

Find the Job

When you add any or all of these tips to your job search, you will be better positioned to become employed in a job that matches your interests and skills. This may be difficult to believe, but, being unemployed, may be a rewarding experience. During this phase, you may develop new skills and make new contacts. Unemployment can be viewed as a brief respite before you begin the hectic work pace of a new job. I hope one day soon, you will be congratulating yourself for surviving unemployment and finding a job.

Follow Rosalie Koslof on Twitter.com/RosyNotes2.

Comments 1 comment

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 2 years ago

I feel pretty confident that if people actually follow good advice like yours, they almost always find a job.

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