Unemployment Survival Tips
At the beginning of 2012, my husband experienced a four-month term of unemployment. I know that four months of unemployment is nothing compared to what others are dealing with. I am mostly a stay-at-home mom so we rely heavily on my husband’s income. Fortunately, while he was working we had saved up the recommended 6-9 months worth of living expenses in the event that he did get laid off. He is in construction so this is very common! In any situation it is best to be prepared! Having that money saved made dealing with stress much easier!!!!
I want to share with you how we were able to cope and make the best of our situation during those 4 months. Most importantly, we reminded ourselves daily that although we were going through a period of uncertainty, we were still very blessed (roof over our heads, food to eat, family to lean on, etc.!)
· Evaluate your budget/spending habits. Although, we were already very frugal people, I was amazed at how little we could live on when needed. During that time we only spent money on items that were an absolute must!! Even having that emergency fund we made it our goal not to touch that money until absolutely necessary.
· Simplify while making money. Clear the clutter in your house getting rid of items you don’t need and sell them on Craigslist. I can tell you from personal experience that having a clutter-free house is so much more peaceful and comfortable anyways! We follow the general rule that if we don't love it or need it then we don't keep it!
Finding a New Job
· Is there a skill that you are really good at? Consider starting your own small business! I love seeing that people are taking control of their employment and starting their own small business. Last year, I received a flyer for a company that hangs your Christmas lights and takes them back down after the holidays. This company realized that there may be people incapable of hanging lights or just maybe not to fond of the experience. It’s obviously a seasonal gig but what a great way to make extra money for the holidays. On the other hand, we have a friend who started flipping cars which led him to opening a used card lot.
· Update your resume!!!!! Seek professional assistance when doing this, as you are most likely competing against several other applicants. You want your resume to stand out. Most, if not all colleges, have a career services department that offers this service. You should be able to seek help from the unemployment office too!
· Look at individual websites of companies you are interested in. Although the unemployment website/office links you to large career finder websites, the individual sites are your best bet.
· Don’t forget Craigslist. Craigslist is a great place to find jobs that maybe you never considered. One option we thought about was a newspaper route. The ad that was in Craigslist at the time stated that we would get paid $350-$400 weekly. That’s not too bad for working a couple of hours in the middle of the night!!!
Be Productive With Your Time
· Catch up on projects. While cleaning the house you may have been reminded of projects that need to be done. There is no better time than the present and having that sense of accomplishment will make you feel good.
· Get out of the house! I recommend that you take advantage of your free time and work on improving your personal health. Besides providing you exercise, I think running/walking allows you to clear your head. Don’t stay cooped up in the house!!
· Volunteer! Think about organizations that you feel passionately about or where your skills can be of great benefit. My husband is very handy and works in construction, so when our Church requested volunteers for a Habitat for Humanity project he quickly signed up. Get out there and help others, for free!!
While going through the emotions of being unemployed with my husband, I am determined that people need to feel productive and useful during this time. Remember that you are a GREAT person and the right opportunity will come around for you! Stay positive and good luck in your job search!!