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Unemployment Survival Tips

Updated on August 8, 2013

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.!)

Enjoying little brother's birthday at the park for FREE and they loved it!!!!
Enjoying little brother's birthday at the park for FREE and they loved it!!!! | Source

Finances

· 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!!

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    • ssjarkin profile image

      Shawn Jarvis 4 years ago from Virginia

      Great tips. Don't stay cooped up in the house is an excellent point. I know first hand that being unemployed messes with your mental state. I found myself getting depressed and staying inside. Once I realized the rut I was in, it was a simple solution. Get out and do something. Volunteering is another great way to forget your own problems for a while. Well written.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I almost missed this one, Stephanie. I had managed to put it in the wrong folder; good thing I had time to go check myself. :)

      Great suggestions! I love that you had already saved to protect yourself just in case, and your frugal ideas are right up my alley. I especially love doing service for others while you have the time.

      Great hub my friend!

    • stephanieb27 profile image
      Author

      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      ssjarkin, I thought about linking you to this hub with your article about flipping cars but I am not that savvy yet. :) I love to see others making the best of their situation and finding alternative ways to make money. Good luck in your adventures!

      billybuc, thanks so much for reading my hub! This was my first attempt at using some of your suggestions. I played around with the capsules for some time. I'm sure there is much more to learn! Thanks again for your help!!!! :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It looks much better Stephanie; you are a quick learner. :) Now, when I see a poll on one of your hubs, you will have arrived as a Hubber. :)

    • stephanieb27 profile image
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      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      Ha, I thought about that. I didn't know what I would ask though..... :) I think my next hub is going to be about helping struggling readers. I'll definitely have a poll for that one!

    • tipstoretireearly profile image

      tipstoretireearly 4 years ago from New York

      Congratulations on having the foresight to save 6 - 9 months of living expenses before your husband was laid off! Those funds must have helped avoid panic, and allowed you to handle the situation gracefully. That's a great example to set for others who might find themselves in a similar situation.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      So glad you made it through a rough time. Your tips will help others to stay focused and positive through the transition. I would like the time to catch up on projects any day.

    • Louisa Rogers profile image

      Louisa Rogers 4 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

      Stephanie, what an excellent and timely topic. What a creative example, the idea of hanging tree lights. And getting out of the house, too, as it also helps to stem isolation and depression. Thanks for a great hub.

    • stephanieb27 profile image
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      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      Louisa, thanks for reading!! :)

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 4 years ago from Illinois

      How smart you were to have saved months of living expenses. I think many people operate under the mentality that events like losing their job won't happen to them. I also like your suggestion to be productive while out of a job--easier said than done for many, but the benefits of doing so are probably substantial.

    • stephanieb27 profile image
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      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      Thank you for reading and commenting, ktrapp!!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      Awesome, awesome hub! Congrats on being nominated a Rising Star! Your tips and expertise here are top notch and helpful to a lot of people. :)

    • stephanieb27 profile image
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      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      Thank you so much, cclitgirl!!

    • idigwebsites profile image

      idigwebsites 4 years ago from United States

      Thanks for sharing your tips. Also, spending time with your family is also important while you're mostly inside the house. Business straight from your home (and the internet will be a valuable tool) is also good. Voted up and useful. :)

    • mscott45 profile image

      Michelle Booth 4 years ago from UK

      Lovely, uplifting hub. I agree that it's a good opportunity to take action, catch up on jobs you've been putting off, etc.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Stephanieb27. I like your upbeat attitude and your willingness to overcome obstacles. Like your husband, mine was laid off in June and just started a new job this week, December. It's easy to get into a slump during that time as you watch your carefully laid aside savings dwindle to the bottom. But as you said, there is so much else to be thankful for. And your ideas for having the kid's parties at a park and saving money are so important.

    • stephanieb27 profile image
      Author

      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      Idigwebsites, we spent A LOT of time together as a family!! :) Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Mscott45, thanks so much for reading and commenting!! :)

      PegCole17, I'm so happy to hear that your husband is back to work!!! Thanks for reading and commenting!! :)

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 4 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      Great hub, stephanie … such useful and positive advice in this uncertain climate. It looks like you did everything right … best wishes for the future.

      Good luck on HubPages and congratulations on being a Rising Star …

    • ienjoythis profile image

      Marissa D. Carnahan 4 years ago from Nevada

      Stephanie, you have a great hub here. Wonderful advice. Clutter-free is something I swear by. Not only is it cost-saving, but like you said, lower stress levels to boot! Also, great advice on getting more involved with the community by volunteering. I work full-time and take college classes full-time (mostly online) and I wish I had more time to volunteer. Right now its possible but hopefully soon!

      Great hub!

    • stephanieb27 profile image
      Author

      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      ienjoythis, thank you so much for reading and commenting! :)

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Stephanie, this was a great hub! It was well-written and had some really good ideas. My husband is a stay-at-home dad and he loves to go through our closets periodically and clear out the junk by using Ebay and Craigslist too. We don't like clutter either, always makes you feel better to simplify. Voting up and sharing!

    • stephanieb27 profile image
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      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      mpropp, thank you!! It's a 2 for 1 deal, you're clearing clutter and making extra money! :)

    • mylindaelliott profile image

      mylindaelliott 4 years ago from Louisiana

      This is such an upbeat hub. We all go through rough times and need some internal skills to be able to look around and figure out what to do. Your family's skills in this area really shine through. I will use some of these ideas even though I still have a job at this time.

    • stephanieb27 profile image
      Author

      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      mylindaelliott, thank you for reading and for the kind words! :)

    • sarahshuihan profile image

      Sarah 4 years ago from USA

      Great hub! I might add that working on your networking skills can help with the whole unemployment issue, as you never know who within your circles might have a job opening/offer just around the corner. Just the other day I spoke to a childhood friend who happens to be good friends of a VP of a company that I was applying for, so she set up a meeting for me.

      Also, good for you for having money saved up! An emergency fund is all too important but people never realize how useful it can be until it is too late sometimes.

    • stephanieb27 profile image
      Author

      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      Sarahshuihan, great suggestion!!! Thank you for reading and commenting! :)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Those are very good tips. 4 months may not be a very long time, but it feels like it when you're dealing with uncertainty. I am currently unemployed. My boyfriend was out of a job for a few months, and when he got a new (and better) job, we moved 1 1/2 hours away, so I had to quit my job. But at least I had control over it.

      An emergency fund is always a good idea! I didn't have that much saved up, but I have had enough for a few months of my expenses.

    • stephanieb27 profile image
      Author

      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      Good luck finding a job! Happy to hear that your boyfriend has a better job!!! :)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thanks! I'm actually going on an interview on Wednesday, so in the next few days I'll be going over a lot of interview questions in preparation! I have a very good chance of getting this job, but I can't assume it'll happen. There are so many people around here looking for jobs. Have a good weekend, stephanieb27!

    • Linda Compton profile image

      Linda Compton 4 years ago from The Land of Enchantment

      Dear Stephanieb27,

      A wonderfully thoughtful, useful and sensitive hub. Thank you. Voted WAY up! Linda

    • stephanieb27 profile image
      Author

      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      Linda Compton, thank you so much! :)

    • profile image

      The_Idea_Gal 4 years ago

      There are a lot of great pearls of wisdom in this article. I agree that catching up on house projects and also getting out of the house is needed for mental sanity when you're not working. It's great you put your energy into other things and I hope your situation has since improved!

    • stephanieb27 profile image
      Author

      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      Thank you, Idea Gal!! :)

    • Raitu Disong profile image

      Raitu Disong 3 years ago

      Great hub!

      voted up:)

    • stephanieb27 profile image
      Author

      stephanieb27 3 years ago from United States

      Thank you, Raitu!! :)

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