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Survival Tips for the Recently Unemployed

Updated on October 24, 2012
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10 Tips to Help with Unexpected Unemployment

You lost your job. Now what? You probably feel desperate and anxious. Don't let the negatives compile. Look at this as a challenge. You can overcome and you will. Many of us have been in the same position and maybe this isn't the first time you've lost your job. You are not a victim. You are a warrior. Be at the top of your game because there is no excuse to fall down now.

The challenge is on. Can you handle it? Yes you can!

1. Set up Unemployment Claim ASAP: You can call or do it online. Set up your claim because it will take them at least 2-3 weeks before you even see a dime. And by that time, you may have found a new job. At least you will get paid for the weeks you don't work.

2. Call for State Assistance/Welfare: You can call or do it online. I know it's depressing but you are not alone in this economy. There is no shame is getting what you deserve and have paid for with your own tax dollars when you were working. If you look at it that way, it will be easier to take. All this money is coming out of your own account from all those years you worked so take advantage of it. It's your money. It will help you and your family while you get back on your feet.

3. Document Work Searches: Grab a notebook and start looking for work. The Unemployment Division requires you to show proof of at least 5 job searches per week to be eligible. Start documenting now. Write down every company you applied to and how you applied. If you went in person, who did you speak with? Write down their name, get their business card. If you applied online, did you receive a reply? Keep a file in your email just for "JOBS" and send them there so you will have accurate records in case you misplace your notebook.

4. Jobs: Look for companies within your area if you don't have a car and along bus routes. If you do have a car, then go online and apply directly to the companies. No need for a middle man. What for? Try to stay out of Telemarketing/Sales positions. These have commissions and will be hard to prove with Unemployment and Welfare. You may even become ineligible as they will just assume you make too much. Also, Sales/Telemarketing companies have a reputation for being scams in some states, especially Florida, where they have a difficult time regulating these companies and are always being closed down and re-opening in other names but with the same owners. Look for companies that are secure with benefits who have shown growth or at least stability in the community.

Tip: The Health Industry and Funeral homes will never slow down. People will get sick and people will die.

5. Temp Employment: While you are waiting for these jobs to pan out, seek temporary employment. Temps are actually increasing and you can still get benefits through employment agencies.

6. Network: Put it up on Facebook or MySpace that you're looking for work. People talk. Ask friends. If you don't ask, they won't guess. You are your own best advertiser.

7. Military: There are opportunities in the military. You don't have to go Army. You can do Coast Guard, Air Force, Marines or Navy.

8. Education: Only after you found a new job, find something you like or at least can tolerate enough to get a certificate or degree in. It should be something you are good at or you enjoy. This will be your security for days like this, when you lose your job and have nothing to show for it. And if you were doing what you loved when you lost your job, then this is your time to find something else you enjoy doing. Check with your local state workforce administration and unemployment division. They offer training for the misplaced worker and depending on your state, you may be lucky enough to be trained while you work.

9. Relocation: Don't limit your job search within your county or state. There may be opportunities elsewhere with better pay, lower cost of living and you may even know someone there as well. Research. Ask. Stay informed. Maybe losing your job was the sign you needed to start fresh in a new environment.

10. Finances: Try to avoid dipping into your savings. Pay off your balance on your credit cards and deal with cash only from now on. Put your cards away. You have to live within your means. You can't pay what you owe if you have nothing to pay with. That means until you have a job, you don't touch your credit cards, limit your entertaining, eating out, fast foods, drop cable, and make a new budget around your new income.

Having a self defeatist attitude will not help you right now. This is a war between your success and your failure. The economy isn't helping but you can't let outside forces dictate your life. You need to stay in control and not give up. And no matter what happens, don't get discouraged. Believe it or not there is one thing that can change the way you are living right now; your attitude.

Having a negative attitude will bring you negative results every time. You attract those things you are consistently thinking about, whether it's negative or positive. You use the same energy to receive either, so why not choose positive?

If you apply yourself to these tips and stay focused, you will succeed. Make a plan and follow through. The only thing stopping you is you.

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