Being told that a job is gone is a horrible experience. Workers in every industry have been handed layoff papers and are now collecting unemployment benefits only to find that there aren’t other jobs to go to. The newly unemployed are finding themselves in dire financial straits.
Surviving Unemployment Shock
A layoff hits home in two ways. The first is financial. A comfortable lifestyle that had come to be expected is now threatened. At one level the extras like eating out, vacations, going to the movies and gift buying will have to be set aside until a new job can be landed. The next level is where the financial crunch really hurts. Mortgage or rent payments, gas money, utility bills, and other necessities suffer. Serious financial setbacks can result in bankruptcy.
The right response to financial problems is twofold. The first is to cut back to a less expensive lifestyle. Eat at home instead of the restaurant. Watch a free movie from the library rather than taking in a show at the theater. Choose a healthy casserole over an expensive steak dinner.
The second response involves availing a hurting budget with all of the financial help that is offered. Unemployment benefits cover some of the ongoing expenses. Try talking to utility companies to look for programs that will lessen the bills for unemployed consumers. Food stamps and other federal and state benefits are a legitimate option for those who qualify. Public assistance will sometimes provide free health care. Family and friends can be very generous when the going gets really tough.
What to Do About Unemployment
Being suddenly unemployed is an extremely stressful experience. Life changes dramatically. The daily routine is completely lost while the concerns over financial stability and the future are magnified. Too much time to think about the current financial difficulties can be destructive.
The stress reduction techniques offered by yoga practitioners and pseudo-psychologists are less than effective in unemployment situations. Most people who have lost their jobs want to do something. They just need to know what.
Creatively pursue a job of any sort and be willing to do whatever work can be found. This is also the perfect opportunity to look for the dream job that was never pursued. Another good option is to take advantage of educational opportunities offered by various levels of government that are designed to re-educate the unemployed and put them back to work with a professional certificate or an associate’s degree.
The emotional support from family and friends is critical in surviving unemployment. Avoid too much solitary time as that’s when depression and hopelessness begin to develop. Become active at home, church and in the community.
How to Find a Job
There are effective ways to maximize efforts at finding another job. Older workers are going to have to adjust their job search tactics as the ways some employers are finding new employees is changing rapidly.
Try job search boards on the internet. An internet search will produce plenty of opportunities to post a resume for potential employers to peruse. Many young executives are technologically savvy and will use the internet to post job openings as well as search databases of potential employees. If it’s not possible to maintain home internet service a job seeker can probably conduct free searches on a computer at the public library.
As effective as online job searches can be there is no substitution for personal contact. Walking into the office of the person responsible for hiring to complete a job application or drop off a resume can lead to a distinct advantage over the faceless internet applications on file. Managers are impressed by qualities seen in on-site contacts with potential employees and will give special consideration to those who the manager would like to see hired. Don’t become discourages by the “not hiring” sign and simply come back again at a later date.
Update resumes and job applications every couple of months. Employers know by experience that resumes and applications that haven’t been updated are probably due to the job seeker’s lack of interest or other employment. Fill out plenty of applications and submit as many resumes to potential employers as possible.
Surviving unemployment is a challenge that millions are experiencing for the first time. The lack of hiring in the public and private sectors means that the newly unemployed will most likely be without a job for some time. Use the downtime and unemployment benefits wisely.