THIRTEEN THINGS TO DO IF YOU LOSE YOUR JOB
Yet another one of my friends was laid off on Wednesday, and I have felt the blade on the back of my own neck several times over the last three years. So voluntary unemployment is very top of mind for me. If you know anyone who could use these tips, please pass them along.
1) Tell everyone. Unemployment has touched just about everyone. Either a friend or a family member has found themselves in your predicament. You'll find a lot of sympathetic ears and a lot of good advice.
2) Get your own email ... pronto! I'm always surprised how many people only have email through work. We live in an online world, and you can't afford to be without email for your job search. Also, once a company lets you go, they will suspend your access to the Internet so you should have all your important personal files at your fingertips ... at home.
3) Update your LinkedIn profile. If you're not already at linkedin.com, get over there! Lots of prospective employers are bypassing recruiters and reaching out to candidates directly through Linked In.
4) Find out about your unemployment benefits. They differ from state to state. But, if you were laid off, you're entitled to them. Get them.
5) Figure out what to do with your healthcare insurance. NOW. Sick people can't go on interviews. As expensive as this insurance is, you can't afford to be without it.
6) Look at your budget. See what you can cut. Do you really need Showtime and HBO? Remember, in addition to books, you can also get DVDs from your library, so get rid of Netflix. Bring coupons to the grocery store and switch to store brands. You get the idea.
7) But don't skimp on yourself. It may sound shallow, but you have to keep up your appearance. You're going to be meeting new people as part of your job search and you can't unmake a bad first impression.
8) Work on your job search every day. From now on, think of getting your next job as your current job.
9) Try new things. Volunteer at an animal shelter. Join a book club. Sing in the church choir. Doing new things will keep you sharp and, just as important, expose you to new people … who know people … who could have job leads.
10) Explore continuing education. Are there computer programs you could learn? Would a class in business writing help make you more employable? Your local community college could be a terrific, affordable resource.
11) Supplement your income. There are websites like Sitter City and Craig's List that match people with dog walkers, tutors, etc. Maybe you have skills that can bring in extra money every week.
12) Make sure your resume presents you in the best light. Perhaps a resume writing service can help. It's an investment in yourself and your future, and it may be tax deductible.
13) Tell everyone! Yeah, I know I said it before, but it bears repeating. Having a supportive network around you can make you feel positive, and a good outlook can make all the difference in the world at a time like this.