So You’re Unemployed. Now What?
Last week, I let you guys into my current world of unemployment and my emo stage. This week I wanted to give you some of the tips that I have used to survive this difficult time.
1. Don’t take it personal. Unless you were slacking at work. No seriously if you were slacking, take it as a lesson learned. But, if you make it personal, your attitude, demeanor and self-confidence will suffer. Think about how that will affect your job search and potential interviews. No Bueno!
2. Apply for unemployment, Obamacare or social services. Applying for unemployment and insurance was a no brainer for me. Being unemployed my health insurance is free. #winning The Social Services part was a little harder. It was a stab to my ego. Then I thought, “Wait, I’ve been working all these years, I am entitled to something. Let me get mines!” So swallow your pride and just apply for whatever you qualify for. Do it as soon as possible because depending on the state, it can take some time. Unemployment in Maryland takes a month to receive and my food stamp process… that story is a whole ‘nother post. #AnotherDayAnotherTime
3. Maintain a structure to your day. My goal was to not become a lazy bum throughout this process, so I developed a schedule. I would wake up by a certain time. FIGHT the urge to stay in bed til noon. And I would workout, do homework, look for jobs, etc. Just don’t stay in bed all day. Doesn’t help your mood or self-esteem. AT ALL.
4. Look for ways to cut your expenses. I’m an emotional shopper. So I took my emotions and bought home accents for my office, sandals and cute boots. #DontBeLikeMe Take a serious look at your expenses and see what you can cut or scale back on. Once my food stamps finally got approved, I turned into a couponer (still not an expert, but I get some deals).
5. Update your resume. Even when I was working, I tried to always keep my resume updated, but it became even more important once I was laid off. If you are looking for creative ways to style your resume, check out this search on Pinterest for creative resumes. I took some time and revamped my resume and I have gotten a lot of responses from it.
6. Don’t take it personal. This has to be repeated because you might will get discouraged if you don’t find another job right away. I recently applied to a job and was called for a phone interview. After a brief discussion with the interviewer she mentioned that she received 220 applicant resumes for this ONE position. So refer back to #5 and keep going. Don’t get discourage.
7. Get networking. I encourage networking and attending free events because one, it keeps your self-esteem at a healthy level. And you never know who you might meet. Also don’t be ashamed to tell your friends that you are looking for a job. Most people get a job through someone they know. This was another humility pill I had to swallow. But when money is starting to run out, network, network, network.
8. Join a club. Stay active. So #7 and #8 go together. It’s important to not isolate yourself and withdraw from everyone and everything. Isolation and withdrawal are two key ingredients to depression in this case. Join a club. Something that gets you out of the house and engaging with people. And/Or get active. The days that I didn’t feel like going to the gym, I would just take a walk and take in some shine.
#InstantMoodImprover Exercise also increases your endorphins and helps keep away those extra pounds you might gain from emo eating. #BeenThereDoneThat So check out Meetup for a group with interests similar to yours.
The one MAJOR thing that has kept me almost sane all these months has been PRAYER (insert the prayer hands emoticon here). Seriously without prayer, I might be in a padded room somewhere. Sometimes I would just pray for peace, so that I wouldn’t stress out and could have a good night’s sleep. It works. So start praying now and don’t stop.
One other personal tip: If your unemployment is extended, over 6 months, then your unemployment checks have probably run out. Start taking temp jobs or get a recruiter. Both get paid when you start working, so let someone else help you in your job search. For one, you will probably need the money and two, it improves your mood substantially. Just getting back into a workspace has worked wonders for me. Sure it may not always be the pay you want or the job you want, but you get to interact with people and you never know who you might meet. That temp job could also turn into a permanent position, so get out there.
Hope this helps anyone who is unemployed or someone you know who is unemployed. I might need to do a post on how to cope with an unemployed friend or family member. Hmmm…#TruthThursdays