The Recession may be on its way out, but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t finding themselves unemployed every day in America. With so many people in the country, it’s hard not for one or two people to be laid off every day. It’s an unfortunate truth, but it’s how the business world works.
For those that recently found themselves unemployed, the following are a few good tips to help you survive unemployment.
Check Your Budget
First, reevaluate your current budget. Take an assessment of all of your assets. This means checking into your savings accounts, security bonds, stocks, gold, etc. What assets do you have available to you right now?
Once you’ve counted up the assets currently available, figure out how long those assets could last you without the help of a steady income. With the amount you have available, how long could you survive? One month? Three? Maybe a whole year? This is your threshold of survival.
After you’ve figured out how long you could last, take a look at your expenses. What are you currently spending money on that isn’t absolutely necessary? Are you paying for cable? You eat out every day? Identify the expenses that are more for comfort and convenience rather than of necessity and commit to cut them. Watch normal TV and movies instead. Take lunch with you and cook all of your meals. Although these may not seem like “large” financial commitments, they are sufficient to make a difference over several months. You may even see your threshold of survival increase by a few months, buying you more time to job search if nothing has come up.
Make a new financial plan to get you through the coming months of difficulty.
Second, find work. Even if you can no more than secure a job at McDonald’s flipping burgers, find some form of income to help you get through this difficult time. If it’s not your dream job, then consider just working part-time, that way you can continue to apply for jobs in the morning and work in the afternoons (or vice-versa). Just because it’s not a career job doesn’t mean it can’t help you supplement income until you can get your career job. Many of those part-time positions can be quit at a moment’s notice. You may burn a bridge with the company, but you’ll be back in a better career job again.
Supplement Your Income
Third, another option to supplement income is to sell a hobby or skill. There’s a way to make money with almost anything you like to do on the side. The key is to find out how to do it. Avid bloggers can open up their blog to advertisements or by placing links to affiliate programs. Another great way to make some fast money is by joining referral programs where you can make money by simply referring your friends and families to services they already need. Garage junkies can often help with minor vehicle repairs. Math teachers can tutor. Marathoners can become personal trainers. There’s something you’re doing that could be a source of income for the time being. The trick is finding a creative way to sell it and spreading the news.
Fourth, discipline your free time. It’s easy to get into a comfortable habit of getting up late and making a half-hearted effort to look for a job. Too many people have fallen into that kind of unemployment. Set a schedule for yourself. For example, from 8-12 every day, be dressed and applying to jobs. Take lunch between 12 and 1. From 1-5 make phone calls and personal visits to employers. Keep to a schedule. You’ll (1) find work faster, (2) keep up your work ethic, and (3) stave off depression that comes with unemployment.
Enjoy the Process
Fifth and finally, don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Stay sane during this time. Find free ways to feel fulfilled and enjoy life. You could volunteer at a hospital, pursue a bucket-list item (like run a marathon), or get a library card. There are a ton of free activities to occupy your time. Find those opportunities and take advantage of them. You’ll save money and keep your mind clear. Not to mention that if you’re living a happier life, you’ll make a better impression on potential employers when applying for jobs.
Unemployment can affect anyone at any time. It’s not something that anyone but professors with tenure is truly safe from. Survival is possible. The key is just knowing what to do should the time every come for you. Be prepared to reevaluate what you spend your money on. Reevaluate and set a new budget. Pick up a side job so that you have at least a small portion of income coming in. You never know how many days this can buy you. In addition, sell a talent, stick to a schedule, and find ways to have fun. You’ll make it through.