Tips to Living Through a Job Loss


Job loss is always hard, and when the economy is down, things only get tougher. Often people who are highly trained and very qualified will still have difficulty finding employment, despite their commitment to working hard and a proven track record of excellence. It is estimated that for each percentage point the unemployment rate ticks upward, job seekers will have to spend an additional month looking for work. With unemployment hovering near 10% through most of 2010, this extended period of unemployment can switch from irritating to devastating as the bills and rejection notices pile up one on top of the other.

The first and most important thing is to avoid getting discouraged or depressed. This does not mean that one needs to maintain a happy, upbeat attitude. In fact, being overly optimistic may blind one to the many problems and difficulties inherent in being unemployed. Still, time should be set aside for walks, exercise and recreation, and unemployed persons should take care to realize that they are not alone and that whatever misfortune they may have will eventually pass.

Second, it is extremely necessary to aggressively pursue new opportunities. Looking for work is a full-time job in and of itself. Unemployed persons should set a goal for themselves, such as applying to no less than ten positions per week. Persistence pays off, especially since most employers are wholly unwilling to go out and seek candidates when they can merely sit back and wait for candidates or headhunters to do the work for them. Job seekers need to remain motivated and do their best to apply to as many positions as possible as often as possible. They should go into each one with as much confidence as they can muster, wearing the most professional clothes they can, and spend their down time practicing questions and making sure that their resume and applications are as best as possible. It is also a good idea to occasionally overreach and apply to jobs one could not possibly be qualified for, since very often simply showing up for an interview is enough to get a human resources department to recognize someone’s talent and place them in an open position elsewhere.

On the home front, it is important to cut costs and apply for any benefits possible. Government programs for the unemployed are usually rather generous for those who are actively seeking for work as opposed to merely mooching off the system. While they are certainly a hassle to apply for and manage, they help alleviate a lot of the pressure of unemployment by ensuring bills are paid and that basic needs are met. As for cost cutting, it is a good idea to switch to cheaper entertainment such as library books and walks in the park, as well as trimming down and eliminating unnecessary bills. Budgeting is important, and careful budgeting will allow even small sums of money to go surprisingly far. Making a game out of saving money and clipping coupons is also not only financially responsible, it helps to alleviate the inconvenience and discomfort inherent in living on a reduced income.

Unfortunately there is no “magic cure” for those who find themselves unemployed, and things are always better off for those who had the foresight or good fortune to save up and create contacts before they were terminated. It may be necessary to draw on savings or take out a loan in order to go back to school to train for a new type of employment, and it is also common for unemployed persons to accept temporary employment at a less profitable or desirable job while they attempt to get their career back on track. This reinforces the fact that unemployed people should not pass up any opportunity they may find, since by doing so they may miss out on temporary work that they need to get by. It is also normal for employees to receive less pay for more work when they get back into the industry, and it may take some time for them to get back to the position they formerly had. Fortunately, through a mixture of fortitude and persistence it is possible to get through even the worst period of unemployment. One needs only to keep trying.

This post was written by

jason – who has written posts on Budget Clowns.
Father of three and married to a lovely women. Always looking for ways to save money, and invest it properly for my children's future.

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