Losing your job is a frightening time, especially if you haven’t created a huge safety net. If you don’t have a lot of experience, it can feel like getting a new job is impossible. The good news is that you should be able to find something within six months if you’re proactive in your search. But how do you get through that worst-case scenario six months? Use these tips to help get you through your rough patch.
The first step for a period of unemployment is to create a budget. Write down all of your monthly bills and how much you must absolutely have. See if you can stretch your current resources that far. Maybe you have a savings account you can use. If you don’t have a large savings account to pull from, you’ll need to sell something or take a temporary job. You should include short-term health insurance in your budget as well. You don’t want to accrue a large emergency medical bill while you’re unemployed and without insurance.
File for unemployment
Unless you have enough to survive for six months in your bank account with some leftover for miscellaneous expenses, you need to file for unemployment. Eligibility requirements will vary from state to state, so you’ll need to check to see if you qualify.
Obviously you’ll need to be scanning the newspapers, the Internet and LinkedIn for jobs. But there are other activities you can pursue to help with your professional development. The first is to network. Make sure you’re attending relevant networking opportunities. You should also reach out to previous employers and coworkers to see if they have any leads for you.
While looking for positions, be open to taking an internship. This can help you develop new skills. It will also help you network. Even if the company you intern with isn’t offering a position, they’ll probably know of other companies in the area that are.
You can also volunteer. While you may not be able to volunteer in exactly what you want to do, volunteering is a way to show that you have a strong work ethic. If you choose an activity you enjoy, you’ll also have an outlet for stress.
Lastly, start a professional blog. On it, talk about industry-specific news. Don’t bash your old boss — that looks incredibly unprofessional. Try to include blogs about industry-specific news when you can. This will show employers that you’re keeping up to date. It also shows that you have a passion for your career.
Even though losing your job might seem like the end of the world, if you stay proactive and positive, you’ll move through the time quickly. Make sure you’re continuing your professional development through volunteering or blogging. Reach out through networking to find opportunities. Keep track of your finances so you aren’t scrambling for help when you’re completely out of money in a couple of months.