One of the scariest situations for many people can be unemployment. Whether it is a sudden job loss or something you saw coming for a while, not having a source of income can be very unsettling. The good news is that you don’t have to panic if you suddenly lose your source of a weekly paycheck. In fact, this could be just the push you need to pursue your dream career, start your own business, or look for a new source of passive income that gives you more time with your family. Here are some practical tips on how to survive unemployment:
Trim Your Budget
One sure way to save money is to trim your budget wherever you can. This could mean not eating out as much (or not at all), skipping trips to the coffeehouse and making your own at home, or cutting your hair instead of going to the salon. You can trim your cell phone plan to just the basics, or switch to pre-paid wireless instead of a contract plan. Cut cable television and you can save a bundle. Try “shopping your pantry” before you go to the grocery and make meal plans based on what you have. This will save you money at the store because you are only getting the bare essentials. Put any extra money in an emergency savings account and don’t touch it unless it is truly an emergency. Being diligent about saving up as much money as you can now will be a huge help should you need to dip into your savings.
Live Off One Income
If you are married and your spouse also works, try making it on just one of your salaries. Consider the other person’s salary bonus money and throw it into a savings account. This could be a life saver if one of you lost your job. You would have a substantial amount put back already which would lessen the stress on the person working if things were to get really tight.
Keep an Updated Resume
An updated resume with a current work history and good references is crucial if you are looking for work. Potential employers want someone with a history of good work ethic and solid references, and if you have those in hand when you go into an interview, you’re already a step ahead.
If you do find yourself unemployed, find ways to keep yourself occupied so you don’t dwell on the job loss. Have you always wanted to volunteer in your community? Now you have the chance! You can give of your time while still seeking new employment. Have you dreamed of going back to school but didn’t have the time while working a full-time job? Consider this gap in employment an opportunity to do just that!
Learn a New Skill
Many people take the time when they are unemployed to learn something new, like cooking. If you are home more, you could take on the task of preparing meals for your family more often and honing your cooking skills. Take advantage of opportunities to keep learning and challenging yourself during this time.
Put The Word Out
Friends and family may be your best bet at landing a new position. Sure, you can use web based job search sites and your local newspaper classifieds, but often those who know you best can be your greatest helpers in the job search. Let them know you are looking, and they may just run across a good lead for you.
Work Part Time
While you are looking for another permanent full time job, you could always take on a part time position that would allow you to still have time to job hunt and go to interviews. Since part time jobs are usually flexible, this will allow you to keep bringing in some cash, and help keep you busy, too.
Unemployment doesn’t have to be a depressing, discouraging time. Often it can be a time of learning and growth and you find that you come out stronger on the other side.