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Things You Should Do If You’re Unemployed

Author : Steven De Nazareth

Updated : June 12th, 2019

10 Things You Should Do If You’re Unemployed

Times can be tough, even more so when you are unemployed. There are uneven economies around the world that have made it difficult for people to find work. Unemployment could be a challenge irrespective of age, qualification and how unemployment affects the larger population in recent years.

Though you might not be able to control being unemployed, you should know how to react to it. This could be despite several conditions that hinder your growth and stay at a job. If you are still looking out for a job, then you should keep busy with these assignments and stay productive.

How To Stay Productive When Unemployed

Here are 10 ways to stay productive even when you are unemployed and make the most of your time. This way you can learn effective skills and put your time to good use.

1. Keep a Schedule

keep a schedule

You can take a few days off to relax but you shouldn’t be too get comfortable. This means that you need to have a focus and build on a schedule to stay productive and ready to work hard. If you are unemployed, you can continue to start the day early and get more things done effectively. This way, if you are working on day to day tasks, there is a lower chance of you getting inactive and depressed.

2. Work at a Temporary Agency

Work at a Temporary Agency

The best way to bridge the gap between jobs is to find temporary work or work at a temp agency. Here, while you search for a permanent job, you can include your temp agency in the search. Though this is not a permanent solution, you are in a better position financially until you find something more permanent.

3. Work Online

Work Online

Look for work online to make a little money that can cover your expenses. There are several sites that offer ways to make money online and you need to make sure the site is reputable. Check for micro job sites that pay for you for things like taking surveys and making quick solutions to several problems out there. Though these sites may not pay well, it’s a better way to move forward than being stuck in a rut.

4. Get Organized

Get Organized

Spend time by getting organized and ensuring that you are prepped for a job in the offering. You can embark in spring cleaning, get rid of old things and streamline your life to dive ahead into the next chapter. This means that you should feel like you are being a product even when you are unemployed.

5. Exercise

Exercise

Much like organizing your life, another good way to keep yourself enthusiastic and healthy is to exercise. It doesn’t take much to get slightly more active, and exercise can help you stay positive. Even a walk around the block a few times a week can do a lot for keeping you motivated and determined. If you take care of yourself, you can make the most of this extra time.

6. Volunteer

Volunteer

There are ample opportunities out there if you are looking for chances to get hired and stay strategic about it. Say your an unemployed teacher, you could volunteer as a coach’s assistant. You could provide some of your services as a web designer to a not-for-profit organization and do things pro bono. You need to volunteer somewhere relevant and keep your skills fresh and relevant. The brownie point is that you can add this as experience and that you volunteered on your resume.

7. Improve Your Skills

Improve Your Skills

Build on ways to increase and improve your skills when you are unemployed and move forward. Just look for ways to improve in terms of certifications and training and look for free ones. This means that you should be able to qualify for entry-level positions with the training that you undertake. This can be done in several cities or states that offer these job skills training. All you have to do is refresh your resume, job skills and interview better to make your job hunt easier.

8. Treat yourself

Treat yourself

There’s a point in one’s life where you can find unemployment tiring and tough on you. This is when you need to go out there and treat yourself. Take some time off and recharge your batteries. Let yourself go and rest to maximize productivity to help you search for your job. If you do not have the money for it then you can go for a walk, visit a park and take enough time off before you head back and continue the search.

9. Network

Network

Spend a good amount of time networking and reconnecting with old contacts or making new ones. Based on where you are in your career, you should reconnect with your friends, professors, internship supervisors or old colleagues or bosses.

You should email them, call them or even ask them out for a coffee. What you need to do is tell them about specifics of your job search in terms of industry and location and they will let you know if they can connect you with something. Don’t forget to follow up and go to networking events and where you can get the word out that you are looking for work.

10. Take a course

Take a course

Just like training and certification, you should take a class and be good to yourself and stay sharp. When it comes to being between jobs, it can be easy to forget this option as most courses cost money. Choose among several free educational tools online. Also, keep your brain sharp that you can stay focused and may even help you find a more relevant job with the skills that you develop.

In times when unemployment is high, then you should do things to better yourself and gain new skills and find plenty of free ways to get ahead. Don’t forget to take time for yourself and wonder why it keeps you productive in your job hunt. Though this may seem like a challenge, this gives you the extra time to better yourself and grow to be more qualified for a new job that may interest you.

Register for work

  • You should register with the State Employment Service for work and they will help you find a job.
  • In case the job offers are limited then you can get the assistance of the Employment Service to help you with tests and counseling
  • If there is a reason to believe that you need special needs and consideration then the staff will refer you to institutions that will help you.

Put on a Brave Face

When you’re between jobs, you should also review if you are eligible for benefits. This can be done by using the unemployment tools. The first is to Check Eligibility and see if you can be assessed for unemployment benefits. The second is by using the Benefits Calculator to determine how much you are due in terms of benefits from the state and finally to figure out when this payment starts, you need to connect with the Base Period Calculator to know the base period when you received the highest salary.

The most important thing is time is to stay calm and upskill if necessary. You are in control and you should do whatever it takes to remain positive and never let the current state dishearten you or shatter your confidence. So don’t let this discourage you as you take steps in the right direction. The best thing that you can do is update your resume, wake up early, stay focused on the job search, learn new skills and network. Also, your friends and family will go out of their way to help you if you are looking for a new job. Just stay positive and look out for the silver lining!

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  1. I applied for unemployment on 8-1 and was approved. I received my letter of eligibility and debit card about a week ago. I did not file my intitial bi weekly claim because I missed the deadline by 1 day (didn’t realize they would be closed on Saturday). When I logged on it said I would have to reopen a claim because mine had been closed. I filled out the online form to deactivate the claim. My question is this: will I have another waiting week? And will unemployment have to contact my employer all over again to verify my wages and go through the entire process all over again or will they just reopen the claim with a new date window to file?

  2. Lost my job in 10/2018 due to plant closure, collected vacation and severance pay. Opened a claim in 1/2019. Got an on the job training job through career link in 5/2019 worked one week and became very sick and was off for two weeks VA could not find anything wrong but gave me medication for the symptoms and an excuse to return to work, prior to returning got a call from my recruiter at career link telling me the position was filled so i did not return. Reopened my claim, a few weeks later got a letter informing me the employer had appealed and said i did not return, had a hearing and the employer did not show but i lost and got a 2500.00 over payment. Got a temp job through an agency but have only worked 4 days in two weeks. Reopened my claim and was told i need to earn 2604.00 from current employer before it can be opened, did i do something wrong? Still applying for work but am days away from losing everything, need income to pay bills. PLEASE HELP

    1. Rodney,

      Your eligibility to claim UI benefits depends on multiple factors including monetary eligibility. If you’ve been officially told about the shortage of earnings, there’s nothing much one can do. If you’re still confident of winning the appeal, please make a strong case.

      1. I live in KY but my base wages were from earnings in GA when I lived there. I’ve exhausted my benefits in KY. Am I able to now file through GA since my earnings through 10/18 came from there?

        1. Dee,

          As much as I am aware, Unemployment Insurance is a one time cycle. Please call the Unemployment Office in GA for more.

  3. The hours at work have been cut due to lack of business for every department.
    So all full-time positions are now part-time.
    How do I file for partial unemployment?
    The only options I see (in Texas) are for full unemployment.

    1. Eric,

      You should be able to claim partial UI benefits. Please consider applying online until full hours are restored.

    1. William,

      If everything goes well, it should not take more than 7-10 business days (waiting week). Please call the Claims Center for more.

  4. I was employed by a VA company for 5 years, my contract ended yesterday (07/31/19), however, I worked remotely for those 5 years and live in FL, which state do I apply to for my unemployment benefits?

    1. Oscar,

      Please check with your employer if they remitted UI taxes into the system. Contract workers are generally not eligible.

        1. Oscar,

          In that case, please go ahead and apply if your employer remitted UI taxes into the system.

    2. You apply in Virginia…however, I worked seasonally and they used a ‘quarter’ that was empty, so even though my employer paid in, I only got a 1/3 of what I should have received. Figured that out later :/ They will also question WHY you aren’t able and available to work IN Virginia. They froze my account for about a month.

  5. I worked 37 years with the same company in Texas. On July 2nd of 2018, I was let go due to workforce reduction. I signed up for benefits several months later and now have drawn my 26 weeks of benefit. Is there any program currently open in Texas or federally that will extend additional money while job seeking?

    1. Lonnie,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  6. I have been an employee of my company for 34 yrs. My position is being eliminated but I have been offered another position for less money. It is a much more physical job that I am not sure I can perform well. I am 75. If I try to fulfill the position and cannot do it, will I still be able to get benefits if I quit? They want me to try it for a couple of weeks to see if I am strong enough and if I can afford the cut in pay.

    1. Lynda,

      I suggest you call the Unemployment Office to find out about eligibility before making a decision on continuation.

      1. I recently lost my job..i was late for work and they took me off the schedule..never told me i was fired..didnt ask for uniforms back. Another cook was andd has been late for work and he didnt get taken off the schedule.can i still get unemployment?

        1. Kandie,

          Please note UI benefits are only offered to claimants who lose employment due to no fault of their own. You can call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  7. Are there any training benefits or programs that will pay for an advanced degree, such as a PhD which is needed to become more employable?

    1. There are multiple training programs administered by the Labor Department in each state. For more info, please call visit the official website of the Unemployment Office.

  8. I’m about to exhaust my Unemployment benefits. I was laid off from my first job and
    found employment then I lost my job and became unemployed again. I applied for benefits and have have almost exhausted my benefits but have not found employment. Can I file for an extension?

    1. Deanna,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  9. After reading your article it’s still not clear to me about requirements surrounding moving to another state and completing/continuing to collect. I have 8 weeks eligibility left, I am moving from MA to FL. The end of your article says: “Since it’s all virtual (online), you may still consider the option of continuing your claims from the base state even if you move to a different one until completion. As a responsible claimant, it’s your duty to inform the base state about your movement to ensure there are no hassles in the near future.”

    So it sounds like even once I am in new state I am eligible to continue to collect from my base state. I can just continue to do my required weekly job search and reporting to and filing in my base state (I do it via phone call-in). No need to complicate things by doing some crazy state transfer of benefits. Benefits also done via direct bank deposit and no need to change anything. Do I even need to tell my base state I am now living in a new state? Why? Thank you.

    1. Paul,

      For the ease of understanding, each state has its specific rules and laws with regard to administering Unemployment Benefits. It might be an obligation for a claimant to inform about the movement. For clarification, please call the Unemployment Office and speak to a representative.

  10. I was recently fired from my work 25-June-2019/due to me not meeting their “standards/ expectations” i submitted my UE claim on 28-June and have not received any pay as of today, 19-July. The status is currently “adjudication in progress,” my question is, should i be worried this will be denied? I read the FAQ on the UE webpage and it said only a couple applications require the adjudication process. How long does this process usually take to get the final answer of whether I’m denied or approved? The website stated it susuallt takes ~25 days for the adjudication process, does this mean once that’s done then i still have to wait another 2-6 weeks for final processing after? THANK YOU SOO MUCH to whomever is able to provide me with some answers/ input.

    Sincerely,
    Talia
    ** this is my first time ever being fired or having to file for unemployment so i really have nooooo idea what is standard or normal or whatever. I feel like an idiot with my simple questions but it would bring me so much relief having them answered, truly

    1. Talia,

      I can understand your reason for the anxiety. Adjudication is a fact-finding process where both the claimant and the employer will get an opportunity to present their case. During this process, make sure to produce supporting documents that amplify your stance. For all you know, the adjudication can be a lengthy process.

      Best Wishes!

  11. I was permanently severanced from my job due to a Co. Reorg & received my last severance pay last week. I called UE & was told that I should now do my application online since I will no longer be getting funds & still without a job & that this coming Sunday regardless of knowing if I will or will not get benefits yet that I should still file a weekly claim in case of UE back pay.
    So my question is, do I still have to report 4 jobs applied to within this week, even if I do not know if I will be approved/denied for benefits until possibly next week anyway?

    1. Lynda,

      You should continue to report the job applications as long as you’ve been asked to do so. There will be a “Waiting Period” and the first payment will take about 7-10 days after which they’ll flow much quicker. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

  12. I tried to transfer from one state to another. When I left Montana I was told there would be no problem transferring. When I arrived in North Carolina I had trouble reaching the area manager by phone. When he finally called me back he said to meet him for lunch to discuss when and where I would be working. He did not show up for lunch. Then he never returned any of my calls. I went PA to visit a friend a few weeks later and tried there. I met with the hiring manager and was told there should not be a problem doing the transfer since I was still in the system. I called the store a few times and they said it was still pending. Then I was terminated without even a phone call. Am I eligible for unemployment and if so do I file in Montana or North Carolina. I still have a Montana drivers license but I am living in NC.

    1. Stacey,

      As long as you were unemployed involuntarily, you should be able to claim UI benefits. Please consider applying.

  13. I have worked for 32+ years and recently have become unable to work due to health reasons, so I have had to resign from my job. I have contacted SS and will be able to apply for disability but it will take awhile to process. Can I apply for unemployment benefits? I live in WV.

    1. Sandra,

      UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their employment due to involuntary reasons. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office for more.

  14. I had to quit my job at Walmart in Fairmont West Virginia and moved back to my home state ky, I’ve got a son with drug problems and 3 older sisters that are not doing so well in health cause of their age. I didn’t understand about the transfer part they had at Walmart that I could put a date when I could start back because of my car problems I thought when I left I had to go in like in s few days, I’ve applied here at Walmart in Winchester ky 40391 two times already plus dollar store, speedway, truck stop, bp, a few other places it’s been going on 7 months without a job I live with my son and its getting harder on him paying rent and utilities and food, not to mention our personal hygiene stuff I really need help I have no income coming in to help him and his wife out I get foodstamps and Medicaid I was praying I could qualify for unemployment PLEASE HELP!!!

    1. Vicky,

      I can understand your situation. Unfortunately, UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for further clarification.

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