How To Survive Unemployment
Updated : October 28th, 2021
Being unemployed is tough. Especially with the rising costs of basic essentials, not having a job makes it difficult to see through each day. The pressure is even more if you have a family to tend to. You can, however, get through this with proper planning and a strong will to face the challenges.
In case you are recently unemployed then you should be able to learn how to survive unemployment. Another equally hard fact to digest is that 3.7 percent of Americans are unemployed and 22.9 percent of those people have been out of work for 27 weeks or more. The hardest thing is having to cash in your last paycheck and not know where the next paycheck would come in from.
7 Ways To Survive Unemployment
Here are the seven things that you should do when unemployed:
1. Apply for Unemployment Benefits
You should claim your unemployment benefits if you have lost your job for no fault of your own. The US Department of Labor usually takes two weeks before they can give you the benefits which are after you file for a claim. While some states allow you to apply online or over the phone, while others require you to visit in person.
You will receive a determined amount based on formulas that vary by the state which is typically based on what you earned over the previous 52 weeks. For example, one of the common formulas that pay for half of what you earn with a cap that tied to your state’s average earnings.
In most states, you should be able to receive benefits for up to 26 weeks but there are programs that can extend this. Earlier, a federal program called the Emergency Unemployment Compensation offers additional benefits but it ended in December 2012. There are state and federal programs under Extended Benefits that provide 13 to 20 weeks of additional benefits to those exhausting state compensation. This program is available only in states where the unemployment rate is above the established threshold. This means that your state employment office can let you know if your state is part of the list. You should know that unemployment compensation is taxable.
2. Have an Unemployed Budget
Prior to the Great Recession, financial experts recommended saving three to six months of expenses as an emergency fund based on whether you would find a new job in that time. But since August this year, the US Department of Labor has stated that long-term unemployed made up 40 percent of the total unemployment rate. With these statistics, you would have to stretch your budget and make an emergency fund that will fund you longer than you wanted to. You should put your money on a survivor’s diet until you find another job. Here’s how:
a) You should first tally your savings and unemployment benefits and then divide the total into several months of income. This way you will know how much you spend in a month and survive for many months. You should aim to save this fund for more than a year.
b) Next, you should update your budget and look for ways for savings. You can choose to downgrade your electronics or internet packages and save yourself some money.
c) Take a look at what you are spending on and see what you can cut out on without losing your quality of life. You can cut out cable TV and swap it for Netflix and save money that way without losing track of your favorite shows.
d) Be smart and don’t pinch pennies. You should know that you cannot spend as you used to but don’t make it worse for yourself watching every penny when unemployed. You should look at ways to save money and use coupons when you can.
3. Start the Job Hunt
While there are several jobs in the market, there is strong competition and the job hunt takes time. Use these steps to get into action:
a) You should update your resume with some modern techniques to write your resume. You should note that you cannot make silly mistakes that should not come up on your resume.
c) You should network both offline and online and let people know that you are looking out for a job. Tell people on social media that you are looking out for a job and search for jobs. Connect with previous colleagues, college classmates and potential employers that are there to help you get the job. Create a profile and start networking if you don’t already have a profile.
d) Clean up your online presence. You should hide or delete anything that you do not want your future boss to see.
e) Check out local resources like the US Department of Labor
4. Look for Temporary Work
You might have to hang out a little longer before you land your dream job but there are many part-time jobs that you can do now to bring a little cash. Some of these jobs include:
- Seasonal employment: The holidays are coming up and retailers are looking for temporary workers.
- Temporary jobs: There are plenty of employers looking for someone to work for a few weeks or a few months.
- Side jobs: Going into an office isn’t the only way to make some cash.
5. Boost Your Savings
You should take inventory of everything that is in your house and see what you no longer use or use and make some extra cash by selling it. More expensive items like jewelry, you should sell online and for bigger things, you should use a garage sale as your best bet.
6. Keep to a schedule
A few days after losing a job, you would still wake up early and get things done. But then things start to slip up. Whether it’s waking up late, watching too much TV and feeling frazzled, you need to keep a schedule and stick to it. Once you get into the groove, you will be able to look for jobs, exercise and stop wasting time.
7. Don’t stop having fun
Most of your socialization happens at the office and this is why when you are at home, you might feel isolated. To keep from feeling disconnected, you can try these activities:
a) Volunteering is not only rewarding but its a great way to socialize, network and keep entertained. You can volunteer at places like a Soup Kitchen twice a week and this would get you out of the house and be within the company of people.
b) If you start a walking group there are chances that you might meet your neighbor and meet more people that could get you out of the house and burn calories.
c) You can also find a lot of free fun stuff to do like taking the kids to the park, catching a free concert or going to an art show.
Based on whatever you choose, you can make sure that you get the most out of it. Not only will it keep you busy but it can help you find your job even if it means visiting friends.
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