Unemployment Survival 101

Being laid off can be embarrassing and depressing. I’ve been there.

Unemployment is stressful. When you suddenly realize that you won’t be going into work each day nor will you have your regular paycheck funneling into your checking account, your anxiety level may go through the roof.

Having been unemployed after a layoff, I want to offer some tips on surviving during this extremely stressful time.

Apply for unemployment benefits

Don’t wait to apply for unemployment benefits. Find your state’s unemployment website and begin the application process. In some states, it can take a week or two for the state to approve your claim. The earlier you apply, the better.

Benefit amounts vary, but the money you receive from the state should be enough to cover your necessities. It’s not ideal to make less than your regular salary, keep in mind that it’s better than nothing.

Know your health insurance situation

Often when you are laid off your healthcare coverage is suspended. You will want to head to the healthcare marketplace to find the best plan for you (and your family).

After going through healthcare options on the marketplace website you will further understand the need to apply for unemployment benefits. Even through the marketplace healthcare is expensive.

Have a routine

Don’t let your health slip. Continue getting up at a decent time, showering, and getting dressed as usual. Don’t get in a rut during unemployment. Keeping your schedule will help keep your spirits up.

*Don’t feel like you have to fill up every moment of every day. Take your time getting ready, take a long lunch, or end your job search activities before the end of a normal day.

Get excited about a new job

Look at the job search in a positive way. You get to find a new job. Even if you enjoyed your last position, things can always be improved. Search for what you want.

Step One: Update your resume

Make a list of your primary duties as well as the tasks you enjoyed in your last position. Emphasizing your capabilities and highlighting what you enjoy will help you land the perfect new job.

Step Two: Get your resume out there

There are many job search websites out there for you to use any time of day. Upload your resume to all of the well-known job search sites to gain the most exposure to potential employers. These websites will also provide you with easy ways to apply for new jobs and learn about new companies in your area.

Don’t forget LinkedIn. Make sure your professional details are updated and that you have updated your place of employment/the date you ended your time with your last company. This allows friends and colleagues to help you out in your search. Many recruiters utilize LinkedIn to find quality candidates, so don’t neglect your profile.

Step Three: Call recruiting agencies

If you already know a recruiter or two, you’re in luck! You can easily reach out via email or the direct number you already have.

If you don’t have recruiter contacts, look up agencies in your area and send them your resume. Let a recruiter help you get a new job–you’re keeping them employed while they search for you. You can also gain access to jobs at companies that only use recruiters and don’t post on job search websites.

Continue enjoying life

Don’t stop doing the fun things in life. Of course, you need to be cognizant of how much you’re spending during unemployment, but you can’t just stop doing what makes you happy. Continuing to find joy in life is necessary. Don’t stop socializing with friends and family. They will help keep your spirits up and when you need to talk, they’re there for you.

You shouldn’t feel guilty about indulging in your guilty pleasures. Enjoy a walk on your own. Read a new book or just visit a bookstore or library and browse the aisles. Binge a few episodes of your favorite tv show or watch a few movies in a row. Don’t feel bad about taking some time to yourself, just don’t let it become all you do.

The unemployment process can be a long road. Don’t let it get you down. If you feel depressed, talk to a professional or a supportive friend. Confide in your spouse or significant other. Your loved ones and professionals can help you through this. You have loved ones for many reasons–they are your very own support group.

Believe in yourself. You will find a new position.

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