Unemployment is terrifying territory no one wants to find themselves facing. Losing your job is devastating even when you despise getting up and going to work each day. Your income is suddenly gone, but you still have expenses to pay. If you’re one of the few people who make it a goal to have emergency savings set aside, you’re all right for another six months or so. If you’re part of the majority, you don’t have that kind of money saved. Now you’re facing financial downfall, and you don’t know what to do. Unemployment is less than ideal, but it’s something you can survive. You need only know how to survive.
Don’t Hide It
The first thing to do when you lose your job is tell people. This works two ways for your benefit. The first is you should tell your friends you can no longer afford to go out with them, to vacation with them, or even to join them for a weekend golf game. When you make excuses and tell them you’re sick this weekend, busy the next, and unavailable for another reason the following weekend, they’ll begin to think you simply don’t care for them anymore. You don’t want to lose your friends on top of losing your job, do you?
Be honest. Tell your friends you’re unemployed and money is tight. This means they’ll understand when you decline to join them for things. It also means they’ll know you’re unemployed and looking for work. What if one of them has a position similar to your last one at their company? What if someone knows someone looking for someone just like you? You don’t know until you tell your friends and family you’re unemployed, but you might be surprised just how well it works out in your favor.
Keep Your Real Opinion to Yourself
You’re mad. You probably have a right to be angry when you lose your job, but you must keep your negative feelings to yourself. Tell your spouse or your mom how much you detest your former employer, but keep your opinions about the company or your boss or former coworkers to yourself. You don’t want them to hear you are bad-mouthing them and not recommend you for jobs. You don’t want potential new employers to hear how badly you bashed your former company and not want to work with you. Maintain class and dignity in all situations.
Update Your Resume
Now is the time to reformat your resume. Add your recent accomplishments, have a friend review it, and change it as needed. You’ll be using it more than ever in the coming weeks, so now is a great time to make sure it’s better than ever. A great way to make it more interesting is simply to reformat the entire thing. You can easily do that without must stress, and you have no idea how helpful it might be when you submit it for future employment.
Don’t Take No Personally
For every yes you hear, you’re going to hear a dozen companies tell you no. You don’t always get what you want, but you do have to keep trying. The best way to face unemployment is by learning not to take no personally. It’s not you, it’s them. They don’t have the money to hire you. They don’t have a position. They would love to hire you, but they are tied up and simply cannot. You are worthy. You are good at what you do, and someone is going to be able to utilize your expertise before much longer.
It’s time to make some necessary lifestyle changes. It’s time to stop eating out so much. It’s time to buy cheaper coffee, off-brands, and to lower your expenses. Do you need cable, or can you get by with Netflix? Do you have to have a home phone and a cell phone, or can you cancel that home phone? Does your credit card company want to offer you a lower rate on your cards? Does your insurance company have any lower rates they want to provide? You don’t know until you call, ask them for their help, and sometimes suggest you will walk away from their services if they can’t help. It doesn’t always work, but it never hurts to find out.
Is there something you can do that brings in any money while you look for a good job? Even if you have to flip burgers, some money is better than no money. Start an online business. Sell things you no longer need. Downsize your home to a smaller one, and take your profit to pay off debts. Can you apply for a title loan so you can make ends meet for a few weeks until you’re back on your feet? Can you cash out a portion of your 401k) to help with living expenses? Now is the time to figure out what you can do to earn money. Don’t forget about unemployment, either. Check to see if you’re eligible for it, and see if you can begin collecting.
Surviving unemployment sounds terrifying, but people do it all the time. You have what it takes, but you have to have the confidence to go for it and make it happen. There are options for you while you’re looking for new employment, but you must know where to look. Knowing what to do, remaining calm, and looking for help allows you to make the most of your situation so you can get back on your feet.