(Daily360.com) – No matter your age, qualifications or circumstances, there is always a risk that you might find yourself unemployed at some point. What you do with that down time can make a world of difference to how your future unfolds. Minimize your struggle while you’re without an income with these four important tips.
File for Unemployment
Most people immediately apply for unemployment benefits after losing a job. The sooner a person applies, the quicker they might see their first check, although they still may not receive a decision right away. Thousands of people apply for benefits every single day; it takes time for states to process applications.
You can locate your state’s nearest unemployment office or get more information about applying for benefits on the Department of Labor’s website. Each region sets its own rules, and thus, the exact application process may differ depending on where you are.
Reduce Monthly Spending
Some expenses cannot be avoided — this category includes items you actually need to survive, such as rent, mortgage, and utility bills. Others fall into the realm of wants, meaning that you can live without them if you absolutely have to.
That Netflix subscription? It qualifies, as do mobile phone bills, unused gym memberships, and cash amounts spent on clothing, entertainment, and eating out. Many people spend more than they have to in these areas simply because they aren’t aware of their spending.
Attempting to cut back on these extras can be a great way to save, especially if you’re now without work. To reduce spending, sit down and map out your expenses in a given month. Be absolutely honest with yourself, even if it’s painful — then, remove anything you can live without. Cancel unnecessary subscriptions and ask service providers if there’s any way to decrease costs while keeping the same (or similar) benefits.
Change can be hard, especially when you’re already stressed from losing work. Families should sit down and discuss why such shifts are necessary — at least until they can get back on their feet. Trimming the financial fat might not be a cure-all, but it will certainly help.
Now is the perfect time to clean up that resume. Is your previous contact information still correct? Remove anything that is outdated and include any new skills or certifications you have acquired. Maybe you returned to college and obtained a degree — add that! Polish your resume up to fit the job. Don’t fib, but be sure to highlight those areas where a potential employee will be looking.
Keep an open mind about new opportunities. Check with temp services. What may begin as a temporary position could blossom into a full-time opportunity later on, and if nothing else, it’s money in your pocket for now. Watch for job postings. Whether you’re responding to an ad in a newspaper, a posting in a grocery store or an online job market, the more often you reach out, the more likely you are to get long-term work.
There’s no shame in a setback — it’s what you do next that matters most. It’s completely possible to start over after losing a job. Even if it feels like all is lost, brighter days are very likely right around the corner. So, when you feel out of control or like you’re out of options, breathe — and then focus on changing what you can. Use tips like these to push forward and you will eventually improve your financial footing.
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