How to Survive Being Unemployed

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In a difficult job market, you may have a tough time finding a job. Whether you've just graduated or were recently laid off, looking for a new job or being unemployed can be difficult.

But it's important to keep things in perspective as you continue your job hunt. Read on for our top tips on how to deal with being unemployed.

Make It a Priority

First, you should make finding a job your top priority. It's important to set daily, weekly, and monthly goals. This will help you stay on task even if you are not employed in a traditional workplace.

When looking for a job, set daily, weekly, and monthly goals. For example, you can set a goal of applying to five jobs per week and setting up one networking coffee date per month.

It can be discouraging if you are applying to jobs and not getting any offers. In this case, you may want to have someone look over your resume, and consider getting help with the interview process.

Also, don't underestimate the importance of networking . Go to events or job fairs in your city, or email old bosses or others in your field to meet for coffee or for an informational interview. Be sure to use every connection you can.

Other tips:

Widen Your Search

You may need to widen your job search to include jobs outside of your current field or in other cities. For example, you may need to consider working in a rural area or moving across the country in order to find a job.

It's also wise to take advantage of your network when searching for a job. Ask for help from your friends, family, and acquaintances. If you hear of an opening at a company, try to find someone who works there that can reach out and make a connection for you.

Using your network to find jobs that you may be qualified for could result in an unexpected lead.

Expand Your Qualifications

If you still can't find a job, you may be applying to jobs that you are underqualified for. Remedy this by taking on freelance work, an internship, or a part-time position in your preferred field.

This can open doors to other fulltime opportunities. And remember, if an internship doesn't directly lead to a job, it will give you more experience to include on your resume. You may also consider getting additional certifications in your career field.

Comb through your personal history and make sure that there isn't an extenuating circumstance that is preventing you from getting a job, such as a poor credit history.

Work Your Plan B

When unemployed, it's also wise to have a fallback plan. After all, you'll need some source of income in order to live, especially if you do not have unemployment benefits because you are a recent graduate.

Consider getting a part-time job while you are searching for more permanent, full-time work. The pay may be low, and the hours not that great but it is better than not making any money at all.

A part-time job can be a temporary measure to survive while unemployed. Try to find a job with evening or nighttime hours that will leave your day free so that you can continue to apply for jobs.

Waiting tables, delivering pizzas, or stocking shelves are all options that pay well and can help tide you over while you can continue to look for work. And remember, don't get discouraged.

Consider Your Expenses

Finally, you should consider your expenses to avoid running up debt while you are looking for a job. You may want to reconsider your living arrangements if you are unemployed. You might move back in with your parents or get a roommate.

While moving back home or getting a roommate may not be ideal, it can prevent you from running out of money and going further into debt while you are unemployed.

You should also keep your expenses as low as possible. Draw up a bare-bones budget and stick to it. Don't spend unnecessary money on new clothes, video games, or going out.

Be Cautious About Going Back to School

Many recent graduates are considering attending graduate school in the hopes that the job market will be better when they graduate with an advanced degree. If you are considering doing this you should carefully consider the cost of the degree . Make sure the cost will be worth it, meaning it will increase your salary exponentially and that you will be able to pay off the incurred debt.

Additionally, check the average salary for a master's degree in your field and make sure it is worth it. You may also look for scholarships and assistantships to help pay for graduate school.

Updated by Rachel Morgan Cautero.

Article Sources

  1. Harvard Business Review. "Learn to Love Networking." Accessed Jan. 27 2020.

  2. USA.Gov. "Unemployment Help." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.

  3. National Center for Education Statistics. "Tuition costs of colleges and universities." Accessed Jan. 27, 2020.