Ten Things to Do When You Lose Your Job

Posted on 02/20/2009

Over the past year more than four million Americans have lost their jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a whole lot of unemployed people. That means there’s even more competition for the available jobs. Here are ten things to do when you lose your job.

Don't let unemployment get you down - take these tips from the Bargainist and turn the situation around!

Plan out Your Finances
The scariest thing about losing your job is losing your income. Stop wondering if you’ll be able to pay your bills and start crunching some numbers. Figure out how long you can manage without an income. Start making plans for reducing expenses and bringing in alternative sources of income.

Cut out Luxuries
I hate to say it, but luxuries have got to go– at least until you get your income back. Avoid the mall, avoid fancy restaurants, and avoid thoughts of pricey trips to Europe. But don’t worry, this is only temporary.

Claim Benefits
Soon after becoming unemployed, file a claim with your State Unemployment Insurance Agency. Here is a list of all of the agencies by state. You will be asked to provide dates and addresses of your former employers. Benefits usually take three to four weeks to kick in and typically last a maximum of 26 weeks.

Don’t Get Comfortable
Don’t make Oprah and Ellen your new best friends. Sure they are great, but they won’t help you pay your bills.

Tweak your Resume
Make sure your resume is up-to-date and perfect. Your local One-Stop Career Center can help you for free. Try putting your resume online using a free service like MyResumeOnline.org. In just a few minutes your details will be online and you’ll have a URL you can pass on to potential employers.

Tell People
Losing your job can be stressful and even embarrassing. But remember– millions of people are in the same boat. Don’t feel ashamed. Instead, spread the word so that contacts and friends can help you find a new job.

Start Hunting
It’s time to start hunting for a new job opportunity. Peruse job listings on websites, Craigslist and through your local unemployment office. Keep an open mind.

Improve Your Skills
Try taking a course at a local community college to hone your skills. Not sure which school offers the classes you need? Check out Careerinfonet.org to find educational programs and the institutions that offer those programs. Or find free online courses like those offered through News University.

Networking has never been so easy thanks to sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Make connections with friends, family members and former co-workers. Check for free networking events through your local Chamber of Commerce. Remember, it’s all about who you know.

Stay Positive
Try to look at losing your job as an opportunity to try something new. You are now setting out on a new path and who knows what lies ahead!

By Alison Storm

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