The number of unemployed individuals in the country has increased to 6.54 million. Even worse, the unemployment rate is expected to increase further in the near future.
If you’re unemployed and broke, keep in mind that there are millions of others just like you.
But with a few tips, you can set yourself apart from the rest.
Here are ten things you can do.
1. File for Unemployment Benefits
If you’ve been let go at work, you should apply for unemployment benefits at your state office. You’re only eligible to these benefits if you weren’t fired for misconduct.
These benefits replace a portion of your previous income to ensure some cash flow in your household. This may not cover all your expenses, but at least some bills will get paid.
The unemployment programs may vary from state to state. However, most of them last up to 26 weeks. In some states, the policy allows up to 73 weeks of benefits. The weekly amount will depend on how long you’ve been unemployed and your income prior to unemployment.
2. Build a Network
The secret to landing a great job is networking. Your search in the job market can be daunting, but knowing the right people boosts your chances of landing a good job.
Efficient networking will require reconnection with your old contacts as well as forming new connections. Reconnecting will depend on where you’re at with your career. You may want to get in touch with former colleagues, college professors, internship supervisors, and business acquaintances.
Good networking will help you find out about viable job vacancies. It’ll also enable you to get the word out to potential employers about your skillsets and talent.
You can boost your networking by signing up with alumni and relevant professional associations. Also, attend workshops, seminars, and industry events related to your field.
3. Consider a Part-Time Job
Consider putting your skills to work by freelancing while you’re still job hunting.
You can boost your finances through temporary online or offline work. You may land a well-paying part-time work or contract in your field of expertise. This will not only improve your skillset but may also turn into full-time employment.
You could launch your part-time work as a freelance writer or even an Uber driver if you have a car. Consider other jobs like running errands and cleaning homes as you stabilize your finances.
Remember, the goal is to end up with a steady full-time job. So don’t let your part-time career path hinder your aggressive job application.
4. Decide if You Need a Loan
If you have a good credit score but almost no savings, then consider getting loans for unemployed individuals. Before you take the loan, consider borrowing from close friends and family. Weigh out all your finance options to see which serves your best interest.
Taking a loan is only a good idea if your debt situation is manageable. Otherwise, you may not be able to handle too much debt.
Apply for a loan as soon as you’re unemployed to boost your chances of getting the loan. Getting a loan when you’ve been out employment for a long period may be a little bit difficult.
5. Come up with a Budget
After losing your job, you may want to evaluate your financial situation and create an optimal budget. If you have some savings, add them to other sources of income like unemployment benefits and payment from your part-time jobs.
Ensure you lower unnecessary expenditure so that you can focus on real needs like food and having a roof over your head. You can reduce expenditures on services like lawn care, premium cable channels, and magazine subscriptions until you get back into employment. Also, save up on grocery coupons and cut down on eating out.
6. Volunteer to Keep Busy
When you are unemployed, the last thing you want to do is work free. However, you should consider volunteering as it’ll make you more marketable in the job space. Hiring managers consider this as taking initiative and being passionate for a specific cause.
When volunteering, pick a role you’ll be willing to take on and also passionate about. Even if the position isn’t relevant to your field of work, make the most out of it and do it diligently.
Avoid volunteering full-time especially if your goal is to get back to employment as soon as possible. Putting all your time and energy into volunteering may take up your time for job hunting.
7. Take an Online Course
A good way to keep yourself motivated and sharp while unemployed is taking a class. Even though most courses cost money, there are a ton of free online educational tools to help you stay focused and improve your relevant job skills.
These skills will help beef up your resume and appear more productive to your potential employer.
8. Build an Online Presence
Create an online portfolio and spice up your social media platforms to showcase your experience and skills.
Find relevant companies you can work for and follow their social media platforms and blogs. You can also find the decision-makers at those companies and follow them as well. Do some research on the company and engage with them online.
Fortunately, you’ll be able to establish a rapport with someone from the inside who’ll alert you on unpublished job openings. You can use what you’ve learned about the company to customize your application for the job.
9. Start a Blog About Your Industry
Creating a blog is a good way of keeping up with industry trends and networking with potential employers. Besides connecting with people, your blog will also allow you to put your ideas into the world.
Make sure you’re always updated about issues in the industry to stand out as authoritative. You’ll also need to learn about some SEO tools that’ll improve the online visibility of your blog.
10. Sell Some You Aren’t Using
To make some money while job hunting, you could sell some of your unused possessions. Sites like eBay and Craiglist are some good places to start. You can also hold the good old garage sales.
Some of the items that sell quickly include video games and electronics.
Unemployed and Broke No More – Prepare for Your Next Unemployment!
Most unemployed and broke individuals don’t have an emergency fund. Therefore, once you get back to your feet, start preparing an emergency fund and prepare the future.
For more insightful tips on how to save and invest, check out our Saving and Investing blog posts.