Few weeks ago we started talking about what you can do to prepare for unemployment. What if you are currently in that situation? What can you do now to deal? With no time to waste, here are 5 things to do while you are unemployed:
- Apply for unemployment benefits, such as Employment Insurance (EI) in Canada, or Unemployment Insurance (UI) in the States. As it varies from person to person, make sure you contact your local government if you need assistance. An application takes around an hour to complete.
- Take care of the most urgent and important things and craft a plan to deal with it all. You might need to evaluate and organize the things in your life to map out what is the most important, usually it has to do with money and where it is coming from and where it is going. When you identify what is important, for an example, feeding your family vs family vacation to Dubai, you will be able to look at ways to cut back in certain areas of your life. Many of those sacrifices won’t be as easy as my example to identify, but if you prioritize things according to your values, you will be able to streamline everything until you find another job.
- Start updating your career portfolio. This includes your resume, cover letter and brushing up your LinkedIn account. Having these things organized will make it that much easier to start looking for jobs and subsequently, figuring out where you want to be placed in a corporation (entry level vs. middle management).
- Create a job search/application strategy for yourself. Have a way to organize all the job postings that you have applied to and which sites you have looked at. Having a strategy will keep you that much more organized when you are combing through hundreds and thousands of jobs and applying to just as many.
- Sometimes EI is just not enough. Be ok with taking on a temp. position with an agency. (I wrote a bit about the mentality here). These agencies typically work with large corporations that are always looking for people to work really short terms, around 3-9 months. Typically, they need people to deal with backlogs, maternity leaves, health and sicknesses, etc. Many of these positions are not glamorous, in fact if you have a Ph.D., working as an adminstrator is the last thing you want to do. However, I believe working something is better than doing nothing. If you are humble enough to do something ‘beneath you’, people will likely see that and help you get to another position that is more befitting of your education and experience.
As always, share with us your thoughts on this article, what you have found to be helpful to you while you were unemployed? Are these tips useful? Subscribe to HYPR Magazine for more articles like this one.