7 ways to get through unemployment

If you are reading this it is probably because your job was another causality of the economic crisis. While it's tempting to hide in a corner and wait for the crisis to be over, you simply do not have that luxury. It is best to get productive preparing and executing your own unemployment recovery plan.

Looking for a job, even in the best times, can be a stressful experience. It can be a long process filled with rejection and a lot of networking. However, if you devise a smart strategy for managing your finances, handling your time, and kicking off your job search, you can turn what would be a disaster into a mere disruption.

It is important to approach the time after you've been unemployed with the same sense of purpose you felt while on the job. Even though unemployment is upsetting, it is not the end of the world. It is best to think of unemployment as an opportunity to make a fresh start and improve yourself. You may just end up better off than before you became unemployed.

  1. Negotiate a severance package.

    Most often, a severance package is presented in a lump some of cash, but this may not be the best option for you. Ignore company policy, and understand that your severance package can be negotiated. It pays to research what others in your position may have received. If your new job search happens to extend a while, think about what will be most important for you in the long term. For most people this is often health insurance. Health insurance costs the company less than it would for you, so this is highly negotiable. Another benefit to negotiate is having the company pay for a career coaching service to assist in helping you find a new job. Remember that while the cash may be attractive, you may be searching for a new job for awhile, negotiate a severance package that will keep you stable for some time.

  2. Don't take it personally

    Everyone is hurting, including the company you are working for. More than likely you are experiencing a lay off because of a lack of business for your company, not because of poor performance on your part. All kinds of people, even good people, are being laid off. It's important to remember all of this for your own sanity. Many people take their recent unemployment too personally when they need to understand that it was only business. There is no reason that you can not be a highly valuable employee for another company. It is also important not to take it personally because when business picks back up, your past employer may be happy to rehire you.

  3. Finding a new job is your job

    If you were used to working for eight hours a day, suddenly having hours of unscheduled time can be daunting. You will need to find structure in you life and create your own day-to-day routine. The best way to do this is to apply your work hours to your new job search. Write up a few resumes and cover letters, each focusing on different skills. There may be a trade organization that you can join and network. Practice your interviewing skills with a friend or family member.

  4. Manage your money

    Obviously, one of the biggest things that people worry about after becoming unemployed is money. The way that you will manage your money will determine your stress level. Understand that you will more than likely have to change your living standard. Money can disappear quickly if you continue to spend it on unncessary living expenses. Take a look at how much money you have, how long could you survive if you continue to spend as normal? Make sure that your critical bills can be paid, like your mortgage, car payment and insurance. Immediately cut out anything extra. Do you really need cable TV right now? Can you settle for a frozen pizza instead of expensive delivery? Start clipping coupons, bargain hunt, and don't be embarrased to be seen in thrift stores. You may have to sacrifice right now, but you will be glad you did if your job hunt continues longer than you expected.

  5. Look beyond your community

    If you have the ability to relocate use it to your advantage. Just because you may have worked for a big company in a big city certainly doesn't mean you have to keep looking in the city to find a job you are qualified for. For example, if you worked in Chicago check out the surrounding suburbs for job openings. Consider going smaller rather than bigger.

  6. Consider a career change

    While there have been layoffs in your previous vocation, others are thriving. With the recent government stimulus package, a new wave of jobs in the area of first responders has become available. Have you ever dreamt of becoming a police officer, fireman, or EMT? Well, now is a great time to follow that dream. While there are several jobs in the area of first responders available, it can be a confusing process. We recommend the first responder book, simply send them your information and you'll receive a detailed explanation on how to get started in this field.

  7. Start your own business

    Along with money made available to first responders the government has recently made an unprecedented amount of money available to those wanting to start a small business. If you are tired of working for other people now may be a great time to take matters into your own hands. More money than ever is available, much of it not requiring to be paid back. However, it can be a confusing and bureaucratic process in getting money from grants. We recommend you sign up for free for a service to find what grants will be available to you.