6 more moves to make after you lose your job
On Monday, I gave six moves to make should the unthinkable happen. Here are six more suggestions:
File for unemployment benefits
My “big picture” political view is that unemployment benefits make the problem of unemployment worse – however, I do not begrudge anyone taking advantage of the money to which they are entitled. While I would rather that the tax money used for the purposes of unemployment benefits will create more jobs if not removed from economy in the first place, the reality is that we, especially those of us with children, need to accept help from as many sources as possible.
Take cash out of your retirement or IRA
Most advisors will tell you that this is a bad idea. I agree, for the most part, but there are times that call for desperate measures. The reality is that retirement savings are a luxury and after you lose your job, luxuries are the first thing to go.
If you decide to take money out of a retirement account due to job loss, be sure to get professional advice. There are penalties and taxes involved, make sure that you are doing the right thing. There are some types of retirement accounts that do not tax distributions taken due to job loss. Sometimes the amount of tax that you might pay on an early withdrawal is a better choice that sinking deeper into debt. The reality is that retirement savings are a luxury and after you lose your job, luxuries are the first thing to go.
Look for jobs everywhere
Start your job hunt the same day that you lose your job. Get out and look. The internet has made job searching easier than in the past practice of “pounding the pavement”, but do not limit yourself to the usual job hunting websites. I have a friend who just landed a 6-figure job that he found listed on Craiglist. You can also go directly to company websites because not all companies list on the big employment aggregators. Look for the “employment” or “careers” button and apply directly. As you go about your daily routine, collect applications and fill them out. If you are unemployed and still shopping at a particular store, chances are good that particular business is still doing okay.
It is often discouraging to be unemployed and to some there is stigma attached to telling others that you do not have a job. For most of us unemployment is not a result of any mistake that we have made, it is simply a reality of the current economy. Very few people assume incompetence or laziness about someone who recently lost their job. For this reason, you need to let as many people as possible know that you are looking for a job. Your church, your family, your neighbors all represent networks of their own. Furthermore, a personal recommendation can be a powerful recommendation. Remember the old adage, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.
Flexibility is not always an easy skill. Americans are used to being able to find employment wherever they like. Geography, time of day and career path are all negotiable. To find a good job or even a job at all, you might need to be willing to move. You might need to learn a new skill or accept a different level of salary.
Get back to work right away
Do not be too proud to take a job that might be beneath your standards. I recently told an unemployed friend of mine that he needed to consider all options – including jobs like fast food restaurants or discount retail. Frankly, if you consider yourself to be “middle management” or “administration” and you take a job at Taco Bell, your talents will be recognized and you will move your way up the ladder pretty quickly. You need cash flow and work history, even so-called “dirty jobs” can provide you with both. A job, even a low paying job will give you more time to find the occupation that best suits you.
Being without a job is no fun and I hope the United States and the world economy turns around as quickly as possible, but until that happens we are all going to have to work as hard as possible at keeping our jobs. If you lose your job, claim the promise of God that he will meet your needs!
Article by Stew
Photo by The Consumerist