Surviving Unemployment - Out of work, what now?

March 25, 2009 -

In February, the unemployment rate shot up to 8.1%. More than 12.5 Million Americans are out of work and, like Bill Marotti, they're all searching for a job.

But how do you keep from becoming the next statistic? How do you survive unemployment?

Well, here's help.

Out of Work, What Now?

Tip #1 - Don't get discouraged.

In this job market, you are now competing with more and more job seekers that are probably over-qualified for the position you seek. But just as they have done, you may also have to lower your "standards" and take what's out there. Get your name and your face out there. Let employers know you are now on the market and you are actively pursuing work. Many will see your persistence as a quality they want in their workplace.

Tip #2 - Take some time to touch up your resume.

It may have been a few months or even 10 years since you've even looked at your resume. While appearances can make a lasting impression, so can a great cover letter and resume. Click here for help in making your resume stick out among the rest.

Tip #3 - Learn how to interview like a pro.

First of all, you have to get yourself an interview. Once you've done that, you'll need these tips to show your future boss what you can add to the company. Click here for interview tips you can't afford to miss.

Tip #4 - Prioritizing what's most important can help you see what you can live without.

Many people sit down and make budgets. But when you are out of work, you may have to do more than that. With your budget, make notes of what extra items you splurge on you may be able to do without. Whether it's dry cleaning, eating out, or even just buying off brands instead of name brands, there are many ways you can save each month.

Tip #5 - Job hunt every day, but use different resources. In today's quest for jobs, more and more people are using non-traditional sources such as social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. Be careful what you put on your pages, because many employers use this tool as well when hiring an employee. These sites can be a great way for you to check in with friends about job openings, or to even post your resume or portfolios. While there are benefits out there for the unemployed, you still need to be searching for your next career. Check out our Region 8 Joblink for a list of job openings. But don't stop there. Continue checking publications, searching online, and even postings at your local supermarket.

Tip#6 - Find something you enjoy until you find that next career.

While it's not the easiest time to find a job, there are activities that you can do that may help you earn a couple of extra bucks. Hold a yard sale, take items to a pawn shop, or even sell some of those antiques. Many people are starting gardens and selling produce at the local farmers markets.

Tip #7 - You may want to look into furthering your education for a better job.

You may have the skills and the knowledge, but not the degree to back it up. Or maybe you want to learn more about a trade but you can't afford a 4-year university. Here are some programs that can help you get the skills you need for your next career.

TAA Program - More than 175 students are being retrained through the Trade Adjustments Act. The University of Arkansas Community College in Batesville is just one of the schools that offers this program. The program pays for you to go back to school and trains you for a new job. UACCB asked and received approval from the Arkansas State Board of Nursing last spring and was granted permission to offer 25 additional slots in its practical nursing program. The first class with the additional slots started in fall 08. The class is for TAA students. Funding for the instructors was provided by the Northcentral Area Health Education Center.

In addition to the TAA program, the campus provided condensed courses last spring to not only bring students up-to-date so they could enroll in the aviation program but to provide those employees who were not laid off until late the opportunity to go ahead and get started in classes rather than waiting until summer classes began.

Other universities are offering similar programs. Call your local community college or university for details.

Whatever your situation is, Bill Marotti says stay optimistic. He says it isn't all bad, he's getting to spend time with his family and see what's truly important. Marotti says while this tough economy is drawing him closer to a new career, it's also drawing him closer to God.

"You know I'm not saying that God caused the economy to go south, but he's going to use it to bring people closer to know whatever circumstances we have, he uses to our good."