Here are some suggestions for those of you who have experienced a lay- off recently or even if it’s been a while. Taking control of your situation immediately can make a huge difference, financially and emotionally.
- Cut expenses any way you can
Reduce cable bill, electric bill etc.
This was a number one priority for me while I was laid off, aside from finding a job. You need to look to the future and cutting expenses will help you hang on longer while looking for a job. This is a great way to improve your finances while being laid off.
- Grow your own veggies
Anyone can grow vegetables. You can grow them indoors even in the winter (certain ones like Lettuce). You can freeze or can your harvest from the summer and have plenty for all winter. This will save a bundle. If you grow tomatoes alone, think of all the sauce you can make with them all winter long.
- If you have two cars, take one off the road
Sharing a car can cut expenses. If you have an interview, you can take your spouse to work and still do the interview. This can save big time on insurance costs.
- Rent a bedroom to a boarder
Renting a room in your house is an option but not to a stranger. You should always be careful who you let live in your house. This was always a last resort in my mind but I never had to use it.
- Start a side business to help ends meet
Check your unemployment benefits in your state as you may qualify for some grants (which you won’t have to pay back) for education or to start a business. In NJ, you could choose certification classes at a local college or $4000. Small business grant If you qualify for anything, take advantage as these types of opportunities do not come every day.
- Learn new business skills
As I mentioned before, take advantage of any kinds of state grants that are available in your area. But there are other types of free education available to you, even if you’re not unemployed. There are free online classes that you can take at your own pace. This is something that can help you look to the future, increasing your skills and may help finances in the future.
Here are a few links:
- Learn new hobby/personal skills
Think of the skill or hobby that you always wanted to have more time for. I wanted to write more, use my Aero-Garden, grow things, learn how to dehydrate foods, work on crafts etc. Think way back to a time when you had time to work on something that was enjoyable to you. You may be able to make money with it or save money with it.
- Sell unwanted things on Craigslist, Facebook, E-Bay, Amazon, Barnes & Noble
This is a very easy thing to do if you haven’t tried it already. There are free e-books on amazon and B&N that you can read if you haven’t. You don’t need an e-reader to get these books, as you can get them right on your computer.
- If you have creative skills, sell on Etsy
Or think of something you would like to learn. Some of the simplest ideas are the most popular ones. If you think about it, you may have an interest that you will enjoy and in the mean time can help you financially.
- Volunteer to help people who are less fortunate than you
Don’t sit around and feel sorry for yourself. This will not help you get a job. Self-esteem is a big factor in finding a job because it keeps you motivated and prevents you from falling into a bad status. There are lots of places that need help. Inquire at local a church and you will find volunteer work.
- Read everything you can that can help you prepare to get a job (or get books on audio if you don’t like to read)
Go to your local library so you can borrow books for free. There are a lot of books out there about the job market, interviews, and resumes. If you're serious about finding a job as quick as possible, exploring all avenues can be very valuable.
Volunteer your time at a non-profit organization
Here you will meet more contacts who may also help you find a job. This is one more thing you can put on your resume but most importantly, you will be doing something significant to help out in your community.
Being laid off is not the end of the world. It’s a challenge but it’s also about taking a step back and evolving into that person that will stand out in a crowd of people who are applying for the same positions. It’s about developing skills and doing the best that you can with what you have. It’s about picking yourself up and knowing that you will be ok.