Have you found yourself in a “temporarily income challenged” (my nice way of saying unemployed) situation? If so here are some tips and tricks from my personal experience:
1 – Unemployment Insurance: file for unemployment ASAP (if applicable)! I have heard California takes about 6 weeks before you receive your first check! Invest the time to file as soon as you possibly can! No excuses!
2 – Resume: get cracking on updating your resume! Don’t rush through this process, create several versions.
Secure a copyediting or anal retentive friend to proofread your resume once you have a final version. I am so blessed to have a few medical editors and writers in my network who were willing to lend a helping hand! THANK YOU (you know who you are).
3 – Vodka: stock up! Bevmo has a big bottle of Svedka for $17. Now is not the time to splurge on Goose. But starting a weekday with a Bloody Mary can make all of the difference. I do not recommend starting EVERY day this way, moderation is key!
4 – Stalking: Applying for jobs is not as easy as “it used to be” (hmm I feel very old saying this!). My recommendation is to also search Linked In and find recruiters! Connect with them and then email them and ask if they can help you with your job search. This is in addition to all other recruiters you have a relationship with. You have to think outside the box to make yourself stand out these days! It is time to get out of that comfort zone and be creative!
A side note on Linked in: if you don’t have it GET it! And make sure you have a current “position listed” i.e. my title is “Project Manager for Hire” and the company I work for is “on the market”. There is a glitch with Linked In if you don’t have an active position you will not be searchable by recruiters and other people!
5 – Be Organized: I have a spreadsheet with 3 tabs, job search, recruiters and no go. In the job search tab I keep track of the position, the company, where I saw the ad, how I applied and the date I applied and I include a link to the original job posting. The recruiter tab has similar information but also includes the date I last contacted them. The no go tab is a simple copy and paste from the job search once someone lets me know I didn’t get that position. I have found this to be instrumental to my search! You want to make sure you know what job someone is calling you about!
6 – Haggle: As one of my besties would say “be Leone” – negotiate ALL costs! Start with your therapist if you have a high insurance co pay OR if you will be without insurance for a while (umm there is a new law in place about not having insurance – check out covered CA; you can email me and I can send you the name & number of the broker I used).
Feel free to ask for coupons EVERY single time you shop! Be nice and explain you are temporarily income challenged and you would love a coupon! You will be surprised how often this works! Don’t forget to be super charming and sweet!
Also, check your local grocery store for their major sale days – you can find organic produce about to expire for CHEAP! Thanks, R for this tip!!!
7 – Two Buck Chuck – $2 Chuck is your new friend for both drinking and cooking wine. Now is not the time to splurge on expensive wines! Chuck makes for a nice glass with dinner! Remember only in moderation!
9 – Balance: Balance your job search with some fun! Take advantage of the gift of free time and make sure you spend ample time at the beach or at your pool (if applicable). You will regret not making the most of this time when you are back in the grind!
10 – Daytime Outings: I love a fun daytime outing! See #9. Meet your friends for lunch <you could always eat light at home before meeting for lunch and purchase a lighter meal/snack to save $$) or meet your friends for coffee! Or better yet really get out of your comfort zone and grab a beer by yourself at 2 or 3pm! There is something so liberating about a cocktail in the middle of the day!
11 – Happy Hour: Of course you still want to be social and see your friends, but you don’t WANT to spend $$. Research the best happy hour and invite your friends to join you!
12 – Be Confident & Positive: You are not defined by your career or lack thereof. Hold your head up high and remember all of the amazing qualities you have! Seek reinforcements from your besties if needed!
Stay in a positive mindset – ALL of the time. Now is not the time for negativity!
13 – Read: I have found reading fluff (not self-help books or the Secret) is a great way to quiet your mind and fill your time! And it is a great way to kill time at the beach or pool!
14 – Network: This is different from stalking. Seek out live networking events and GO! You will need a business card to share your information. Vista print offers 250 free cards you only pay shipping. I highly suggest you invest in the shipping cost and create a professional looking card with your name, number and email. This will be a huge help at events!
And don’t forget #6; if the networking event has a cost see if there is a discount or free option for the temporarily income challenged!
Tell everyone you know and those you don’t know that you are job hunting! I even tell random strangers at the grocery store or the guy next to me at the bar! You get the point – put it out there – everywhere! You never know, a hiring manager may just be that person behind you in line!
15 – Dream: Your life has just taken a detour! Now you have the wonderful and precious gift of time! Think about what you truly WANT from life! What future do you want for yourself? Think about it, then journal it, then create a vision board then go out and CREATE YOUR LIFE! It can be anything you want it to be YOU are in charge!
This is what has worked for me thus far. It is not a perfect science, and frankly I plan on having a full time income before I can perfect this strategy (see how the powerful positive thinking is?). But, I hope this has helped you find some hope in a challenging situation.
Feel free to email me at Christine@cupcakingchristine.com if you want any specific details or tips, I am always happy to share and help!