If you are recently unemployed, and about to begin the job search, here are some tips on what you need to immediately do before beginning the search.
While losing your job is tough, and it can be a blow to your ego, you cannot let these aspects drag you down or they will ultimately hinder your motivation to search for new employment. There are many unknowns that will have to be faced while unemployed, but there are many things that are known and need dealt with initially.
With the unknown issue of finances and where they will be coming from in the immediate future, one of the main things that needs done immediately, is to get a firm grip on the outflow of cash in the household. Many of us have automatic, rarely thought of normal monthly spending habits. Auto pays, auto renews, for the things we just desire to have in life. Examine all of these things and look at what you "need" and what you only "like." Put a stop to all non-essentials. Make a detailed list of all automatic withdrawals from your accounts, and stop the ones not required to live. This is key, as I have experienced in times of a financial crunch, and getting caught off guard by a forgotten auto-deduction that hit my account hard. Get a grip on this as soon as possible.
Once you know what you need, and weed out the non-essentials, then it is time to take a hard look at your overall budget requirements. What are the absolute bare-bones requirements for your house? Once you have this figured out, it does not necessarily mean you have to immediately enact it, but just have it worked out and ready "in case" the unemployment last longer than expected.
If you have a little money set aside as an emergency fund, be sure to calculate that into the equation. Just because you have a nest-egg set aside, does not mean it is wise to keep on living in the same standard, and causing that nest-egg to dwindle quickly. Tighten the belt, and dip into that emergency fund only if really needed.
Once you have all of that figured out, sit down and take an assessment of your financial status, and work out a projection of all of your income and expenditures. When will your last check come in? Are you getting any severance? Will you qualify for unemployment? How much will you have coming in from other sources? Take all of that into consideration, and then compare the total income to the bare-bones budget you set up, and see if you can survive on the current income coming in. If not, then how much each month would you need to withdrawal from the emergency fund (if available), and how long will it then last?
All of this should give you a rough idea as to how long you can survive on the current income level, and what more is needed each month to just get by on this bare bones budget. Would a part time job be enough to fill the needed income gap while job hunting for something more permanent? How long do you have to focus on finding a job of equal value to the one lost before things get terminal and you need to consider expanding your search to look at jobs that may be of a lower pay grade?
All of this will help you to better prepare for the unknown future, and assist you in stretching things as much as needed during this hopefully short time of unemployment. If you have any tips to share, please comment below.
Jeff McCormack resides in Virginia Beach, VA. where he works as a web designer by day. In his off time he is a husband, father, mail order book store manager, and musician. Aside from being a freelance writer for this Utilities Jobsite blog, he also seeks to assist in career choices and information by contributing to other Nexxt blog sites.