Being between jobs can be a frightening, lonely experience. If you don’t know where your next paycheck is coming from, you may be wondering how you can survive from day to day. Daily necessities such as food and shelter can feel like insurmountable obstacles rather than the givens they used to be. When that’s the case, don’t panic – the most important thing is to take stock of your situation and understand the practical steps you can take to alleviate it. Here are 10 tips for survival when you find yourself between jobs.
1. Have a clearout
Tidying is good for mental health, but that’s not the only benefit it can bring. You may have lots of old possessions lying around that you’re not using anymore. If you do, those possessions could well bring you some much-needed cash, especially if you’ve got old electronics, smartphones, or other devices. Between searching for other jobs and working on your CV, sort through things you don’t use and see if you can sell any of them for a cash injection.
2. Consider all sources when it comes to funding
While it’s perfectly natural to feel reluctant to seek out other sources of funding while you’ve got a regular job, you’ll need to react to the change in your situation. Talk to friends and family about money and see if they can help you. Do some research into bad credit personal loans so that you can get yourself back on track (but remember to only do this if you’ll have the scope to pay it back!). Don’t rule anything out, because an unconventional source of cash could save your sanity.
3. Never stop searching for new jobs
It’s easy to feel disheartened by a relatively weak job market and give up trying. However, you should always be scouring job websites and postings for new positions. You never know when the perfect opportunity might arise, and if you’re not looking, you’ll definitely miss it. Heading out and handing in your CV personally may not be an option right now (and it’s rarely effective anyway), but you should keep job platforms open at all times.
4. Work on your CV
Without a killer CV, employers won’t look twice at you. It’s important to keep your CV updated and to try and ensure there aren’t any major gaps in your work history. One aspect of CV creation many overlook is its compatibility with ATS systems. If you’re not familiar with ATS, it’s effectively a method by which employers pluck key information from your CV, and if you haven’t written it with ATS in mind, you may find yourself at a disadvantage. A great CV can be what clinches a new job!
5. Create a budget and stick to it
Money management is a critical skill throughout life, but this is never more true than when you’re looking for work. It’s important to sit down and take honest, realistic stock of your financial situation. Write down everything you’re earning (if anything) and all of your outgoings. With these figures in mind, try to budget for everything you need to do on a day-to-day basis. Once your budget is created, refer to it regularly so that you don’t slip up.
6. Try volunteering
While volunteering opportunities may be in shorter supply at the moment than they usually would, you should still seek them out wherever possible. Volunteering is an excellent boon for your CV; it looks great to employers because it shows you’re willing to put in hard work even when there’s no concrete material motivation. It can also introduce you to new, interesting people, develop your skill set, and help you to feel more positive about life during a difficult time.
7. Make cuts and spend less
It’s easy to say “spend less money”, and we understand that this isn’t always possible. However, there are plenty of swaps you can make to reduce your outgoings. Try swapping branded shops for supermarket alternatives, for example, or cutting back on your transport costs by walking or taking the bus. You’d be amazed at how quickly these changes start to feel routine, and many of them will improve your physical and mental health as well.
8. Claim whatever benefits you’re entitled to
One of the first things you should do as soon as you’re out of work is check what benefits you’re able to claim. Of course, this will differ depending on your individual situation, but if you are out of work – and you don’t have a significant amount of money saved up – then there’s usually at least some sort of government benefit you’re entitled to. This money can be a lifesaver when you’re out of work, so don’t hesitate to check what you can claim.
9. Use this time to plan your dream career
Being out of work might well be an opportunity rather than a problem. Could this be the moment you start planning for the career you’ve always dreamed of having? It’s never too late, after all; no matter what age you are or how deep you are into a certain career, you can always switch given the right circumstances. Talk to friends and family to see if they will support you while you pursue your dream. Try to build connections in your new industry by volunteering or simply reaching out to individuals who work where you want to work.
10. Stay positive
This could well be the hardest thing you need to do if you find yourself out of work, but it’s very important to stay positive. If you allow negative thinking to overtake you, then you’re going to find it more difficult to enact proactive change. Try to make sure that every time you’re feeling low or hopeless, you do something that could help you to find new work rather than simply ruminating on your situation. By staying active, you’re helping to stave off those unhelpful negative feelings.