6 Things You Should Do Immediately If You Lose Your Job

Sign up for unemployment the very day you lose your job.

There is a waiting period of one week from the day you lose your job until you qualify to collect unemployment benefits. Then after you complete the unemployment application process and you qualify for unemployment there will still be another period of time before you start receiving benefit checks. From the day you apply for benefits it could take up to 3 weeks before you receive your first check. Signing up immediately via the Internet or over the phone allows you to minimize the length of time you will go without any income at all.

Protect your credit rating.

Having access to inexpensive short term credit could be the safety net you need during this hard time. If you need to move into less expensive housing your credit rating will most likely play a factor in the process. Some employers use credit reports as one factor in their hiring decisions. Your credit rating also determines the amount you pay for insurance on your home and car, the interest rates you get, and if you qualify for new credit and how much.

Be careful not to start subsidizing your lifestyle with credit. Opening new accounts, closing accounts, exceeding 50% of your credit limit, or paying late all have varying degrees of negative affects on your credit score which could mean higher costs in other areas.

Get a gym membership.

A gym membership will give you many advantages if used properly while unemployed. It will get you out of the house everyday. You will meet new people with whom to socialize and network. Exercise is proven to elevate your mood and keep you healthier. Many gyms will have daycare for children, provide locker room and shower facilities, provide wifi access, and offer affiliate discounts to other retailers associated with the gym or neighborhood.

Protect your health.

Those who lose their job often report feelings of depression, which is just one trigger that can lead to sickness. Becoming sick while unemployed could lead to even harder financial challenges. Think about your ability to pay for unexpected health care. Make even more effort now to eat nutritious food, exercise, and practice preventative medicine.

Stay mobile.

Who will hire you in your living room? You need to get out of your house and comfort zone and start knocking on doors and shaking hands. Not only will you prove you are ambitious and will work harder than other applicants by showing up at employers' front doors, but you will be in a better mood by being outside and moving around.

Thought staying at home and using the web was a more efficient way of finding a job? A story on CNNMoney.com makes the point that a pathetic 4% of open positions were filled by referrals from CareerBuilder.com, a major player in the job website business.

Maximize your new greatest asset.

You may not have a steady paycheck right now, but you do have a lot more of another asset: your time. Before, you are trading your time for a paycheck. Now you have much more time with which you can invest in yourself. Of course you're going to be looking for a new source of income, but now you should learn new work skills with a part time temporary job, increase the value of your home by touching up its' curb appeal, or take classes to enhance your education, for example.

Mike Bowman
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