Unemployed as a result of the sinking economy, you find yourself suddenly transformed from a productive member of the workforce to a statistic. The loss of your livelihood engenders fears concerning your finances, diminishes your confidence, and ships your mind off on a tide of self-pity. While you are entitled to experience these normal reactions to a layoff, do not allow them to claim your life; instead, craft and execute a strategic plan for seeking a new position. The deliberation and action that such a plan demands will get you off the couch and into an extensive network of resources designed to assist you in achieving your goals.
Unemployment insurance: act quickly to file your claim with your local Unemployment Office, as it will take several weeks to process your first check. Attach no shame to the need to file. As a member of the working class, you have paid into the Unemployment fund with contributions from your own salary.
If you require additional training to enhance your marketability, you may be able to access that training, free of charge, via The Unemployment Office. Consult with an off-site counselor to determine if you are eligible to receive these additional, non-monetary benefits.
To maximize the results of your job search, you will want to access online resources. Use the Internet to forge connections with organizations whose mission is to support the unemployed as they maneuver through the job seeking process. In an article that appeared recently on CNN.com, Clark Howard highly recommends this tactic. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Howard hosts a nationally syndicated radio show as well as a television program, the latter of which he dedicates to providing his audience with guidance and assistance during this economic downswing.
One of the sites that Howard suggests is LaidOffCamp.com, a prominent networking resource designed for the unemployed as well as freelancers, entrepreneurs, and others in non-traditional positions. This website provides an information-sharing format that can yield advantageous data and perhaps a strategic job connection. Howard references additional sites that link freelancers with employers, including Elance.com, oDesk.com, Guru.com, and CrowdSPRING.com.
He also recommends “screen scraper” sites such as SimplyHired and Indeed.com. Because these sites compile data from Monster.com, Yahoo!HotJobs, and other large, general employment sites as well as individual company websites, they offer convenience as well as a broad range of potential opportunities.
Still other sites target jobs in specific industries. Biospace.com services the science and biotechnology field; Idealist.org provides connections for those involved in non-profit, charitable work. There is even a site (Workforce50.com) to accommodate the unique needs of more mature job applicants.
Clark is quick to advise that although Internet boards are undeniably beneficial, candidates should not confine their searches exclusively to the Internet. With the near-constant barrage of emails and faxes, it seems as if direct communication between two individuals is becoming a lost art. Therefore, he advises reaching out to contacts through telephone calls or face-to-face meetings. He also counsels job candidates not to batter their contacts with inquiries about job openings. Rather, Clark recommends that job hunters approach their associates with requests for advice. While demonstrating respect for the business acumen of one’s contacts, application of this tactic may also produce viable job opportunities.