Being unemployed can be very stressful. So many people are struggling day by day to figure out where their next source of income will come from. According the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current unemployment rate in the United States is 5%, and according to the International Labour Organization (ILO) the global unemployment rate is over 8% meaning that over 560 million people worldwide are without work. The burden of being unemployed can take a toil on someone’s mind, body, and soul; especially if they do not have faith. Not knowing where your next source of income will come from, not knowing if you will be able to pay your bills on time, not knowing if you will be able to buy your friends and/or family members gifts for special occasions can be very difficult to cope with. Trust me, I’ve been there! You see, I have been unemployed, and these same thoughts and emotions resonated with me. I felt like a failure; I graduated top of my class in college, I traveled the world, I gained many accolades for my hard work in school, I gained great experience through working, but I still found myself unemployed.
As stated previously, unemployment can be hard to cope with, but the process does not have to be horrible; there IS a way out! Now that the holiday season is upon us, it’s easy for negativity to brew its ugly head; you may be thinking about how you’re going to pay your bills and still provide your family with a great holiday season, or you may be thinking that you should not participate in this year’s festivities because you’re not up to it. Well, I am here to let you know that if you do not gain anything else from this article, I want you to understand that you CANNOT let negativity take over your life. You CAN still enjoy the holidays while being unemployed. I created six strategies to help anyone overcome the feelings of being unemployed.
1. Own Up!
It is easy to place blame on external people or things without owning up to our own doings. If you’re currently unemployed, you are unemployed for a reason. Whether you were terminated, quit, left due to sickness, etc you have a reason to own up to. Once you are able to come to terms with the reason(s) why you are in your situation, then your healing process will begin sooner rather than later. By owning up to the part you played in your situation, you are humbling yourself and opening your heart up to the possibility of wonderful occurrences in your life. Not only do you need to understand the part that you played in the situation, but also you need to understand how you can avoid future incidences.
2. Stay Positive
I get it! You probably heard this before, and I understand that it is difficult to find motivation when positivity seems like nothing more than a fallacy. Our minds have been programmed to automatically think negatively when a threat occurs. However, thinking negatively only magnifies the situation. Pessimism is not only a bad practice, but also it is bad for your health. So, if you’re constantly believing that you’re depressed your body is going to feed off those feelings and treat you accordingly. Whereas, if switch your mindset and start believing that you’re sincerely happy, then you will see a change in the way you move through life. Have faith and believe in yourself through anything!
A couple strategies to aide you with this process is to stop negative thoughts in their tracks and identify a positive. When you start thinking negative, IMMEDIATELY stop what you’re doing, breathe, and tell yourself that you’re not going to think about “x” situation negatively (you may need to repeat this process a few times to truly rid your mind of negativity). Next, identify a positive. So, identify one positive thing that resulted or will result from the situation. For instance, if you are unemployed and you’re worried about not being able to provide for your family during the holidays, first rid your mind of negative thoughts, then identify a positive. For example, maybe you have enough money to pay your bills this month, or you spent a few hours working on your resume & cover letter to put your best foot forward to obtain interviews. Remember, the societal notion is that unemployment is difficult, but it does not have to be if you change your mindset.
3. Identify What You Really Want
Self-assessing is an extremely key aspect in success. You must know yourself, your interests, and passions prior to researching your job and/or career. I have found that many people will jump on the computer to find a job before even knowing what they are looking for (don’t worry I have fell victim to this too). Not only is this wrong, but it wastes time and causes unnecessary stress. If you begin your search with an idea(s) of what you want, and what you are looking for then you will find more success.
Furthermore, this eliminates the “apply for every job” method that entails people applying to any job they see on the internet because they are desperate to find a job and make money. Again, this is wrong and it will lead to failure. Employers want to know what skills and experience you have that relates to the job you are applying for. On the entrepreneur side, try picking one topic that sincerely interests you, and begin doing some research. Try to stay away from the “jack of all trades” approach whether you are seeking a job or entrepreneurship because you will confuse your audience or the employer.
4. Get A Game Plan!
There’s this quote that is floating around the internet that states “Set Goals and Crush Em”. This is so true because you need a plan to reach success. Now, you may be thinking that you need to start fixing your financial situation fast, and I completely understand! The great thing about plans are that you can create them for your short term or long term goals. So, if you know that you need to find employment within two weeks (I chose two weeks because I hear this time frame a lot), think about “what are you doing NOW to make this happen?”. To be honest, finding a job in two weeks can be difficult because every company has a certain interview process (BUT it is NOT impossible!). So, to begin planning:
- Conduct a brain dump (write down all the things you need to do to accomplish your goal)
- Prioritize your tasks
- Break your tasks down into days
- Even out your tasks
- · Make sure each task will help you achieve your goal
So, if your goal is two weeks, you CAN do it, but you must put in the work meaning that you need to create a game plan that entails updating your resume and cover letter, identifying jobs of interests, cold calling companies, attending networking events, asking your family & friends, etc. Nothing is impossible, but you must know what you want and plan for it!
5. When In Doubt, Temp!
The process of finding employment quickly does not have to be extremely difficult. As stated previously, when applying with various companies you will find that each one has a process for hiring. For some companies, they only conduct one interview before choosing the right candidate, but for many companies they conduct at least two rounds of interviews; I’ve heard of some companies even conducting seven rounds of interviews. So, you must understand processes when directly applying to companies. However, there is another alternative.
Throughout the world, there are a myriad of temporary agencies or staffing firms. These agencies attract people who are looking for short term, long term, contract, and permanent assignments. They all specialize in various sectors, such as administrative, medical, construction, manufacturing, accounting, aerospace, and much more! Depending on the assignment, the interview process with these agencies can be shorter.
To get started with a temp agency, you will need to research agencies in your city and/or state that specializes in an area(s) of your interest. Once, you identify a few places, you will need to apply online by sending them your basic information and resume. Sometimes, you may not be able to apply online so, you can call a company, ask to speak with a recruiter, and they will provide you with their email. After your resume is seen by a recruiter, you will receive a call to participate in a phone or in person interview. During the interview, the recruiter not only wants to know about your work experience, but also they want to know what you’re looking for in future employment. Once they obtain an idea about what you’re looking for they will consider you for upcoming assignments. Depending on when you visit their office or speak with them on the phone, they may have a job for you the same day! How amazing is that right? As I stated previously, you can beat unemployment, but you will have to do your part! So, if you’re interested in learning more about temporary agencies, check out a few that I listed below.
-Alliance Healthcare Solutions: Their headquarters is in Independence Ohio. They specialize in allied health, nursing, and healthcare executive placements. They recruit people for all types of positions from RN, Medical Assistant, Medical Biller, Travel Registered Nurse, and much more. They offer temporary, per diem, and direct hire recruitment to candidates around the United States. In 2016, they earned the Best of Staffing Award for providing remarkable service to their clients and candidates. To learn more about this phenomenal company, check out their website and available jobs here.
-Hire-Strategies: Their headquarters is in Raleigh NC. They specialize in working with candidates who have experience in the administrative, construction, and manufacturing sectors. They recruit people for positions around the United States; their positions are not limited to Commercial Plumbers, Electricians, Sheet Metal, Welding (TIG, MIG, & STIC), Assembly Line Workers, Forklift Drivers, Administrative Assistants, and much more! They offer short term, long term, and permanent assignments. They have been acknowledged in the Triangle Business Journal as an excellent place to work! To find out more about Hire-Strategies and their amazing upcoming job opportunities visit their website here.
-Insight Global: Based in Atlanta, GA, this company provides employment solutions to customers across the United States & Canada. They provide short term, long term, temporary-to-permanent, and permanent placement staffing. They have 42 locations in the United States & Canada, and they recruit people in information technology, accounting & finance, engineering, and government sectors. In 2016, they were awarded with the Best of Staffing Award for remarkable service to their clients and candidates. To learn more about Insight Global and their amazing opportunities, you can visit their website here.
6. Identify Alternative Methods
In addition to finding companies to work for, you can find deals online that can quickly put you in the holiday spirit. There are many websites and apps that offer deals to customers; some even pay you money for completing tasks. Check out two ways to earn deals and potential cash below.
-SnipSnap: This is a mobile app that can be found on the Google Play Store or the Apple Store. This company is based in Philadelphia and they partner with retail stores, restaurants, and local businesses to provide you with the best coupons. I started using this app not too long ago and I have already gained a free breakfast at Mimi’s Café, a $10 off Coupon at Kohls, Free Cheese Sticks at Pizza Hut, a buy one get one free entrée at Noodles & Company, and more.
-Swag Bucks: This is a free online website that allows you to earn FREE gift cards for taking surveys, watching videos, shopping online, and more. Basically, there are various tasks that you can complete on their website and for each task you complete you earn a certain about of points (also known as SB Points). You can earn between $5-$25 gift cards to your favorite stores such as Starbucks, Target, Amazon, and much more! To learn more, check out their website here.
So, if you are looking for some extra money during the holidays or some deals to help with your expenses, check out the websites above, and start seeking other websites because there is money that can be gained online and electronically.
So, these are just a few tips to help you as you move from being unemployed to employed during the Holiday Season. This article does not provide an exhaustive list, but each of these steps can be used to put you in a better state of mind. Additionally, if you want to learn more information about how you can fight against negativity, check out my e-book entitled “5 Life Hacks to Overcome Mondaze” on Amazon for ONLY $0.99. You can check it out here.