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Financial Tips After a Job Loss

by: iseek.org

Concerned about managing your money while you look for work?

If you qualify, unemployment benefits will help replace a small portion of your normal income for a limited time. Here are some tips for staying financially healthy while looking for work.

Create a Personal Budget

Review your monthly income and expenses, and use a budget worksheet (57.8KB, .pdf) to help you create a budget if you don't have one already.

Manage Your Budget

Cover your basics first. Necessities include housing, utilities, food, work clothes, transportation, insurance, and other bills you must pay. Then identify where you can reduce your spending:

  • Try to arrange for lower monthly payments by telling your creditors that you are unemployed.
  • Trim your bill for everyday necessities by buying generic brands, shopping sales, and using coupons. Buy in bulk. Make a shopping list before heading to the store and stick to it.
  • Consider alternative transportation. Cars can be expensive to maintain. They cost gas, insurance, fees, upkeep, parking, and repair. Not using a car, cutting back to one car, or using public transportation could save you money.
  • Reduce or eliminate your phone, cable, and Internet expenses. Contact your present provider. Let them know you are shopping around and ask for their best price. Bundle services, but read fine print before signing up for a multi-year contract. You could be hit with large penalty fees for breaking the contract or changing your services.
  • Cut back on luxury items. Look at your dining, entertainment, hobbies, memberships, household, and personal care expenses. Sell and avoid buying items you don't need.

Borrow Money Wisely

If you must take out a loan, you will be charged interest that you must pay back according to the terms of the loan.

Carry Health Insurance

Medical bills can be very expensive without health insurance. Don't risk it. There are ways to continue medical coverage after a job loss.

Limit Credit Card Use

Use credit cards for emergencies only. Charge what you can afford to pay back within a reasonable time frame. It is easy to get overextended.

  • Avoid transferring balances from one card to another one. Balance transfers often have higher interest rates, often after a low introductory rate. Some cards charge transfer fees. Plus your payments may be applied to the balance with lowest rate balance first.
  • Living beyond your means on credit cards now may cause serious credit problems later.

Find Other Sources of Income

There are a number of creative ways to make additional money.

  • Part-time or temporary jobs may be easier to find than full-time work. Turn a hobby or skill into a moneymaker. Think about self-employment possibilities. Deliver pizzas or newspapers. Hire yourself out to mow lawns, shovel driveways, run errands, or do home repairs. If you are on unemployment insurance, understand what affects your benefits.
  • Borrow, trade, or barter for items and services you need.
  • Let your family help out. Spouses may be able to find work or increase their hours. Work opposite shifts to avoid daycare bills. If teens are old enough to work and can find a job such as retail, fast food, lawn mowing, or babysitting, they can cover some of their own expenses.

It can be tempting to seek out ways to make money quickly, so be especially aware of investment scams.

Get Financial Counseling

There are many local financial counseling resources. They can help you learn how to consolidate debt and manage your budget.

Continue Your Job Search

Let people know you are looking for work. They can help you network and find job leads. Don't wait until your unemployment benefits end to start looking for work. The sooner you get back into the workforce, the better.

For more tips, read the "Your Income Decreased. Now what?" blog article series:

Tips on the Best Interview Practices

The Framework

What is the employer looking for and what are their expectations?

  • You must understand the expectations of the position and explain effectively that you can meet and exceed those expectations.
  • Stay on point. Rambling off details of your experience/work history that have nothing to do with the current position that you are interviewing for, is an opportunity killer!
  • Analogy: The employer's requirement list (job description) is like a grocery list. We have a specific agenda when we go to the grocery store with a list; we may be interested in the other items that are at the store, but ultimately we need to be sure that meet the needs that are immediately listed.
  • Make sure to tailor your interview responses to be solutions for the current needs of the employer.

Ask the employer in your own words: Do you have any concerns about my abilities to perform in this position?

  • This allows the interviewee to overcome any objections that may be presented.
  • Analogy: Have you ever traveled somewhere and had an amazing experience except for one particular, ruinous situation and then as time passed, you only told the story of the one particular, ruinous situation? Right, we all do that- it is human nature. But, you do not want that to happen to you in reference to your interview. First, be agreeable that you can understand how they came to that particular conclusion and offer additional examples of your work history, experience, proven success, and personal attributes to overcome the objection(s).

If you are genuinely interested in the position, ask for the next step!

  • Thank the employer for their time. Briefly explain that you are interested in the position or being a part of the team and ask the interviewer what the next step in the interviewing process is.

Do not ask about:

Vacations

Schedules

Time off

Benefits

Compensation

You want to present yourself as a professional who is interested in what you can contribute to the position; not what you can get from the company.

19 Reasons Why People are Not Hired

1. Poor appearance.

2. Inability to express thoughts- Poor voice, diction, grammar.

3. Lack of planning.

4. Lack of enthusiasm.

5. Lack of confidence.

6. Negative attitude/puts down past employer.

7. Does not take accountability/makes excuses.

8. Lack of eye contact.

9. Weak handshake.

10. Lack of detail on resume and/or application.

11. Lack of homework/research performed on company.

12. Unable to discuss personal strengths and weaknesses.

13. Late to the interview.

14. Failure to thank the employer for their time.

15. Lack of questions prepared for the interview/lack of interest.

16. Failure to answer questions directly.

17. Failure to answer questions honestly.

18. Failure to ask for job.

19. Too much personal information provided.

Always follow-up with a mailed thank you letter/note to thank the interviewer(s) for their time and let them know that you interested in the opportunity.

 

 

The Top 5 Job Interview Behaviors to Avoid

Mistake #1: Lying. It should go without saying that lying during an interview is a huge no-no. Yet, candidates still do it, and when they get caught, itís enough for 66 percent of hiring managers to immediately remove them from consideration.

Mistake #2: Answering a cell phone or text during the interview. One of the fastest ways to lose favor and ruin a job interview is to answer a call or text in the middle of it, according to 64 percent of hiring managers surveyed. Understandably so. Checking your phone during an interview sends the message that you donít take the interview seriously and shows a lack of respect for your interviewer and his or her time. Take temptation out of the way entirely by turning your phone off or silencing it before you start the interview. (Donít simply put it on vibrate, either. Thatís not fooling anyone.)

Mistake #3: Appearing arrogant. Appearing arrogant or entitled is an instant disqualifier for 59 percent of hiring managers. While you should be ready and able to discuss your professional accomplishments and what makes you stand out, thereís a fine line between boasting and bragging. Frame your big wins in the company's overall success: your impressive sales numbers attributed to the company's biggest year in earnings, for example. Also remember that no one owes you a job, no matter how well qualified you think you are. Remember your manners and show them that you appreciate their time with a simple but genuine ďthank you.Ē

Mistake #4: Dressing inappropriately. Wearing clothes that are too tight or too loose, too dressy or too casual, or wearing brands and logos in professional settings is a bad sign, according to 49 percent of hiring managers. But before you accuse your interviewer of playing fashion police instead of interviewing you about your skills, remember why they even care about your appearance: They're evaluating your judgment and how you'd appear to customers. Do you show you can fit in with company culture? Are you there to bring professionalism to the organization? Dress the part.

Mistake #5. Blaming others for your mistakes. Nearly half of hiring managers (48 percent) are completely turned off by a candidate who appears to have a lack of accountability. Oftentimes, interviewers ask about difficulties youíve encountered in the workplace -- from a conflict with a co-worker to making a mistake on the job -- in order to assess your ability to overcome challenges and learn from them. But if your answers involve placing blame on others without taking any ownership for your own actions, it can be perceived as a lack of maturity and self-awareness, as well as an inability to work well with others.

The Top 5 Body Language Mistakes to Avoid

Mistake #1: Not making eye contact. Two thirds of hiring managers (67 percent) say that failing to make eye contact is one of the biggest body language mistakes job candidates make. This could be because not looking someone in the eye can appear as if youíre trying to hide something and are therefore untrustworthy.

Mistake #2: Refusing to smile. Failing to smile is a major concern among 39 percent of hiring managers. Aside from giving off the impression that youíre cold or standoffish, not smiling also tells hiring managers that youíd rather be anywhere else. Who wants to hire someone who doesnít want to be there?

Mistake #3: Playing with something on the table. One third of hiring managers (34 percent) have witnessed a candidate playing with something on the table during the interview - and they arenít having it. Not only is it completely juvenile behavior, it shows a complete lack of interest in the interview - and disrespect for the managerís time.

Mistake #4: Fidgeting too much in your seat. Is there some place more important you have to be? This is the message you send hiring managers when you fidget too much in your seat - and why 32 percent of hiring managers will seriously reconsider you as a potential hire.

Mistake #5: Crossing your arms over your chest. Did the interviewer say something to offend you? Is someone forcing you to be there? Are you pouting because someone stole your snack pack? These are the messages you might be sending with your arms crossed over your chest. Itís no wonder 32 percent of hiring managers find this gesture off-putting.

 
Grand Total (3 Detail Records)