If this is your first time experiencing long term unemployment without so much as a nibble on your current resume, don’t panic! Perhaps you’ve realized that job search has changed significantly since the last time you had to look. Money is (and will always be) a major concern when employment ends unexpectedly. And, if you are anything like me with a history of long term, back to back unemployment, you may welcome a few financial suggestions that helped me keep my coins a little longer until I secured my next gig.
Simply put unemployment insurance is a (voluntary) employer-paid amount made available to you in the event of an employment separation that occurred through no fault of your own. Review the Basics of Unemployment Insurance page to find out if you qualify. If so, apply according to directions without hesitation. Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) requires that you remain registered in the largest job search database in the state of Texas, WorkInTexas.com, to remain eligible for benefits while actively seeking employment. For more answers to immediate questions and specific timelines visit the Frequently Asked Questions page within the TWC Website.
If you don’t qualify for unemployment insurance and wish to keep your savings intact, consider alternative forms of employment. If you prefer to remain in the same industry and are unable to find employment due to current labor market projections, try looking for similar work within a different industry. Remember, employers prefer to hire those who are already employed, even though your job may not be career-focused. Seek opportunities to generate income that utilize your current skills, low stress, easily mastered, and close to home. Various shift options including full, part-time, temp/temp to hire, nights, days, weekends only and rotating schedules, are all available within the WorkinTexas.com database.
Don’t forget to attend Workforce Solutions FREE Job Search Seminars as you seek employment. Check out our web page for scheduling and convenient locations. Remember, if you can’t describe your skills, the employer will assume you don’t have any!
Nothing is more terrifying than worrying about finances when your income source suddenly stops. First, take a breath as you prepare to take immediate action. Use this time to conduct an honest inventory of your entire financial situation. Review all your assets for immediate, non-penalty usage. Other possibilities include retirement funds, stock options, money market accounts, savings, and CDs. Borrowing from retirement funds (without penalty at 59½) and the interest payments on high yield CDs might assist with bills to bridge the gap. Using credit cards, secured loans, home equity loans and lines of credit should be a last resort to monthly obligations. If you must, keep in mind that the re-payment will most often begin within two months after receipt of your first loan amount.
Stop by again next week to review part two of “Layoffs and Finances Going Forward,” as we resume discussions on financial options for creating income during unplanned layoffs.
Frieda Carmouche is a member of the Regional Facilitator team specializing in training, educating and assisting students, job seekers, employers and career center staff throughout the Gulf Coast region, regardless of abilities. She obtained her BFA in Graphic Communications and minored in Psychology from The University of Houston. Frieda, a native Houstonian with a love of training and development, and has been employed by Workforce Solutions for over 10 years.