Surviving Unemployment

Tips to Help Survive Job Loss or Unemployment
It seems that most days the news is filled with stories about our declining economy and the increasing number of layoffs by businesses looking to cut costs as their own sales decline. If you are one of the millions that has been restructured or laid off, here are a few tips to help survive unemployment and job loss.

Surviving Unemployment

Think Positive

As my dad would say, “Don’t let the man keep you down.” Staying positive allows you to work through the grieving process of being let go or downsized allowing for acceptance and possibilities. There’s nothing wrong with being upset and even angry, but there comes a time when it’s healthy to let go and move on. Hiring Manager’s often base their hiring decisions on a candidate’s kind or ill words towards their previous company. Sure, they let you go but realize that over 2 million people across the U.S. are also in the exact same situation. Don’t let your ill feelings keep you from landing a new opportunity.


Use this time off from work to fine tune your skills, develop yourself, and network by volunteering. If you are an accountant or aspire to be one, offer your services in the form of a sweat equity donation. Most non-profits are happy to accept your generosity and will sing your praises to those in their network allowing for increased exposure to job opportunities.

Find Yourself

Spend time with family, friends, or enjoy a hobby. Relax, try to enjoy yourself and just let go even if only for a half hour each day. Hobbies and family time don’t have to be expensive. If you enjoy reading, frequent the library or the used bookstore to save cash.

Control Your Expenses

Cut back on latte factor expenses while unemployed like subscriptions-movie, magazines, internet, eating out, and other non-essentials. I recommend keeping a log of how you spend your money each day and make the necessary cuts from there. Small things add up over the course of days and months. Take a cup of coffee for example. My favorite, a Venti Carmel Mocchiato costs roughly $4.50 which I enjoy 4 times a week. By eliminating this expense, I saved myself almost $100 a month. Know that this can be done. My husband and I have evaluated our own expenses saving us over $450 a month. A word of caution, do your best to not fund your time while unemployed using your credit card. Interest rates can cost you hundreds and thousands of dollars. I recommend having at least 6 months of savings available for emergencies such as these.

Stay Focused & Healthy

Take care of yourself by eating right and getting enough exercise. Do your best to develop a normal routine that includes a scheduled time to focus on job hunting as well as other activities. Having a schedule keeps your goal of finding a job organized and positive allowing you to feel more in control.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Mye says

    I was just laid off in December and have been really sad. Thanks for the tips you supplied, they are very helpful!


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