1. Check on your eligibility for unemployment benefits and apply immediately. Any individual who has been employed in Florida in the last 18 months and is currently unemployed or partially unemployed can file a claim. If eligible, your benefits may start the second week of unemployment. Call 1-800-204-2418 for the Claims Assistance Center.
2. Consider working for a temp agency until a match for you is found. Or look for spot jobs, like baby sitting, tutoring, substitute restaurant server or receptionist, dog walking, to help keep you afloat. This way you will keep money coming in the door but have flexibility if you get interviews.
3. Sell things you no longer want or need, like old jewelry or Grandma’s clock. With the prices of gold and diamonds so high, you’re bound to clean up. Try Ebay for your stuff…even old clothes and shoes, if in good shape.
4. Review your living expenses and reduce/eliminate discretionary spending until a job is secured. This means eating in, making instead of buying presents, whatever your creative mind can come up with to save. Pull in the belts, and make it a family affair. It’s no secret you’ve been laid off. Don’t hide it from those that have control of your wallet and credit cards, like spouses and kids. Everyone needs to tough it up temporarily.
5. Have your resume reviewed by a professional service. This often gives the biggest bang for the buck as your resume is your first impression. Be flexible in what you’re looking for. The ideal career job may be elusive right now, so consider whatever you can (legally) do and go for it.
6. As a very last resort, consider a hardship withdrawal from your 401k, but leave that for last. And try to avoid borrowing from friends and family. It’ll be so difficult to pay it back once you’re up and running, and that’s the best way to sour relationships.
Try to make this time as stress free as possible by being open and up front with people. Exercise, walk the park, swim in the ocean, keep yourself healthy and fit. It’s good for you, your family and your new employer! Good luck.