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Maureen Stephenson: Strategies for unemployment survival

Financial management

Posted: January 16, 2009 8:23 p.m.
Updated: January 17, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
There are three stages people go through when they lose their job: anger, resentment and finally determination. These are the same feelings that a person goes through with any loss such as divorce, separation and death of a loved. The point is, "How do I move on?"

* Situations change: Recognize that you are not your job or job title, and that your situation is not permanent. You're still the same hard-working, loyal, committed person with integrity, honesty and a sense of humor. Staying positive is knowing that the highs follow the lows and nothing is as permanent as it seems.

* Be persistent: Realize that today is your only reality and all you can control. Don't dwell on the "whys" of losing your job and get resentful. That will only make you seem less positive and be a turnoff at your next interview.

* Keep moving: There's an old saying "You can't hit a moving target," but a better one is "An object in motion stays in motion" which is the law of inertia. Become assertive, talk to everyone you know and always ask for referrals. Make a list of everyone that can help you and stay motivated.

* Is improvement needed: Take a good look in the mirror and see if your image needs updating. Do you need to update your wardrobe since your last job hunt? Ask your family and friends for feedback. Do you need more education, or a brush-up on your skills? This may be the time to restart your education and set new goals.

* Keep progress reports: Keep track of your activities. Take as many interviews as possible - it's good practice and will sharpen your verbal skills. If you get a job offer that you don't want, just turn it down. Keep a log of the number of interviews you go on and the results or feedback.

* Your world is bigger today: The spider with the biggest web catches the most flies so make sure you work the Internet to find job leads everyday. Think of ways to expand your networking contacts, and forget what your mother told you about talking to strangers. Talking to others and getting referred to a company is how 62 percent of the unemployed found their current job.

* Help others: Volunteer and create your own luck. Remember the law of cause and effect; by helping others you create an avenue for someone to help you.

* Stay involved: Family, church and friends are your most important support groups. Some people isolate themselves at these times by not sharing their concerns. Staying involved means sharing and valuing those who will help and support your efforts.

* Examine priorities: What other opportunities do you have? Can you become self-employed, relocate, do temp work, buy a franchise, or do consulting? Expand your options and think outside the box to generate some income.

Temp work is an opportunity to explore companies and industries you may never have considered and it will add some cash flow for your bills.

To leave you on an "up" note, here are some of the hottest jobs for 2009 that may be within your reach:
* Registered nurses
* Dental hygienists
* Computer software engineers
* Computer application engineers
* Physical therapist assistants
* Home health aids
* Network systems/data communications analysts
* Network and systems administrators
* Database administrators
* Veterinarians
* Medical assistants

As I said before in my column, as long as we're alive, humans and their pets will always need help staying healthy. Maybe with just a little more education you can branch out into one of these fields.

Good luck in your search and remember - persistence rules! No talent, genius or education will ever take the place of persistence because as Calvin Coolidge said, " ... Persistence and determination are omnipotent."

Maureen Stephenson is a local author and owner of Santa Clarita-based REMS Publishing & Publicity. Her column represents her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal

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