Surviving Unemployment

You have lost your job and you’re wondering: What is the next step? For some, the first step may be a small break before the next big gig; for others it may take up to a year to find your next career. In between your previous job and your next one, you will need some sort of income to help keep you afloat. If you have savings for “a rainy day”, that day may have come, and it might be time to use those savings to keep you and your family in the best possible condition. If you don’t have savings it’s time to find creative ways to generate income.

The first step is to apply for unemployment benefits. Each state has different rules as to who qualifies for unemployment. Contact your state’s unemployment office to find out if you qualify for unemployment benefits. Generally you will receive about half of your previous paycheck per month. The longer you stay unemployed, the less unemployment benefits you will receive. You must also check in frequently with the unemployment office to prove that you are still unemployed, and prove that you are applying to jobs. Some offices let you email or fax this proof, while others require in-office meetings.

The second step you might want to take would be to find odd jobs you can do to make extra cash. Websites like Task Rabbit and Zaarly can help connect you to people who have odd jobs and small tasks where they need help. These tasks can range anywhere from small chores to heavy lifting. This can be a great way to make a little extra cash while you’re trying to get back on your feet. Another way to make some extra cash would be to cultivate your hobbies. Try to find a way to make your hobby marketable. If you knit, try selling some scarves on Etsy; if you wood work, try selling some of your carvings to friends and family. If you have any marketable skill, market it, if you haven’t already. Set up a Facebook page or Instagram page as well as a store on Etsy, and you can easily sell your work online.

Next, it’s time to rework your resume. If you’ve been out of the job market for a while, your resume probably isn’t as current as it should be. Re-work it with a friend or family member, its best to have a second opinion. It should be short and sweet (one page long) and in chronological order. Also, remember to write a cover letter for jobs to which you are applying. This is just a paragraph or two that states what you would bring to that specific job. You should write a new cover letter for each job you are applying to. It should highlight your skills and convince the hiring manager to read your resume. Here at Cumulus Funding, we offer resume workshopping for current clients. We provide this service to help ensure our unemployed clients return to work faster while allowing our currently employed clients to meet their career goals.

Being unemployed can be a stressful time, and it may take some time to find your next job. During any period of unemployment, it is important to focus on budgeting carefully and planning ahead regarding your financial obligations. It may be time to reach out to any groups to whom you owe payments, to see if you have flexibility in your payments.

One of the benefits of our Income Share Agreement (ISA) structure is that the payments adjust to your monthly income. If you find yourself out of work or with a lower paying job, after being funded with an ISA from Cumulus Funding, your payments will adjust accordingly and will not extend the length of the contract. Some people have the luxury to be more “choosy” about their next job and some may have to take a lower paying job quickly to get back to work to make ends meet. Your period of unemployment may become easier, if you plan your financial responsibilities carefully and put a great deal of effort into finding a new job.