Press 1 Once and Other Tips for Navigating the Unemployment Process by Raz

Unemployment Rate Jumped To Four-Year High, originally uploaded by greatcreation.

Now that other PoP contributors have shared their unemployment, I will as well. I ironically was laid off a few weeks after starting my Recessionista series.

If you are unemployed or think your job is in jeopardy, here are some tips based on my experience these past weeks.

  • Fix up your resume and start putting out feelers. Update and polish up your resume, and start talking to people in your field.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask. It never hurts to ask people for things. You’d be surprised at the positive response. When I meet interesting people at networking events, I ask them to meet and tell me more about what they do. I mostly want to better understand what they do, what the skills are, and how they got there, but many of them gave me job leads or introductions to other people.
  • Press 1 Once. At least in Maryland (I worked in Maryland and you file for unemployment where your office is), there are no in-person unemployment offices; everything is done on the phone or online. I had further questions and needed to speak with a person. I had called about 20 times and never received a person on the other end when I followed the prompt. I went to what I thought was the unemployment office in Wheaton (it is actually just a job resources center) and was told that if you only press 1 once, and do not follow the prompt, you will get a person on the line. That was probably the best tip I’ve received so far. After using this strategy, I got a person on the line and had my questions answered and problems resolved.
  • Attend to Your Back-burner To-Do List. Like Tina talked about in her Jolt-n-Bolt review, this is a great time to do all the things you never had time for when you were working. Continues after the jump.
  • Stay Busy and Get out of the House. I try to make one daytime plan and one evening plan everyday. I’ve been going to a lot of museums, meeting friends for lunch and coffee and walking around. I also exercise and volunteer a lot.
  • Work Your Brand. Treat yourself like a business you are promoting. Make a card for yourself to hand out at networking events ($30 for 100 at Staples), make a blog highlighting your work (depending on your field), etc.
  • Network, network, network. Get out and meet people. All of my interviews so far have come from personal connections. There are a ton of networking events around town – look into trade associations, alumni associations and industry networking events. I try to go to one a week.
  • Follow-Up. After the networking events and interviews, follow-up with the people you met. Ideally email them within 48 hours.

Ed. Note: Obviously these tips may not apply to all particularly if you have a family and/or have been out of work for a long time, so relax Dave. Does anyone else have some suggestions or tips?

5 Comment

  • Well, after I was laid off I was unemployed less than a month before finding another job, so I guess I have a few tips: try your best to stay positive, and take heart in little things. It’s so easy to feel down over one thing (not hearing back from a job you really wanted) and then have that spiral into losing your house/apartment, having to move back in with your parents, etc. So when something small happens that is good, take heart in it, and don’t pay mind to the negative things as much as you can. If you persevere, you will find something, whether it’s part-time, temporary, or below your skill level, but you will find work.

    And as I shared my experience being unemployed on my blog I got support from the most unexpected places, which definitely gave me the strength to carry on.

  • I’m surprised that you didn’t mention getting a temp job to maintain some money coming in. Some temp agencies specialize in certain fields (legal, non-profit, etc) and some also place people in permanent jobs (or a temp job could lead to a job offer). For those of us who are schmoozing-averse, it’s also potentially a good way to meet people and make professional contacts, or at least be able to say during later job interviews that we were keeping hard at work during our job search.

  • Interesting. One of the neighbors asked me to help navigate the on-line unemployment process — any tips?

  • Take time to do non-job hunting things. Its easy to get tunnel vision but when you do get a job, you’ll wish you’d taken the time to go to the museums and free performances at the Kennedy Center, etc.

    Good luck to you PoP and everyone else!

  • Prince Of Petworth

    This post was written by “Raz” but thanks!

Comments are closed.