Looking for a Job As Soon As Possible

If your company offers job-hunting assistance, use it, even if it's not the greatest service or assistance available. If nothing else, beginning your job hunt the day after you are laid off doesn't give you much time to worry or get too angry.

Both emotions are, of course, perfectly normal reactions to losing your job, but both can also paralyze you. Take the time you need, but if you find yourself unable to get out of bed or unwilling to get off the couch, you may be letting your emotions keep you from getting that next interview.

Looking for a job — especially if you use an office or other location (away from your home) that's been set up for you — gets you out of the house, dressed professionally, and ready to look for your next course in life.

In fact, that's often the best approach when job hunting: Treat your job search as though it's your full-time job. Use any facilities your company has provided for you, which may include office space with a telephone, copy machine, computer and printer, resume consultation service, and so on.

If, on the other hand, you aren't offered any job-searching assistance from your company, you can use the same ideas to find your next job.

If you don't have a top-notch resume and don't have access to any free services that offer resume assistance, take a trip to your local library to review its books on resumes and cover letters, especially those that discuss the best ways to submit them electronically.

If you need to get out of the house while searching the Internet or newspapers, visit your local library or the FedEx Kinko's copy center in your area. When you do go out, dress professionally and set goals for the day, such as, “I'll find and follow up on three leads today.”

WORKSHEET 12-2

A Bare-Bones Budget

Monthly Expense

Amount

Ways to Reduce

New Amount

Groceries and household items

$

$

Day care

$

$

Contributions

$

$

Savings

$

$

Rent on furniture or appliances

$

$

Entertainment/babysitting

$

$

Eating out

$

$

Rent or mortgage

$

$

Car payment or lease

$

$

Electric bill (average)

$

$

Gas bill (average)

$

$

Water bill

$

$

Sewer bill

$

$

Trash pick-up bill

$

$

Cable/DSL/satellite bill

$

$

Telephone bill

$

$

Cell phone bill

$

$

Bank charges

$

$

Haircuts/manicures/pedicures

$

$

Home equity loan

$

$

Other loan

$

$

Credit card or store-charge bill

$

$

Credit card or store-charge bill

$

$

Credit card or store-charge bill

$

$

Credit card or store-charge bill

$

$

Credit card or store-charge bill

$

$

Credit card or store-charge bill

$

$

Child support or alimony

$

$

Car maintenance

$

$

House maintenance

$

$

Auto insurance

$

$

Property taxes

$

$

Gifts

$

$

Events to attend

$

$

Clothing and shoes

$

$

Home insurance

$

$

Vehicle registration

$

$

Vacation

$

$

Club membership

$

$

Club membership

$

$

Club membership

$

$

Other:

$

$

Other:

$

$

TOTAL:

$

$

Never pass up the opportunity to network! Although you may prefer that people not know you've lost your job, the people you run into at the coffee house, your daughter's basketball game, or a social gathering with your spouse may be able to help you find your next job.

When searching online, search first for job-listing services that are specific to your industry. For more general searches, go to Monster.com, Yahoo! Hot-Jobs, CareerBuilder, and craigslist.

Also, don't forget the classified ads in and website for your local paper.

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