I’m out of a job. What now by Matthew Coppola
Think about the following scenario. You’re sitting in the manager’s office and he tells you he has to let you go, giving you two weeks to find another job. Just like that. How do you think you would feel? For many of us, the possibility of losing our job can seem very disheartening, especially if we have financial commitments. When it does occur, it certainly does hurt and can be a stressful time in anyone’s life. Being out of a job and having to deal with the consequences of being unemployed is hard to manage.
How unemployment affects us
Unfortunately it’s common for some people who are unemployed to resort to stealing, but for those who don’t steal, there are other damaging effects. Majority of the time people will people will feel depressed and lack in confidence and self-esteem. During the Great Depression, almost 25 percent of the American work force was out of work. Being longer term unemployed can turn enthusiastic, successful and optimistic people into being emotionally shattered and feeling as though they are failures.
How you can cope
First thing that you should do if you become unemployed is seek any available financial assistance from your previous employer or Centrelink. Some employers may provide severance pay to employees they let off, but you can’t always guarantee they will. Also make sure that you seek any back pay or entitlements that are yours. The simple truth is that if you don’t seek you won’t find! And finally go to your nearest Centrelink office and report to them your current employment situation and see what benefits are available to you to help you cope financially while you are looking for another job.
Your next step should be to sit down with your family or partner and critically assess your family finances and devise a budget. If you have trouble budgeting, there may be free financial counselling assistance available to you. Speak to your nearest Centrelink office for more information. In the event a financial crisis occurs in the household, budgeting should really be done well before in anticipation. By being prepared, you will be well equipped to handle your finances in the event you do become unemployed.
When budgeting, work out how much you will be receiving from Centrelink benefits or any entitlements from unemployment insurance. Also look at your savings and what you have available. Also are there any assets that you can sell to help you cope? For example, is there a second car that you can sell which you don’t really need?
Next work out all your essential expenses, how much do they come to each week or month? Work out how you can cover monthly expenses by cutting it down and living to the minimum expense. You might actually be surprised how much you can save each week by removing any unnecessary expenses!
Lastly don’t feel bad if you need to seek further assistance from family and close friends. If you keep your family in loop with your situation, they should be more than willing to help you out given that your relationship is sound with them. Sometimes it’s best to not have the attitude that you don’t need help or would come across as weak or a failure if you sought help from your family and friends.
Don’t lose sight of the dangers of unemployment
When the effects of unemployment hit the household, the results can be devastating. Financial problems can rip apart families and turn a once happy family life into one which has family members who are irritable and bitter. Tensions can start to grow in the household, and if you are married, can even cause marital problems.
Over the past years, households which have coped the best in a time of crisis with a member being unemployed are the ones who stick together with every member of the family supporting one another and each family member showing deep love towards the unemployed member. By supporting an unemployed member of your household or seeking support from other family members if you become unemployed, will give you the strength and confidence to find another job immediately.