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Unemployed and Unsure of What to Do For Money

Ask Savvy: Unemployed and Unsure of What to Do For Money


Dear Savvy,

I've been unemployed for over a month now and am unsure of what to do for money. I've sent out around 30-40 applications for various jobs, mostly administrative assistant positions and I'd say I was well qualified for at least 90 percent of those jobs. I am signed up for two temp agencies but neither seems to have any jobs at all right now. I've applied for unemployment but it's been a very slow process. I'm feeling incredibly frustrated and helpless, what can I do for money for my basic necessities? Borrowing from my parents is not an option.

See my answer when you read more.

I'm so sorry that you're going through this difficult time, but don't give up hope! A month isn't a terribly long time to be out of work, but without any prospects on the horizon I can see why you're starting to feel overwhelmed. The key is to not let the feeling of powerlessness take over you and stay motivated about the goal at hand: finding a job that pays the bills.

You seem to be focused on working in an office but when times are tough you need to compromise those self-imposed restrictions. Scour your local listings for anything that will help you stay afloat and apply for anything within reach, even if getting two part-time jobs is what it takes to make ends meet. Depending on where you live, see if you can get a job within walking / biking / public transportation distance so that your paychecks aren't sucked up by gas, but of course don't let proximity limit your job search.

In the meantime, turn your job search into overdrive. Revamp your résumé and exhaust your search by taking time every day to apply for jobs. Follow up with employers to whom you've already submitted your résumé to see if positions have been filled and let them know you're still interested. If there are other temp agencies in your area go talk to them, too. Recruiters may be another option for you because some companies exclusively use them for hiring. Explore every single avenue possible in order to start making money again.

Dissect your expenses and cut out anything that isn't a necessity. Quick money idea: It's summertime and kids are out of school, which means that parents are always on the lookout for babysitters. Post for-hire flyers on bulletin boards at a local pool or community center and let neighbors know that you're available to sit for their kids. Let friends know that you're willing to babysit because they're likely to know someone that's asking around for recommended sitters.

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