If it happens to you, it may be the first time. It may be a shock. While it's usually true that "things could always be worse," that's not much consolation when you're reeling from the sudden need to shift life and lifestyle gears. It's important to know where you stand, where to turn, and what to do next (other than maybe take that first week to clean, fix, or otherwise improve your home life in the most basic ways, if possible). On Wisebread: Living Large on a Small Budget, we found these solid tips for the newly unemployed. Please add your own tips to the list!
Tell everyone you know you are now unemployed - There is no shame in telling people that you are looking for a job. In fact, the more people you tell the better your chances are in getting a referral. Tell people in your network what kind of job you are seeking and what your skills are, and someone may be able to help you get a new job.
Tighten your belt - When you suddenly become unemployed you may need to adjust your budget a bit and stretch whatever severance you received as much as you can. It could mean that you have to cancel the cable and not go out so much for dinner, but without your former income those small luxuries may prevent you from paying the bigger bills like the rent or the mortgage. If you do not have an adequate emergency fund to tide you through the job search then frugality becomes a necessity.
Stay healthy - When you lose your job your health insurance usually goes with it. That is why staying healthy is extremely important during this period of unemployment. Sometimes health issues can be beyond our control, but we can all try to sleep and eat well and exercise regularly.
Organize the job hunt - You should make finding a new source of income your priority if you need the income to survive. When I was looking for a job I found that keeping a log was very helpful. I would write down the date of my resume submission to certain companies and also dates of interviews and contact information. Organization is very important when you suddenly need to keep appointments in many different places.
Click here to read the full Wisebread article and the addtional tips on their list.