Help! I Lost My Job!


Here are tips and resources to help if you have just been laid off or you suspect that you will soon be laid off. Check our other guides to job hunting, earning extra income, and ways to cope if you hate your job.

Lose Your Job Without Losing Your Identity
Getting a pink slip can cause more distress than just a shrinking income. Here are three effective schools of thought for keeping your sense of self (long after the paychecks quit coming).

Seven Tips for the Newly Unemployed
The unemployment rate in California surged to 6.9%, and that is equivalent to the rate in early 2003. Most news reports say that unemployment will probably go up a bit more in the short term as our economy deals with the credit crisis. Personally, I am seeing some friends and family deal with unemployment right now, and here are some tips that could be helpful for those in this situation.

Laid Off? What To Do Before Plunging Into The Job Search
You've been laid off. What’s next? What should you do…before updating your resume, tapping into your professional network, and looking for a job?

You May Have to Fight for Your Unemployment Benefits
If you've recently been laid off, you may have to fight for your right to collect unemployment from the government. You probably know that if you are fired, you can't collect unemployment from the government. Although qualifications can vary from state to state, generally, only people who are laid off from their jobs will qualify for unemployment benefits. But did you know that, even if you are laid off, your employer can challenge your right to receive benefits?

Getting By Without a Job, Part 1 - Losing a Job
Losing a job is always tough. During hard economic times — when it may not be possible to find another job as good as the one you've lost — it's even tougher. Here are a few steps you can take right after losing a job to make sure that your financial house is in order, so that you can focus on your job search.

Getting By Without a Job, Part 2 - Boost Income
If there's one fundamental rule for financial success, it's "spend less than you earn." That rule applies whether you have a job or not. But, if you're used to having a job, the adjustments to getting by without one are going to be huge. It can be done, though. I suggest a three-pronged strategy, the first prong being to boost your income.

Getting By Without a Job, Part 3 - Cut Spending
With the economy tanking, more and more people will be not just losing their job, but will be finding themselves without one for an extended period. When that happens it's not good enough to just cut back a little and use debt to make ends meet until the economy recovers. Getting by without a job is possible, even for an extended period — but it requires taking drastic measures to cut spending, and it requires taking them early, while you've still got some cash.

Getting By Without a Job, Part 4 - Get Free Stuff
There are all kinds of ways to get stuff without money. You can grow it in a garden, gather it from the wild, make it yourself, get it as a gift, scavenge it from trash, or get it free from someone who hopes to sell you something else. All of these generally involve spending time instead of spending money — but someone who's getting by without a job probably has some time to spend.r

Emergency Belt-Tightening
Typical personal finance advice would have you divide your budget categories into two groups:  Your fixed expenses and your discretionary expenses.  I generally don't like that distinction much — how is your power bill more fixed than your grocery bill?  When you reach the point of emergency economizing, though, it's a useful way to structure your thinking.

We've got more great job articles in our Career and Income section.

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