Things recently have been super busy for me and I was worried I wouldn’t get the opportunity to commune with all of you, my dear readers, with a new post anytime soon and so I asked a dear friend of mine, D. Ajane Carlton, a currently unemployed actress, what tips she had for those who might find themselves in similar situation. Check out her post below!
The fact is that in our current economy unemployment is like mono in high school, somebody is gonna get it and it might be you! So this “list” will hopefully lend you (or someone you know) some leverage to get out from under the huge rock that a lot of Americans are pushing up that mountain. So, Let’s Go Sisyphus!!!
First Things First!!!
FILE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT!!
I cannot stress this point enough.
FILE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT!!!!!!
Are you unemployed? YES?
Do you like doing fancy things like; eating and paying rent? YES?
Would you like to continue doing those things? YES?
Then FILE!!! Seriously, it’s there for you, for this exact reason! Trust me, its best to do this as soon as possible, because in some states like, New York; there is a “wait” period of at least one week from the day you first file a claim before you can start receiving benefits. So as soon as you get a chance get that done! And it is so easy to make your weekly claims by phone or on their website; they’re basically giving you a few months (approx. 26 weeks) of money so you don’t need to start looking at that Cup O’ Noodles like it’s gourmet dining (unless you are into that sort of thing.)
Have you filed? Ok, Good.
Next: Have a drink, or five…
Losing your job or being fired sucks balls! So feel free and totally vindicated to go out and let it all out now in the company of friends (and strangers) who have been where you are right now. Seriously shake out the shock, dance off the doubt, drink out the… umm… BAR! Allow yourself a few hours (or days…not too many though) of FTW, before you go and deal with the real world.
But remember to drink responsibly (or at least with responsible people!), although if you end up in the hospital, losing your job won’t seem so bad… I guess…
Had your drinks? Woken up early with a hangover, only to realize you don’t have to get up, because well… What job?!
The Work of Finding a Job:
Whoever said finding a job is full time job itself wasn’t lying. When you consider the unemployment rate for the United States is 6.3% (as of April 2014), that might seem like a small number but trust me, that’s A LOT of people looking for a job. But, now that you don’t have one, HAHAHA (too soon? Sorry…) this might be the best time to put some strategies into the foundation you are building your life upon.
Is the job you had one you wanted to keep for the rest of your life, moving up the ladder to see how you got before retirement? If it was, then it’s time to go back to take a step back and review what resources you have at your disposal. Plum your former teachers professors and colleagues for advice.
Remember that guy you met at that conference a while back who told you to keep in touch? TOUCH HIM!! (not like that!) Resources like these (personal contacts) may get some of the leg work done for you. Don’t feel like you have to start running them to ground either, linkedin.com and similar social websites may also get you a lot more mileage than you expected.
Although, this status change, to unemployed may be a real wrench in your Corporate America takeover plans. Have no fear! This is a great time to start fine tuning your skills in order to prepare yourself for your next move. What do you have that others don’t? What can you do to make yourself the better bet? A broken bone once healed is stronger than before.
Now, if the job you had was just that, a job, take this break as a good time to focus your talents, put some real, thorough thought into where you want to go next in your life, and in your career. Are you just looking for something to pay the bills while you finish your screenplay? Do you need a day job to make your car and credit card payments so you can save up a good chunk of change for that summer tour with your band that all your YouTube fans have been begging for? Well then perhaps a “Survival Job” is more your speed.
A survival job is basically that, a job that keeps the cash flowing so you can focus on your non-corporate career. But it’s not just being a cater-waiter or a bartender, so you can audition during day, although that work is perfectly fine, it’s using your talent in more diverse ways. Are you a Ballerina who just got off back to back tours and you wanna take a minute and eat a freakin’ hamburger? Teach a dance class. Lead guitarist in search of your next band? Teach beginners guitar at your local Community College. An actor whose independent film went to Cannes, and now all you’ve got is a freaking T-shirt? Monologue coach anyone? If you know how to do something and do it well there is someone who wants to learn to do it too!
If you noticed that there were a lot of questions in this post; being unemployed like all other change, is the best time to start asking questions. Big questions like: Where do I want to go from here? Is this what I want to do with the rest of my life? Or even the small ones like what was Cellino and Barnes’ number before they changed it that 888 B.S.? Or why don’t I know any cool card tricks? I think in this day and age we place so much importance into the jobs we have that they become who we are. The status of being employed and upwardly mobile can overshadow all of the other things we are as human beings. To be quite frank, when a woman commits suicide rather face another day of being unemployed, there is a problem with the system. In other words, finding a job will as long as it takes, just don’t be afraid to ask the questions.