Early key moves and decisions can make a difference between surviving financially until you're successfully employed again – perhaps even surviving comfortably – and making financial mistakes that could jeopardize your financial well-being for years to come.

Start Looking for Work Immediately

Many newly unemployed assume they'll find a job quickly and decide to take a little vacation before initiating their job search. As appealing as it sounds, this is probably a bad idea. You may be misjudging the job market and your ability to secure a comparable position, especially when unemployment is high and the economy is struggling to recover from a downturn. Experts warn that potential employers may not be impressed with a six-month gap in your employment history.

Additionally, you are draining precious financial resources, such as an emergency fund or severance pay, which you could put to better use.

Reassess Your Career

A job loss may be a good opportunity to reassess your career. But before launching into a new career during a time of unemployment, answer honestly the following questions:

  • Is it realistic to make a change?
  • Are you qualified for this new career?
  • Are your job skills and education up-to-date?
  • Can you afford to invest the time and money to upgrade or learn new skills?
  • Do you have the money to live on while you make the transition?

Job Sources

Now is no time to be shy or embarrassed about your job loss. Announce it to everyone you know: friends, colleagues, family, old high school chums. Network with people in your field. Join or make use of a trade association membership to circulate your resume and learn about jobs.

Other job sources include:

  • Newspaper Want Ads
  • Online Web Sites
  • Professional job Search Services
  • Government Employment Agencies
  • Job Fairs
  • Job-hunting Services Offered by Your Former Employer

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