by David Straka, Case Manager at Ferndale Michigan Works
So it is summer and you are out of work. You applied for and are receiving unemployment. I guess it is time to take a little vacation and enjoy the sights and sounds that summer brings. You really don’t need to look for work right now because you have earned some time off to chill out, right? From where I sit, WRONG!
It can be very enticing to fall into that trap thinking that a few months off is not going to hurt anything. Here are a few points why it is not such a good idea:
- The longer you are out of the workforce the harder it is to stay sharp and explain to a potential employer what you have been doing all that time.
- Unemployment money is not going to last forever.
- You will continue down the dark path of losing touch with possible networking leads and decreased motivation.
- I will see you at my desk with a week left of unemployment, in a panic expecting me to hand you a job.
Regardless the time of year, once you lose a job for whatever reason, you hit the ground running! Summer is a perfect time to establish your re-employment marketing plan. Here are a few hints to find your motivation:
- As soon as your job ends go ahead and get to your local Michigan Works! File for your unemployment. Find out all services available to you by asking staff or better yet, attending an orientation.
- Attend all the workshops that can benefit you and bring you up to date on skills needed in your re-employment efforts.
- Get referred to a Case Manager/Career Advisor to review your career goals, review and/or create your resume.
- Establish a regular “work week” schedule of what happens each day and stick to it. This includes regular breakfast, lunch and dinner. If your day includes an exercise program, keep that as part of your routine. In the evening, take a break and get a good night’s sleep.
- Have some business cards made up through services such a Vista Print and carry those with you to summer events. You never know who you are going to run into.
- Look at possible internships or volunteer some time in your schedule to expand your network.
Summer time is seductive. Even when a person in employed we want to go out and play. However, income is extremely important. “Without it, ya ain’t going to get no snow cones or a cold beer.” Get it in gear and stay successful!