Don’t Panic…Tips for the Newly Unemployed

My dear photographer friend mentioned in my last post JacenK was just today given the boot from his job in Chicago. This was really hard news to hear knowing the living costs in that city and that he was already currently struggling just to eat there with a job. Things like this can seem like you will need to start looking for a cardboard box, but no worries for Jacen and all the other newly unemployed. It seems the world is on a transitionary path right now, lots of things turned upside down but you can turn your world right side up if you just follow these steps.

1. File for unemployment

It’s really not hard, you may be able to do it online and you can get about $300 or more a week depending on location and income.

2. Apply for foodstamps

You get a cool card and about $170 a month for food.

3. Get rid of small bills

Netflix, Internet (if there’s a wifi source nearby) and brew coffee at home. Get a powerful room fan instead of using air all the time in the summer.

4. Network your butt off on Twitter

Use Tweetdeck and look for people who are looking for you! Put in a search for in Jacen’s case “photographer chicago” to catch any tweets about people looking for photographers in that area. Another great thing is to add people from news or magazine sources. Anyway to get buzz generated about you is good for helping you get your foot in the door.

5. Help others while you are searching!

It may just help you if they find jobs and can return the favor.

6. Use discount sites

I like (I saved $28 dollars last night at Publix!) and for bargains. Don’t forget places like thrift stores for getting a new interview wardrobe!

Do you have any unemployment tips for Jacen or for others? Leave a comment and feel great about helping someone that may not have anywhere else to turn.

Are you looking for a unique, flexible photographer that is easy to work with in the Chicago area? Find out more about him and his photography at Flickr or his blog and JacenK’s extensive photography portfolio or contact him on twitter at @jacenk

Always remember to bring a towel,


5 Replies to “Don’t Panic…Tips for the Newly Unemployed”

  1. Dr. Fardook says: Reply

    Here's a few other things that helped me.

    1) Get someone else to review your resume.

    They can spot typos and the idea of a resume is that it communicates what you did immediately to someone who works in your industry. If they have questions, you need to rewrite it.

    2) Use

    This is a networking site. Make sure your network makes sense and doesn't involve a bunch of fluff. Your former coworkers know you, know what you can do, and are hopefully think well of you. This will teach you to be nice to the people you spend 8-10 hours a day with.

    3) If you use recruiters to find work in your industry (I'm in IT, they're essential) keep their business cards and call them once a week to check in even if they didn't call you.

    I've gotten additional interviews just by calling and asking if they had anything. Sometimes they do but didn't think of you for the position.

  2. i have been living without cable and internet for well over a year now. it is amazing how those bills add up. the only luxury i kept was netflix, but it will be gone if i become jobless.

    also, if you are holding on to a home phone and a cell, cancel one of them. i have been cell only for well over a year now. maybe even reduce the service amount of the cell to save a few bucks (and make less calls/texts).

    i second the opening windows and turning on fan idea. when cold weather hits, turn the thermostat down and put on a sweater. i kept it in the lower 60s in my house last winter. just me and the dog, and he loved it cooler!

  3. Great tips, Miss D!

    One tip more to add: For those of you who are in high tech/IT business, I would recommend to check out for layoff news/rumors/updates/comments. Their Oracle, Cisco and IBM layoff threads are very informative and up to date. Strongly recommended.

    Yours great fan,
    MisterD ;-)

  4. Miss Destructo says: Reply

    These are all great tips! Thanks everyone! I agree that yes, let someone else look at your resume. I have found so many typos in mine after someone else spotted them out!

    Oh yes, and cutting the cable. Great idea. Especially with everything available through

    It also helps cut down on distractions and gets you doing more productive things!

  5. This is me right now!

    Thanks for the positive outlook. I'm in a good position to deal with it myself, but with all the doom and gloom stories we get fed in "traditional" media, I know a lot of people are worried about either losing their job or having already lost it… sometimes I think they just need to hear "it'll be ok".

    And it will, in most cases.

    I think the last time I posted a comment here I said the post was important for the web (about eating disorders), and without realising it I am saying it again here.

    I completely agree with the other comments, particularly cutting back on bills and maybe re-evaluating what IS in fact a "necessity". Home phones are becoming less and less popular, and with mobile caps and included calls are less necessary – particularly when just having the phone (even if you dont use it) is the majority of the cost like it is here in Australia.

    Networking, letting people know you are looking for work, sites like linkedin and cutting back on non essential costs are the way to go for me.

    Good luck to everyone currently in the same boat.

    Thanks Miss Destructo.

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