What to Do First
When You Have Lost Your Job
These suggestions are intended as general advice and may not apply in every circumstance. You should consult with the appropriate agencies or advisers for information about your personal situation.
1. Discuss the situation honestly and calmly with your family.
- It is important that children understand what is happening and what you are doing to address the situation. They need to be reassured that they will be safe and that the family will be able to cope with the challenges of unemployment. The most important thing they need to know is what you are doing to help the family cope and find new employment.
- If your family is not in the habit of holding regular family meetings, now would be a good time to consider initiating the practice for the duration of your unemployment.
2. Contact the Iowa Workforce Development Office in person or
- File for Unemployment Compensation. (It generally takes 3 to 4 weeks for a claim to be processed and the first check to arrive.)
- Begin the process of searching/applying for new or temporary employment.
3. Contact family members and friends.
- Ask friends and family members to help you find permanent or temporary job opportunities.
4. Assess your current financial situation to determine your basic needs, non-negotiable expenses, and potential income.
- For helpful advice and a household budget worksheet, consult the Unemployment Lifeline at: http://www.unemploymentlifeline.com/node/46805
- Consult with people who will be able to help you make an accurate assessment of your current and potential financial condition; your mortgage banker, credit union, financial adviser, or insurance agent may be helpful.
- Investigate if you qualify for other assistance programs. Click here for other assistance programs
- Consult with people who will be able to help you understand what financial assistance and services are available to you. Some resources are the United Way's 211 referral service, Iowa Workforce Development and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
- Contact major creditors to determine if you can arrange for reduced or deferred payments.
5. Initiate a strategic “recovery plan.”
- This plan should include steps you will take to find new or temporary employment and an emergency family budget.
6. Begin your search for new or temporary employment.
- Update your resume and contact your references.
- Contact potential employers in the same or related fields, including suppliers and customers.
- Explore employment possibilities in other areas where you have a personal interest, training or experience.
- Consider free or inexpensive services that provide career counseling and job search assistance such as college career offices, Iowa Workforce Development or the public library.
- Keep in mind that temporary jobs produce income (which does not jeopardize your unemployment compensation) and contacts; they also show potential employers that you are willing to work.
Some online resources for your job search:
About.com/Job Search Tips
Yahoo Hot Jobs/Search Tips
Decisions and Choices