If signed off on by President Obama, job seekers will have their unemployment benefits extended 14 more weeks. Read more about the bill here.
Let me ask a question: if you knew your benefits were ending this week or even next week, what would you do? What actions would you take? What would you change or do differently?
There is a small feeling of security knowing that there is at least some money coming in the door. It is guaranteed as long as you are playing by the rules. It is buying you time until you can land that "good paying" job. Well, where is that good paying job? When will it become available? Will it be there this year or maybe next year, or maybe not at all?
In my opinion, this extension is prolonging the delay in many workers going back to work. It is giving them the hope that they'll be able to secure another hefty paycheck, or at least a paycheck close to what they were making before. What if those jobs are gone and not coming back… or at least not in the quantities necessary?
I encourage everyone reading this to consider:
- Looking for work far outside your preferred radius.
That may mean commuting farther, temporarily moving out of town, or relocating.
- Spending more time looking for employment.
The average unemployed person is spending less than 10 hours a week. While I am sure most of you are spending more than 10 hours, could you spend more time?
- Getting job search help.
Either at no-cost, through you local One-Stop or invest in a professional Career Coach.
- Adjusting your budget and spending habits.
Have you really cut as much as you can? We're in a recession, this SHOULD be painful. Do you evaluate each purchase by asking "Do I need this or do I want this?"
- Changing what you are doing.
If you are using the same resume, the same websites, the same practice of submitting resumes and waiting, the same networking groups, the same of anything, do it differently or do something else instead.
- Communicating differently.
Whatever it is you are saying, it doesn't seem to be working if you are still unemployed. It could also be HOW you are saying it. Change your tone.
- Taking a job that is less than perfect, if just for now.
If the job is at least close to what you can do, consider taking it. What will you learn by doing this? A lot!
- Starting your own business or becoming a consultant.
This is risky. Be smart in how you start it up. Consult this post for more resources.
I realize times are hard. I also know that people are getting jobs every day right now. There are jobs! Take one and see how good it feels!
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.