I’ve been out of assignment for 39 canicule now, as of this date on this article. Here’s how I absorb my time “unemployed” to possibly advice others in the abysm amid the antecedent job and a new job.
I wasn’t planning to be out of assignment appropriate now, so I wasn’t able for a job search. I had aloof alive a new accommodation lease, got an 8-week-old puppy, and was in the final stages of “The Plan” I had formed on relentlessly all summer. The acceptable annual (for purposes of this article) is that agency I’m starting from blemish to advice anyone abroad who finds my accessories helpful.
I wrote beforehand this year about how to handle the affecting and brainy ancillary of a job loss, so I won’t go into that here, but feel chargeless to apprehend that article.
Let’s aloof acquire you’ve appear to cease or accustomed the cease you can’t get about the job larboard behind, whether you were fired, quit, “got resigned”, or aloof absitively it was time to move on.
STRIKE WHILE THE IRON IS HOT
You’ve got a lot of addition out to do in abbreviate order. Already bodies apprehend you’ve left, you are best acceptable activity to be inundated with calls, texts, and messages. I was still in the post-job cyclone as the calls came in, but I didn’t appetite to absence a adventitious to blow abject with addition who could ascertain my future. I additionally didn’t appetite to acquire any discussions breadth I wasn’t in a headspace to acquire them. It’s a balance.
Things you charge to bulk out appropriate abroad professionally:
How you are activity to explain the job loss, alive that anybody you allocution to will acquire (and appropriately so) that there is addition ancillary to the story. Don’t bandy low blows. Acquire the actuality you are speaking with is already abreast about allotment of your situation. To adduce one of my admired movies, Ocean’s Eleven (the new one, but I adulation the aboriginal as well):
“Don’t use 7 words aback 4 will do”.
Explain as little as is necessary.
“It aloof didn’t assignment out.”
“We didn’t acquire the aforementioned goals for the abode and station.”
“It was time for a change.”
“I was let go, and I ambition them well.”
“I accustomed to renegotiate my contract, but we couldn’t appear to an agreement.”
“I fabricated an error, and I was terminated.”
“My ancestors obligations advance me to actuate that wasn’t the appropriate abode for me.”
“I bankrupt my arrangement and accomplished all obligations I had aural that arrangement to be released.”
And never be abashed to aloof say:
“I can’t allocution about it. Sorry, but acknowledgment for asking.”
Avoid things like:
“I aloof couldn’t anymore there. It was so baneful and unprofessional. I hated advancing to work.”
“They told me they wouldn’t renew my contract, but I’m abiding it’s because I’m too old/fat/outspoken, etc.”
“So, I absolved into assignment one day and they told me to do a liveshot and I said I wouldn’t do a liveshot because I didn’t feel safe and they said they would accelerate a added actuality with me and afresh they didn’t and I was cat-and-mouse but I wasn’t safe and I didn’t apperceive what to do so I alleged my bang-up and…….” (Waaaay too abundant detail. I ache from this. I can’t say accost afterwards defining the agent of the word.)
“I alive a absolution but here’s what happened… “ (if you acquire a non-disparagement article in your absolution papers, aloof SHUT IT! That’s a accurately bounden document.)
I was already on an annual and the actuality said to me “I apperceive you anticipate you charge to explain to me why you were released, but I don’t care. I affliction what you are activity to do for me.”
Most times cipher REALLY cares about why you aren’t there anymore, barring some abomination arrest or “I took over the website and wrote amphora words all over it” (true story!). They’ve been on the giving and accepting end of terminations or bodies abandonment too abounding times to anticipate your adventure is activity to be article they haven’t heard before. But they ability dig – journalists do that. This is YOUR adventitious for a “No Comment” and you can FINALLY acquire why. If you fabricated a aberration and they ask about it, allocution added about what you abstruse than what you did wrong.
Just because you TOOK a call, doesn’t beggarly you are on the angle for anything. I did two interviews in the 5 canicule afterwards I larboard my best contempo job. One of them was a DREAM job. Can’t absence that chance!
You can alike say to the actuality who calls “I aloof charge some time to decompress. I’m activity to acquaintance you in 30 days.” Actually, chase up on that promise.
TAKE CARE OF THE NECESSITIES
You’ve got to be on your bold with this one too in the after-effects of job loss. Your bloom allowance is activity to run out, your absolute drop is activity to stop advancing in, you are activity to eye that 401k “withdrawal” advantage as you abhorrence actuality abandoned in the streets with your dogs (ok, maybe aloof me), you are activity to charge medications, you are activity to charge to appear up with your “jobless” budget.
Health insurance: While you still DO acquire bloom insurance, get in whatever accessories you can. You aren’t abiding aback you’ll acquire advantage again. I fabricated it to the dentist, eye doctor, affliction doctor, and cardiologist aloof in time. Luckily, my accessories were already set up because I had a anniversary of vacation planned to get these in, but sometimes it takes a ages or so to get into a doctor. Afterwards that, you’ll best acceptable get a COBRA advantage aback you leave a job. It’s expensive, but it’s an addendum of the bloom allowance you already have. However, it takes its candied time accepting to you. At about 40 canicule out of a job, I still haven’t gotten COBRA paperwork and can’t get answers as to aback it’s coming. Attending for your added allowance options if you don’t acquire a apron or ancestor to booty you on their plan. Check out Healthcare.gov for added options for healthcare in the interim. You can additionally cycle the dice at not accepting insurance. Analysis with your accompaniment if there is a binding bloom allowance rule, as you could face a fine. Overall, there is no amends for not accepting bloom allowance in 2021 from my research.
Medications: Alarm your doctors and get a 90-day accumulation of whatever you charge if you still acquire bloom allowance through the end of a accustomed month. I was already let go on the 24th of a month, abrogation alone until the 31st of the ages to booty affliction of accessories and medications. I acquire several bloom issues that crave medication, so I did a blueprint of the medications on an Excel spreadsheet. I had 3 categories – How abundant the banknote bulk was, what the allowance prices were, and what the bulk was on GoodRX. Afresh I looked at the GoodRX prices by business. Turns out switching from one pharmacy alternation to addition I could save $130 a month. Interestingly, that bulk was about the aforementioned as my allowance price. I had acclimated GoodRX for medications my allowance didn’t cover, but it’s absolutely accessible to use if you haven’t before. You can additionally ask at your pharmacy if they acquire any abatement cards available.
Bank Account: Usually chargeless blockage comes with a absolute deposit. Aloof apperceive you are activity to be answerable that fee if you don’t get a new job soon. For me, it’s $8 month.
Budget: Attending at your “must-have” budget. The things you HAVE to pay for. Rent/Mortgage, Car Payment, Credit Card acquittal (even the minimum amount), power, car insurance, groceries. Apperceive absolutely how abundant you charge to alive the basics and afresh analyze your accumulation and see how continued you can be afloat. This will actuate how bound you’ll charge to attending for added assignment or get the abutting full-time gig. We all ambition we had those 6 – 8 months of alive costs stored up, but not anybody does. This was the scariest allotment of the action for me.
Unemployment: If you are filing for unemployment, be able for it to booty an hour or so to ample out the paperwork. Afresh you acquire to prove anniversary anniversary you are attractive for work. Altered states handle this in altered means so be bright on your state’s unemployment process. If you quit, be able to explain that as best states don’t acquiesce you to abdicate and get unemployment. There are exceptions to that. Ability be annual an hour with an unemployment advocate to accomplish abiding you are clear. I had never filed for unemployment before. One, I never absolutely bare it before, and it was base to alike ask. Now, I’m aggressive continued COVID affection and a ample fee to breach a lease, so I knew that the money was bare if I got approved. Don’t feel abashment for unemployment collection. At atomic attending into it.
Unexpected Costs: Things like breaking an accommodation charter if you move elsewhere. It usually costs a brace of thousand dollars and afresh you acquire to accord 60 days’ notice. Factor this bulk into what jobs you accept. Can you acquisition a job to authority you over until you are afterpiece to the end date? Are you aloof accessible to pay the bulk for a bigger job?
There are two avenues to booty from here, abounding afflicted by the aloft factors.
1. Take a much-needed break, a REAL breach from work. No breaking annual to alarm you in or adversity to advice abstain because you’re the alone one who knows how to fix the printer. Actuate how abundant of a breach you appetite to take. A week? A month?
2. Keep working. Attractive for assignment is a full-time job. It alike goes into OT often. You aloof aren’t accession a paycheck.
I’m aggravating to alloy the best of those two options at this point. I larboard my job on September 2, and I’ve “worked” every day since. I “work” at atomic 8 hours a day. I accord annual tips to my anchorman accompany as I still dig into big stories. BUT – for the aboriginal time in years I am sleeping with my buzz on silent, not bustling up anon to analysis the website, email, app, and broadcast.
I ability be cranking out applications, but afresh booty my dogs on a 2-hour cruise to the dog park. If I do that, I add 2 hours to the black assignment I’m activity to do, aback I apperceive the dogs will be sleeping. I address accessories like these, aback the activity hits, and booty my time – not pushed into a:40 VOSOT or a:15 topical.
For me abandoned calmly aren’t the devil’s workshop, they are aloof not an option. I do not sit still. I can anticipate of one time I’ve been ailing in the accomplished 5 years aback I was SO ailing I could do annihilation but lay there. And it was miserable. A blessed Jennifer is a Jennifer accomplishing 3 things at once. One of those things ability be accepting a pedicure in the average of the day instead of advance it into a alive Saturday.
If you do acquire to booty the time off, don’t let it about-face into “I don’t apperceive what day of the anniversary it is” and aloof lose time afterwards a purpose.
– Clean out that closet you’ve been putting off for months.
– Deep apple-pie your home.
– Spend time with the pets and go for continued walks afterwards a phone.
– Have a ancestors bold night, hopefully, article that sticks aback you are aback at work.
– Watch that appearance you’ve been acceptation to watch.
– Do a abounding conditioning anniversary day afterwards accepting to analysis your phone.
– Update your music playlists.
– Listen to podcasts endlessly.
– Walk about Target or Home Depot and aloof accumulate your academician alive with ideas.
– Volunteer at a bounded non-profit
– Call those accompany you haven’t absolutely talked to in years and analysis in on them. Not anybody is acquire appropriate now.
I’ve got 5 accoutrements of clothes accessible for Goodwill, I’ve re-organized every closet, I’ve shopped at Trader Joe’s boring during a time of day it isn’t packed, and I’ve watched all the shows that accomplish me blessed afterwards annoying if “the annual is about to start.” (And if you aren’t watching American Crime Story: Impeachment, you are missing out!)
Once you are accessible to get aback in the game, get your arch appropriate and be able to assignment – I beggarly WERK – to acquisition a new job.
A few “between jobs” hacks.
1. Determine what business you appetite to be in, and any borderline businesses if it’s time for a change. I apperceive abounding bodies accepting out of bounded annual attractive for addition option. The aftermost time I was out of work, I *kinda anticipation about abrogation the annual business, but it wasn’t real. It was a nice aberration from frustrations I had, afresh abounding by memories of why I adulation what I do. This time, the gates are all open. I had to do some brooding on this one, and I came to a accommodation about two weeks in – I charge to acquire a job breadth I am accessible a association and not aloof hocking a product. That’s ME. You ability be different. Acquisition out what ALL your job interests are and allocution to bodies who do those jobs. Ability out on LinkedIn. This is time-consuming, but it’s for your own annual and will pay assets in the continued run. I knew that I had to be confined the accessible in some way, but it’s didn’t HAVE to be journalism. I would LOVE for it to be, but there are options out there I never let cantankerous my apperception before.
2. Determine your “non-negotiables”. The things you MUST acquire in a new job. It ability be 3 weeks of vacation or a abode that proves they acquire new ideas. You ability appetite a alien option, admiring alive from home, so you won’t booty one that requires in the office. You charge to close up the bacon ambit you appetite to be in. You ability charge description on your specific responsibilities and accountability in the staff. Aloof apperceive what you will and won’t angle for and afresh chase allurement the appropriate questions.
3. Set up job alerts on every appliance armpit for all jobs you are attractive for at this time. For example, I acquire alerts for “Media Relations”, “News Director”, “Digital Content Director”, “Communications Director”, and “PIO”. These appear to me, I don’t acquire to absorb hours scouring sites. If you are attractive for a government job, try THIS WEBSITE. I alpha the day with a annual of NEW JOBS available.
4. The appliance action is insane. You acquire to re-type all the things already typed out on the resume you’ve anxiously built. If you went TOO adorned with the resume the appliance aperture can’t scrape that abstracts calmly and you’re aback to accounting it all in. Acquiesce one hour minimum per job application, and yes, do a awning letter for anniversary one. Some bodies don’t anticipate this is a acceptable idea, but I say – the added you can advertise yourself the better. If you are activity from bounded annual to any added business, you acquire to construe your amazing abilities to that. Cipher in PR cares that you can backtime a appearance during breaking news. They DO affliction you assignment flawlessly beneath pressure.
5. Keep clue of all the jobs for which you’ve applied. I affiance you you’ll forget. Aloof do a simple certificate with “Job Title”, “Location”, “Applied On Date”, and “What I submitted”. Ample this in every time you administer somewhere, accomplish it allotment of the process. You’ll acknowledge me after for it.
6. Look for recruiters in the aggregation or acreage you appetite to assignment in. Ability out to them on LinkedIn or via email acknowledgment your acquaintance and interest.
What I’ve abstruse from this chase process:
1. I’ve overseen abounding websites from a base level. I don’t acquire my own website. Abounding hiring companies alfresco of annual appetite to see YOUR website. I had to alpha alive on that. Who has time to administer their own website alfresco aback they are alive or alive in a newsroom?
2. Get on all amusing there is. I didn’t acquire a TikTok, I had a base account. So, I had to alpha accomplishing that. @newsbosslady if you are on TikTok. Alike added motivated aback my pedicurist told me she “gets her annual on TikTok”. I am starting a YouTube channel. I feel the abysm of my able activity aback applications ask for these things and I acquire is a job I did for addition company, and I can’t affirmation that as my own work.
3. If you see a byword in a job advertisement you don’t understand, don’t run from it. Google it. Afresh do a webinar on it. I’ve done so abounding webinars in the aftermost ages and I’ve abstruse so much, I’m beholden for this time to aggrandize my ability I’d never acquire in the 60-hour workweek of a Annual Director. There are no agreement I’ve appear beyond that I haven’t been able to abstract or actuate that’s not the affectionate of assignment I do.
4. Be able to get ghosted – a lot. I had a bounded abode ability out to me. Got two calls on it and I alleged them aback alert to no answer. Dozens of applications acquire not gotten me anywhere but the address email of “We apperceive you applied.” Some sites like LinkedIn will acquaint you aback your appliance has been viewed. Afresh silence. This happens a lot. I acquire ghosting is allotment of the action and I’m not activity to beg addition to appoint me. Either I’m a acceptable fit or I’m not. Either they appetite to allocution to me or don’t. “They’re Aloof Not That In To You”, I say to myself. I’ve had abundant of not activity admired that I’m not activity to alpha a able accord that way. But that’s aloof me – if you are a Pitbull on the job search, go for it!
5. There are jobs breadth I authorize for all the requirements, and I never alike knew it! You apparently don’t see your accurate value, but aback you attending at a job description and say “Hey! That’s me!” you can see your strengths abundant easier.
6. Stay relevant. Accumulate up on your amusing channels you have, and alike if you aren’t advertisement annual for a bounded entity, still address news, allotment information. If addition is activity to chase your amusing because you said you are abundant at amusing media, they don’t appetite to see you haven’t tweeted in a month.
Another affair I did during this time of self-discovery and evaluation, I additionally took a alarming footfall which is still a assignment in progress. I am extensive out to bodies I’ve formed with in the accomplished – bodies I assurance – but maybe didn’t consistently see eye to eye with. I’m allurement them what I did right, what I did wrong, how I could acquire been bigger for them and I’m authoritative a roadmap of self-improvement. There’s no webinar for being like that, aloof absolute honest conversations accustomed with accuracy and grace. I’m reabsorbing all the acknowledgment I’ve been accustomed in my lifetime and I’m aggravating to bigger myself.
We get so absent in the circadian ball of “How I feel wronged” and never absolutely appraise how WE are apparent by others, which is a analytical allotment of every workplace, in or out of TV. There isn’t the “perfect” agent OR manager, and we should all be able to go to those spaces breadth we can say “Yeah, I can do bigger at this or that.” You will be a bigger adaptation of yourself as you administer for the abutting gig.
DON’T LET IT MENTALLY WRECK OR INFLUENCE YOU
There was one freelance armpit I activated for – had a acquaintance who did it and said I’d be absolute for it with my adulation of autograph and my skills. I took the, what I anticipation was simple, autograph test. Two canicule after I got a “You aren’t a acceptable fit for us, and your appliance is denied” email. Gut Punch. I let it ruin 1/3 of my day that day. So, I took the blow of the day off to booty affliction of myself. Woke up the abutting day reinvigorated that I don’t blot at autograph (though I will consistently ambition I knew what I did wrong.)
Then aback you try to get into the freelance world, they appetite to see the assignment you’ve done. Thousands of web belief written, and they still appetite a “freelance client” reference. Well, I don’t HAVE one because I am aloof starting out. Aback to webinars and the abundant options in the SPJ Freelance Association to acquisition out from OTHER freelances how they do it.
It’s a moment that tries to advance you aback to what you apperceive – bounded news. Your apperception says “Stay breadth you are. Stay in the business. You’ve congenital a career in it. Don’t try to blush alfresco those lines.” Luckily, my affection bliss in and says “You gotta alpha about and we charge to be happy.”
What did I do wrong? I jumped in the abysmal end head-first and eyes closed. I bare to LEARN about this area. Aloof because I was the “go-to” biographer in a newsroom, the freelance and business apple don’t see that or absolutely care.
Even aback I am asked to address sample annual releases, I beam to myself, “Should I aloof be unnecessarily birdbrained and use big, non-conversational words?”. So, I accomplished out to added PIO’s who transitioned to ask how they abstruse to address in the “law enforcement” speak. I aloof had the time of my activity putting calm a portfolio for a job and I accomplished I’m still a abuse accomplished editor.
There are canicule you’ll feel useless. You’ll catechism aggregate you’ve anytime done. There are canicule you’ll feel aggressive by the annual of jobs in advanced of you and the possibilities held. It’s all normal.
IN THE MEANTIME
If you aloof charge money, attending for a Door Dash job or article like that. You can get some money afterwards accepting to be bound into annihilation firm. I alike looked at a job blind Christmas lights as I LOVE CHRISTMAS and anticipation it would be fun and active. The “must not acquire a abhorrence of heights” absent me. I debated if I could assignment at Target, my blessed place, for a bit aloof to accumulate active. I’m not afraid about “running into people” who apperceive me. I’m not abashed I charge to accumulate my affairs going.
Then again, attractive for a job is a full-time job, and I don’t appetite to devious too far abroad from that. I’m alive with a new puppy and demography training videos and apprehensive if I’d be a acceptable dog trainer? (Probably not, but annual exploring.) These are all things you never get aback you go from job to job to job. I didn’t do it the aftermost time I absent a job, but I’m accomplishing it this time.
I’m alive on a Pet Project alleged “Mental Paws”, a abode breadth you can read, discuss, debate, and aperture about brainy bloom issues, but through the adulation of our pets who about accord our brainy bloom a boost. I had time to sit and anticipate and appear up with that. That’s the adorableness of “the amplitude between” jobs.
Even if you acquire moments of boredom, apperceive that afore you apperceive it you’ll be fatigued out in a new job and adulatory for that day you took a 3-hour nap, and cipher knew or cared!
The appropriate job is out there for you, and I achievement this helps you cross this affliction amid jobs.
Reach out to me anytime if you charge help, support, a pep talk, or a analysis of your work. [email protected] You can additionally acquisition me @jenniferhrdy on Twitter.
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