What To Do If You Can't Find A Job? - Full Guide


Unless you are the luckiest person who has ever lived, there is no one who has not been in a precarious position at work or has even lost their job. It can happen any number of ways: maybe lay-offs were coming, and you were one of the casualties, maybe you were unfairly fired due to age or experience, or maybe you just didn’t care anymore and were waiting for the time they would let you go.

There are any number of reasons that people can lose their jobs, many of them unfair, but now you are back on the job hunt and hungrier than ever for a fresh start. However, no matter how hard you look, you hear only rejections back and a lot of the time nothing at all. Your savings are drying up, and you just don’t know what to do. Well, don’t worry too much for today we seek to aid weary job searchers, tired of fighting for just the opportunity to get an interview, and talk about what to do if you can’t find yourself a job.

Also read: The Right Way To Onboard Remote Employees 

Keep a good attitude

This is probably the most difficult of the things that you need to do when you find yourself out of work, but it is the most important. You need to be positive. Even though it doesn’t seem like it will make a difference, it absolutely will. Being positive will keep you searching and keep you applying, even if you don’t hear anything back.

Apathy and despair will only stop you from searching. If you give in to the pointlessness you feel while searching for a job, then it is unlikely you will continue, because when you feel no emotion or energy towards this goal, why should you?

Positivity will make you energized and determined. It will help you take the knocks and rejections better than you would otherwise. It will also be evident to potential employers and they will react better to positivity more than to negativity. We channel our emotions through our behavior and our creations, including resumes, and they will see this.  

Also read: Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

Plan your expenses

The main issue with not having a job in our current society is being unable to get anything. Money is necessary for everything in our world, and if you don’t have a job, you don’t have money. As such, you will need to plan your expenses and try to make your savings last.

Budgets are a great way of doing this, and they can be created on almost anything, though Excel is normally the way to go. A budget is a complete plan for every penny you have and how you are going to spend it within a set frame of time. For example, a 3-month budget will have all the income and expenses for that 3-month period, and you are expected to stick to how you’ve planned to spend the money in that time.

Realistically, there are only two issues with budgets. One is that some people have a hard time sticking to them and managing their finances. The other is that the world is chaotic and unpredictable in nature, and you may find that you are unable to stick to your budget thanks to life’s events, e.g. a car breaks down or someone goes to the hospital.

Moving may help you save money. Sometimes we find that the places we live in are now too expensive for our income, and we are forced to find other accommodation. I know this would horrify a lot of people, but honestly it is sometimes absolutely necessary to be able to eke out a little extra cash to last a few more months. It is the reason a lot of growing families move to commuter towns and not the city where their job is.

Also read: A Guide On How to Continue Hiring During a Pandemic

girl on laptop

Consider your options

If you have just lost a job you’ve been working at for a long time or have been in the same industry for a while, it may be time to consider what else is out there. Look within yourself and see if you are satisfied with doing your work and if not, would it be better to take a step back and find something different.

In the modern world, we no longer have to remain in the same industry or place all our lives. We can travel and find ourselves elsewhere, but before you do you have to take the path you want to, instead of any path away from your old job. As such, we will take a look at some of the other options you could consider before finding another job.

One of the options when you find yourself out of work is to go back to school. There are any number of courses or schools you can enroll in to expand your mind and your qualifications, and you don’t necessarily have to go back to school to do it. The internet has a vast catalog of online courses that you can apply to and access in almost any subject: languages, computing, mathematics, digital art, and so on, all you have to do is pay for the sessions, and you should be good.

Another thing to consider is your workplace skills. What can you do that is so valuable and are your skills transferable to other industries? This may seem a foolish endeavour, but it could actually really help you, as most skills we learn in the office can be used elsewhere. For example, a good logistics person working on unloading cargo in a dock would make a good logistics officer in a hospital if trained correctly. Most of the skills are transferable, but with different rules, regulations, and oversight.

The final thing to note in this section is: are you happy in your work? If you aren’t, then maybe you should consider starting in another industry. A lot of us stay at our jobs out of necessity and because others are relying on us, but if you have the opportunity, and it won’t affect other people, perhaps think about your passion for your job and whether it is still there or if you have a dream to pursue instead, even if only for a while.

Also read: The Most Effective Employee Retention Strategies for Keeping Your Best Talent

Resume checked

The resume or CV is the heart of the job search and if yours is outdated or poorly written, it doesn’t matter if you are the most qualified person on the planet, you are unlikely to get an interview. The best way to work on your resume is to go to someone who deals with them all the time. This sounds hard, but actually lots of people deal with resumes every day that you wouldn’t think of, and there are probably a few who are your friends.

Recruiters, freelancers, contractors, and anyone involved in the hiring process to name a few. To give you a good example, my dad was a caterer but still had to look at resumes at least 3 times a week when he was working, so he could give me pointers when I needed them or just a quick look through.

Nowadays, you can even pay people to write you a good resume or at least check yours. This may cost some money, but if it helps you get an interview, it’ll be worth it.

Also read: Do Part-Time Employees Get Benefits?

Temporary or contract work

There are some people who would be angered by this suggestion, but I personally never understood why. If you need a job, you need a job, even if it is low paying or temporary. Contract and temporary work may not be the most glamorous or the highest paying, but it does pay, and it can keep the wolves from the door for a few months more.

The best thing about this type of work is that you can leave at any point without worry, or at least it doesn’t last long. Normally, temporary work is not hard at all and while you are doing you can search for a better job in the meantime. Most of the work is labor-intensive, think box stacking or working in kitchens and while you are physically drained, you are not mentally, leaving you able to look for more work easily.

man drinking coffee on laptop

Final thoughts

Looking for work is one of the most disheartening experiences there is. No matter how much you look, it feels like you never make any progress and the longer you are unemployed, the more hopeless your financial and job situations seem. However, if you remain positive and keep in mind the path ahead of you, you should have no problems finding a job in the end.

When you do eventually get that job in the end you will start receiving pay stubs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Take online or in-person courses, volunteer in your field, or pursue freelance work to keep your skills sharp.

Network with others, customize your resume for each application, and use multiple job search resources.

Tailor your resume to each job application, highlight your relevant skills and accomplishments, and use a clean, professional format.

Research the company, practice common interview questions, and dress professionally to make a strong impression.

Set daily or weekly goals, reward yourself for progress, and surround yourself with a supportive network.

Customizing your cover letter is crucial. It shows the employer that you have done your research and are genuinely interested in the position.

Yes, temporary or part-time work can help you gain experience, make connections, and maintain financial stability during your job search.

Utilize job search engines, social media platforms, company websites, and professional associations to find job opportunities.

Attend industry events, connect with professionals on social media, and reach out to your existing contacts.

Read our blog for advice and tips on how to improve your chances of finding suitable work.
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What To Do If You Can't Find A Job? - Full Guide
Samantha Clark

A Warrington College of Business graduate, Samantha handles all client relations with our top-tier partners. Read More

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