Posted: April 12, 2015 in Uncategorized
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1. Figure out what you’re good at that people will pay to have done for them.
2. Buy a state business license (about $50-$100), which is good for a year.
3. Write a resume explaining your skills, any degrees or honors earned, and previous experience, as succinctly as possible (not over 1 page). No typos allowed here, so have someone else read it, and mechanically spellcheck it on Word or whatever program you use.
4. Get written recommendations from people you have worked for who were happy with your work. If the people are busy, draft a quick, easy statement for them to sign (not over 3 sentences), and get them to sign it. Make plenty of copies and keep the original.
5. Take or email a copy of your resume and your recommendations to anyone you think might be looking for help. Be sure it is in hard copy whenever possible, because they can’t delete that; they have to put that pesky physical piece of paper somewhere, and nobody wants to be in trouble for throwing away something the boss might want to see at some future time. Ergo, they will pass it on.
6. Don’t overlook state or local government offices, even if that’s not your eventual goal.
7. Be sure to state that you are a licensed contractor, are willing to work on a temporary or per-assignment basis, and will return their calls or emails immediately, and then do so if they respond. This tells employers that you are responsible, and they don’t have to claim you as employee, deduct withholding, pay your insurance, or make any future commitments in case their own businesses go south.
8. Keep all your backup as proof that you are actively searching for a job (some/most states require this for unemployment benefit purposes).
9. File for unemployment yourself, and do it immediately. Don’t forget the first week of a claim is the “waiting week,” and you won’t get paid anything. Above all, don’t diss yourself; UI is an insurance program, not welfare, and you have probably paid for whatever you will receive many times over by paycheck deductions made in better economic times, when you didn’t even realize they were being taken out of your check.
10. Smile and look to the future. Nothing stays the same forever.

I’ve been in both scenarios, making eligibility decisions as an employee of my state unemployment office, and also as the person whose job has been discontinued, wondering where to turn next. This is my best advice for anyone in the second situation.


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