The economy is bad. It’s no secret. People are losing their jobs, their homes and their credit worthiness at the quickest rate since the Great Depression. Although things aren’t quite as bad as they were then, they can feel much worse, especially if you’re a single mom who’s lost her job.
If you’re a single mom who has lost her job, have hope. There are things you can do to minimize the impact of your unemployment, you don’t have to stay an unemployed single mom for long..
The 10 Tips for the Unemployed Single Mom
- Tip #1 – Don’t Panic!
Well, don’t panic where everyone can see you. Kids can sense when there’s turbulence in Mommyland and it makes them nervous. If you’re feeling a meltdown coming on, step away for a moment, if you’re able. If your children are older and start asking questions, be honest, but positive, “Mom isn’t working at her old job anymore. I’m taking a break to find something better for us”.
- Tip #2 – Beat a Dead Horse
I know. You’ve always been told to stop beating a dead horse, but sometimes, this practice is actually pays off. Don’t be too proud to beg. Call your union rep, your HR team, and your manager’s manager. Provided the whole company hasn’t shut down, it wouldn’t hurt to at least ask about other opportunities within your company.
- Tip #3 – See the Positive
If you’re a victim of the bad economy, the most uncomfortable question in an interview doesn’t seem so bad. “Why did you leave your most recent employer?” You’re in the same boat as a lot of other people. Another way to use positive thinking to your benefit would be to focus on your strengths when asked about your weaknesses. For example, “What would you say is your biggest challenge is?” would need a reply like “I’m a perfectionist and sometimes that slows me down”. This points out a weakness (being slow) but counters it with a very strong positive (being a perfectionist).
- Tip #4 – Be Prepared to Modify Your Plan
I got this suggestion in a fortune cookie once and I use it as one of my life rules for everything else. It means that if everything else fails, maybe it’s time to toss the plan and make a new plan. Change your trade by going to school to do what you love. Go back to an old interest that you gave up when you had kids. Become an entrepreneur. If you were planning on staying in a certain geographical location, it’s a hard choice, but you could consider moving your home or your job to a different city.
- Tip #5 – It’s Okay to Say No
It’s okay to turn down anything that just doesn’t make sense for you to bother with. If it’s going to look ridiculous on your resume, don’t just take any old job. This only works as long as you’re not sitting on your butt. While you’re looking for a new job, make use of your free time. Don’t mosey around and watch t.v. Volunteer. You’ll be networking and creating references, skills and positive mental attitude.
- #6 – Be Patient
It’s understandable that this tip is easier said than done. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have a job the day after the big lay off. Finding the right opportunity, marketing yourself and interviewing for the dream spot all take time. If you lose your patience, you could wind up looking frazzled and desperate.
- #7 – Cut Back
Since you’re a single mom, you’re used to cutting back here and there. Now is the time to cut back everything but the necessities. Reduce the size of your cable package and maybe change the plan on your cell phone and use less minutes. Call your utility companies and find out if your new smaller income qualifies for a reduced rate on your electricity, gas and water bills. If you have credit card debt and pay more than the minimum payments, now is the time to pay only the minimum.
- #8 – Grow Forward
During The Great Depression, women grew gardens and canned food, sewed clothes for themselves and their children and when those wore out they remade the material into something else. You don’t have to build Rome in a day, but you should start doing for yourself where you can instead of buying store bought. If something breaks, fix it instead of buying a new one. If you have a ripped seam, sew it. There are lots of great websites with “how to” guides if you don’t know how to do something.
- #9 – Put your ducks in a row
Get all your legal issues in order. If you’re owed child support and haven’t collected in a while now is the time to get pushy. If people have borrowed money from you, a few phone calls can yield you some payments.
- #10 – Pool your resources, ANY resources
Finally, now is not the time to be picky about who you accept assistance from. This kind of help comes in a variety of forms. From something as simple as your sister offering to fill your gas tank to something as life changing as moving back in with your parents.
Well here you have it 10 tips for the suddenly unemployed single mom. lets hope you can take these tips to gain employment and a better life.