"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance"

--James Madison--

"The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries, but between authoritarians and libertarians"

--George Orwell--

What I Really Do Tell Unemployed Clients

I wrote another piece kind of paraphrasing some material that I got from a professional association, aimed apparently at advising unemployed high net worth clients.  I, and apparently a few others, found much of it to be out of touch with the situations of most unemployed people:

What To Tell Your Unemployed Clients

But I did get to thinking about the advice that I really do give to unemployed clients, which is really pretty standard advice.  It's also pretty general, because the most  valuable advice are things that are specific to your situation.

Still, there are some general points that anyone of any income level who is currently unemployed, or who might be unemployed in the future (at some point or other, pretty much all of us).  This would include:

*Yes, as has been pointed out, all jobs are temporary. Thus is it, thus has it always been. Whether someone is anticipating unemployment or not, I always advise everybody to try to build up savings equal to at least 6 months earnings. Preferably a year. Most people will never get there, but it's a good goal.

*Send resumes to everybody you can find in your field, and think about allied fields as well. I'm always getting resumes from CPA's and lawyers. Guess what? Contrary to what you might think, if I was going to hire an associate, I'd probably go with a lawyer over a CPA. Most people wouldn't guess that, but CPA's are accountants, and what I do has more to do with law than accounting.

*Look for self-employment opportunities. If you're any sort of engineer, commercial artist or professional (among others), then self-employment is most likely your future. Remember that self employment isn't really any more or less secure than employment, but your earnings will be far more variable, and you have to monitor your own tax situation carefully.

You also have to remember, as my dad always says, that every morning when you wake up, you're unemployed. You just have to do it for a while to fully appreciate that. You also have to be a tough boss for yourself. It is tempting to spend the day in a home office wearing a bathrobe, but that's not how you make money. How you do make money depends on what you're doing. But that ain't it.

*Don't worry so much about "qualified" vs "over qualified" vs "under qualified". Just apply for as many jobs as practical (but do try to stay within your skill set, if not specifically your desired field) and attend as many interviews as you can get. The prospective employer will have their own ideas about who they want to hire, and you shouldn't try to guess. You don't have ESP. Just always put your best foot forward. Dress nice, but don't obsess about it, unless you're trying to get a fashion related job.

Do always bear in mind that a lower paying job still pays more than zero.  I have seen people turn jobs down, holding out for a better one.  They tend to have a lower success rate eventually finding that better job than do the people that go ahead and take that first job offered, even if it isn't great.

Above all, try to be positive, and always project a positive attitude. That's the one thing that people respond to the most. It's also next to impossible to project a positive attitude unless you really do have one. Try.

That's really the best of it that applies to everyone.  This is not meant to be comprehensive, just more representative of what most people in my profession (financial planner) would tell the average client.  Most of us give a lot more advice than this, and most of it unique to the clients' situation.

If you asked a hundred other financial planners to list tips for this situation, you'd easily get another 100 suggestions.  There is no silver bullet, I'm afraid.  But some strategies have been shown to be more effective than others.

If you are currently unemployed and looking for work, then I really do wish you the best.  The most important thing to remember when trying to reach a goal is to keep trying.  That's what "they say", so it must be right. :)