How to Stay Afloat While Searching for Your Next Job

The above picture is of a woman who is sitting at her desk with her laptop opened receiving a piece of paper in one hand and holding her other hand over her mouth and she is looking worried.

How to Stay Afloat While Searching for Your Next Job

You really loved your last job. It paid well, the benefits were amazing, and it wasn’t too stressful or difficult. Unfortunately, the boss had to lay people off and you got the boot. 

Now you’re stuck trying to stay afloat and manage your bills while drifting between jobs. You’ve put in a few applications, but how are you supposed to stay financially secure while you wait to hear back from any of them?

The trick is budgeting. You can also pick up a side gig or dip your toes into freelance work. Every little bit counts.

Check out this guide for a full list of ways to make some extra cash while you’re transitioning between jobs.

Create a Strict Budget 

The first step to staying afloat is managing your personal budget. Sit down and make a list of necessary expenses such as groceries, your rent, power, and water. Anything that doesn't make the list can temporarily get cut out until you have a steady stream of income coming in again. 

When you do go grocery shopping, keep an eye out for deals. Try to stick with the store brand stuff. Most of it is cheaper than the big brand names and it tastes almost the same. 

There are also organizations that you can reach out to who will be willing to keep you fed until you get back on your feet. Ask your relatives for grocery money if you have to. 

Try to Get Unemployment

If you were fired from your job at no fault of your own, you are eligible to apply for unemployment. You'll get a certain sum each week that you can use to spend on your bills. How much you get varies from state to state. 

We will say that there are some drawbacks to applying for unemployment. For example, they require you to apply for at least one job each week.

If you get a job offer, that's it. You have to take it, even if you think you could get a better offer somewhere else. The benefits are taxable. 

You can choose to either have the taxes taken out of your weekly benefits package or pay them when tax time rolls around. If you choose the latter, you might end up owing a bunch of money later. 

If you decide to start your own business instead of going back to a traditional job, that can terminate your benefits. It doesn't matter if your business is booming yet or not. 

Get Your Resume Updated 

When you're unemployed, you want to start the job search as soon as possible. The thing is, you need an updated resume first.

If you're not already using bullet points, add them in. Employers only spend a few minutes scanning over a resume. Bullet points will help them see all the experience you can bring to the table quickly. 

You've also got to keep your resume to a single page. If yours is threatening to go over that threshold, cut out some of your less relevant jobs. 

Create a List of Jobs You Could Do

Unemployment doesn't have to be the end. It's a point to ask yourself if you're happy in your current career field. You now have the opportunity to dip your toes into something new and refreshing. 

Sit down and make a list of jobs that sound appealing to you. If you need any extra training for those jobs, apply for unemployment or take on a few side gigs to support yourself until you're done. 

Try Out Freelance Work

Freelance work might not pay quite as much as a full-time job in an office somewhere, but it does pay. You may end up sitting on your hands between jobs, but if you're quick to find work, you'll see that you can support yourself with it. 

Freelancing also involves working from home most of the time so, you'll have a little freedom to pursue something else while you're bringing in a somewhat steady income. 

Pick Up a Side Job

Side gigs are a dream during the career search. You'll go through a quick background check and application process. Once they review your information, you could start working the day after you apply. 

No interview required. 

Some side gigs include DoorDash, Lyft, Uber, paid surveys, offering creative services on Fiverr, tutoring students, dog walking, and house sitting. 

Maybe Sell Things You Don't Need Anymore 

Go through your home and look for duplicates or items that you no longer use such as an old iPhone or laptop. There have to be some clothes in good condition sitting in your closet that you can't wear anymore. 

Lay these items out, take pictures of them, and sell them online. This is a quick and easy way to get a little extra cash while you're trying to find a job. 

Review Job Offers

Don't get so wrapped up in a side gig that you forget to review job offers regularly. Unless you're going through unemployment, you don't have to take the first offer that reaches your email inbox. 

Take a look at the job's base pay. Are you willing to take a little less than what your last job paid you? Do you want a bit more than that? 

Do they offer the same kind of benefits that the last job did? Are you going to have to drive miles a day and put most of your paycheck into your gas tank? These are all things that you have to consider. 

Stay Afloat When Drifting Between Jobs 

Being unemployed is never easy. It's stressful trying to stay afloat and pay your bills while you're waiting for new job offers to come in. The good news is there are several ways for you to bring in some extra income. 

So, take a moment to breathe and use some of these tips to keep you going. You've got this under control. When you're ready to start applying for jobs again, we've got you covered with our job board.