A Warrior’s Guide to Unemployment

A Warrior’s Guide to Unemployment

A Warriors Guide to Unemployment

Black smoke fills the skyline.  Your sword hand is throbbing with pain.  You look around you and see the ruins of what once was.  Arrows litter the ground, the once proud watch towers are doused in flames, and the very foundations of your castle walls have come crumbling to the ground.    

You try to stand but exhaustion over takes you.  You fall to the ground.   You see your comrades, running in retreat as the enemy closes in.  You attempt to muster your last bit of strength, but to what end?   With defeat so emanate, how can you can you how can you turn the side of such a battle?  How can you win against such an seemingly inescapable defeat?

Unemployment can come in many forms.  Perhaps your king has already announced a reduction in his armed forces.  Perhaps you’ve noticed a meddling foreign dignitary making the rounds at your barracks, bringing rumors departmental changes. Or maybe unemployment hits you like little Olly stabbing John Snow in the heart.  Either way you find yourself on a warrior’s journey, with no source of income. 

Currently as of January 2021, the unemployment rate in the United States is hovering around 6%.  Depending on your occupation, new gainful employment might not be unattainable.  But if you feel that your current job loss will be an extended venture, then it will be important to handle it the Warrior’s way.  

In order to receive unemployment benefits, you will need to file a claim with your local state office.  This will require 5 steps, in order to receive any type of assistance.

Step 1:  Update your resume, and add it to your state’s job bank.

While unemployment benefit requirements will vary from state to state, almost all will require a recipient to be actively searching for work.  This will require a individual to create an updated resume, and post it on a state job board.  This will allow the individual to look for jobs, as well as allow potential employers to look for new employees.  Often times these employers have special relationships with the state job board, and these positions can be filled very quickly.  So you may find yourself contacted by a recruiter before you even complete your unemployment claim.  Also, many states will require you to do this process in person, at a local office, for verification purposes.  

Step 2: File an unemployment claim.  (This is where your Boss will Screw you)

In order to file a claim you will need to have the following information:

Your employer’s federal Tax ID  ( found on your w-2 or paystub)

Official start date/last day you worked, and your exact hourly/salaried wage, including bonuses.  You will also be asked to provide a termination statement to add to your case.   Don’t expect to your employer to willingly give this statement to you.  It will always be in their best interest to AVOID giving this to you.  Because this statement will fast track your unemployment claim.  Instead your former employer will file this statement on “your behalf.”  This means they will get to drag things out an extra few weeks before you can start getting paid.  

Step 3.  Expect a Fraud Delay

Unemployment Fraud is rampant in the United States.  It’s unfortunately quite easy for someone to file fraudulent claim in your name.  Chances you are already a victim of this type of theft, without even realizing it.  Unfortunately the only way to discover if you’re a victim or not is to become officially unemployed from a job, and file a claim yourself.  

On the positive side, more and more states are creating active task forces to investigate these fraudulent claims.  This means that you can usually get a resolution within a two week period.  In almost all cases this will require a trip to your local unemployment branch.  There they will require you to sign a document stating you did not file a fraudulent claim.  They also may require you to provide TWO forms of identification. (This will vary depending on your state. )

Often times it will turn out that a fraudulent claim was filed, but never payed out.  This situation is much easier to resolve than a claim that was paid out.  If a claim was paid out,  it make take an entire month to resolve.  This is important to keep in mind because you may have to a few months without seeing any insurance money.   This can be a trap that will force to accept a lower paying job, just to make ends meat.  Rather than get the full benefit of unemployment to rework your career trajectory.

 Step 4: Step up Online Job search verification.

Most states will require a recipient to be actively looking for work.  While each state will have its own requirements, almost all states will allow you to document your efforts online.  This may require some additional steps to step up, but once it is complete, it is an amazing time saver.  This will allow you to quickly update your job contacts and attempts.  The alternative will be faxing in hand written forms on a biweekly basis.  Last thing you want is to be sitting in the Customer Service line at Mejiers waiting in line behind someone trying to return expired milk, with your kid asking you “are we done yet,”  while enduring a migraine, all so you can find out that the Mejier’s Public fax machine is currently down. 

Use online verification!

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Step 5:  Re-evalute your Financial Warefare plan

Unemployment payments are meant to be a way to bridge the gap into finding your way back into the work force.  Unemployment can 20 weeks or longer.  Once your payments start rolling in, this will be an excellent to reassess your Financial Warfare plan and also reflect on why you were fired in the first place.   Was the job not right for you in the first place?  Where you just the victim of a cooperate downsizing plan?  Where you happy the role you were in?  Or were you desperately seeking freedom from your job anyway? 

No matter you’re circumstance it’s you need some time for you to process how and why you got fired.  Having a new steady flow of passive income will allow you some wiggle room to address core issues in your career plan.  Perhaps a new career path is in order for you.  Perhaps you want to try some online classes and learn some new skills.  Personally, I’d recommend looking at doing a tour of duty in the trades.  You would be instantly hirable no matter where you live, and you’d be able to make money immediately. Trades typically pay higher wages than your average office job and often don’t require the same costs to maintain an office job.  Often times transportation, lunch, and healthcare are all provided for by the Trades Union.  All you have to do is show up at a Park-N-Ride every day at 9:00 am and your off to a living wage.  

Working a season or two in the trades will allow you to get ahead finically by paying off debt, reducing healthcare expenses, and allowing you to build up an emergency fund if you don’t already have one.  I know many Millennials who have decided to drop out of corporate American, work trades for two years, become debt free, and then move right back into a comfortable office job again.  No one says you have to make a career change to the trades, but the power of a tour-of-duty in the trades cannot be understated.  

 No matter what you decide, it’s important maximize the potential of your time off.  Create a website about something your passionate about.  Reach out to hiring managers on Linked In to see what jobs skills are most in demand in your field or region.  

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Step 6: Network:  (And don’t be ashamed)

Networking will require both an online and offline strategy.  

One of the biggest mistakes I see is people don’t tell anyone in their social circle that they are unemployed.  There is a certain stigma that goes with being unemployed, that makes people not want to talk about it. But not talking about it is a sure fire way to guarantee that you won’t find a job.  You will want to use your Viking Clan or Ninja spy network as much as possible.  Let everyone you know that you are “taking some time off” and that you’re open to new opportunities.  

In addition to networking with those around you, you will want to also network online.  This can be as simple as joining a Facebook Group for a particular interest of yours.  This will give you an opportunity to meet new people and find out about new opportunities.  Best of all this type of networking is free, andonly limited by the amount of time you decide to dedicate to it.  

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Step 7: Be Mindful of Your Health

Losing your job may also mean losing your healthcare.  So it’s important take care of your health now more than ever.  This means practicing self-care both mentally and physically.  

Mental Health

Mentally you will want to take time out of every day to center yourself in peace.  There are only so many job applications you can submit and only so much door knocking you can do.  Taking time for you means setting aside a specific time each day to not focus on anything job related.  This is time to play video games, or binge watch Netflix.  You can spend this time anyway you’d like, as long as you are making a decision to enjoy it.  

When I was unemployed, I watched the whole series of Sons of Anarchy.  Each night, no matter how stressed I was, I turned off all that Anxiety and enjoyed a nice relaxing hour of watching other people get their skulls broke in, run over, and shot.  I also did quite a bit of reading during my own unemployment too.  

photo of boys fighting with swords
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Physical health

You will also need to take care of yourself physically.  This means watching your diet and exercise.  It’s so easy to pick up a “bad habit” while unemployed.  This could be anything from drinking, smoking, or doing drugs to pass the time.  This will only lead you to a horrible path.  You mind and body will become duller and your will find it harder to relate to people.  Networking with people is going to be your #1 resource to finding new work.  The last thing you want to do is start meeting people while still hungover or high.    

Conclusion

Becoming unemployed is nothing to be ashamed of.  In fact, I would say every warrior needs to experience losing their job at least once in their journey.  Getting fired shows us what we are really made of.  The experience teaches us resilience that we normally wouldn’t have found any other way.  Handling unemployment the warrior’s way is what separates us from those who give up.  And no matter how hard the journey of unemployment gets, remember, warriors never quit or give up.  Financial Warfare is still going to be waged around you whether you’re employed or not.  Don’t let your time being unemployed prevent you from acceding to the greatness you seek. 

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