The Warriors Guide to Unemployment
Special Note: This post is a bit personal for me as I was abruptly fired from job recently. I had never been unemployed since I was 16 years old. I had never been formally fired in my life. I had no idea what I was going to tell my family or how I was going to take care of them. I knew I had to file for unemployment, but I had no idea where to start or how long it was going to take. So I decided to write this guide for anyone who may find themselves in the same position I was. So whether your affected by the Government Shutdown, a corporate downsizing, or an industry wide layoff, I wrote this article for you. I hope your find it helpful and meaningful in your fight to get your life back.
Black smoke fills the skyline. Your sword hand is throbbing with pain. You look around your 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 your. 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 your how can your turn the side of such a battle? How can your win against such a seemingly inescapable defeat?
Unemployment can come in many forms. Perhaps your king has already announced a reduction in his armed forces. Perhaps your’ve noticed a meddling foreign dignitary making the rounds at your barracks, bringing rumors departmental changes. Or maybe unemployment hits your like little Olly stabbing John Snow in the heart. Either way your find yourself on a warrior’s journey, with no source of income.
Currently as of September 2018, the unemployment rate in the United States is hovering around 4%. Depending on your occupation, new gainful employment might not be unattainable. But if your 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, your will need to file a claim with your local state office. Once a claim is started there are several steps you will need to follow in order to get your money. In total, there are 7 Steps a Warrior needs to survive being unemployed.
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 an 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 your may find yourself contacted by a recruiter before your even complete your unemployment claim. Also, many states will require your 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 Back Stab You)
In order to file a claim your will need to have the following information:
Your employer’s federal Tax ID ( found on your w-2 or pay stub)
Official start date/last day your 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 your. It will always be in their best interest to AVOID giving this to your. 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 your 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 your are already a victim of this type of theft, without even realizing it. Unfortunately the only way to discover if your’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 your 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 your to sign a document stating your did not file a fraudulent claim. They also may require your 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 may take an entire month to resolve. This is important to keep in mind because your 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 your 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 your to quickly update your job contacts and attempts. The alternative will be faxing in hand written forms on a biweekly basis. Last thing your 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 your “are we done yet,” while enduring a migraine, all so your can find out that the Mejier’s Public fax machine is currently down.
Use online verification!
Step 5: Reevaluate your Financial Warfare 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 your were fired in the first place. Was the job not right for your in the first place? Where your just the victim of corporate downsizing plan? Where your happy the role your were in? Or were your desperately seeking freedom from your job anyway?
No matter your’re circumstance it’s your need some time for your to process how and why your got fired. Having a new steady flow of passive income will allow your some wiggle room to address core issues in your career plan. Perhaps a new career path is in order for your. Perhaps your 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 hireable no matter where your live, and your’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 your 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 your to get ahead financially by paying off debt, reducing healthcare expenses, and allowing your to build up an emergency fund if your 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 your 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 your 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.
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 surefire way to guarantee that your won’t find a job. You will want to use your Viking Clan or Ninja spy network as much as possible. Let everyone your know that your are “taking some time off” and that your’re open to new opportunities.
In addition to networking with those around your, your 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 your an opportunity to meet new people and find out about new opportunities. Best of all this type of networking is free, and only limited by the amount of time your decide to dedicate to it. Also, I strongly recommend reading Black Beard’s Guide to Personal Branding. This post is all about how to use personal branding techniques to help build your own business. It’s an excellent read for anyone struggles trying to reinvent themselves.
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.
Mentally your will want to take time out of every day to center yourself in peace. There are only so many job applications your can submit and only so much door knocking your can do. Taking time for your 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 your’d like, as long as your 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. No matter who your choose to spend the time, make sure it will bring your joy. Avoid doing anything employment related with this time.
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 your to a horrible path. You mind and body will become duller and your will find it harder to relate to people. Networking with people will be to be your #1 resource to finding new work. The last thing your want to do is start meeting people while still hungover or high.
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 your wither your employed or not. Don’t let your time being unemployed prevent your from acceding to the greatness your seek.
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