Zombie Economics: Unemployment Survival Tips
Rick Emerson, author of "Zombie Economics," stopped by with his tips for surviving unemployment.
You'll find more information about Rick and his book right here.
Q: For the past several years, Oregon’s unemployment rate has been among the highest in the nation. Where do things stand now, and what’s the forecast for improvement?
A: At the moment, Oregon’s unemployment rate is about 8.4%, which is still higher than the national unemployment rate of 8.2%. The silver lining –as always– is that we don’t live in Detroit. Things seem to be picking up in certain quarters, but it’s far from a steady improvement – the best way to describe it is “one step forward and three-quarters of a step back.” As with many things, the best strategy is to hope things recover in the near future, but don’t plan on it. Remember: In the best of economic times, it takes, on average, sixteen weeks to find a new job. In a poor economic climate, that timeframe expands to thirty-four weeks.
Q: Even in a bad economy, job loss can be a shock – people sometimes don’t know how to proceed. What’s the first thing someone should do if they become unemployed?
A: As someone who comes from the world of radio, let me say that I have been there. First, take a moment to acknowledge the situation – yell, curse...be angry at your terrible luck. Then, start making decisions, because staying in “wallow” mode will only increase the danger.
Next, you apply for unemployment. No shame, no guilt, no putting it off. And then you divide the total amount of unemployment you've got coming by the amount you'll get every week...and you realize that's your deadline for getting a new supply of “ammunition”...for getting new income. Then, you start cutting expenses.
Q: When people are looking for a new job, every interview can feel like a longshot. What can they do to increase their odds?