It really is about as much fun as it sounds. Once I was around my third week of job hunting and spending the majority of my days motivating myself I had gained a little more understanding of how hard it can be.
It’s a big change to go from seeing your little team of colleagues everyday, and having a set routine, to having the freedom and challenge to plan it all.
I was very fortunate so as my family and in-laws were super lovely in keeping me busy with weekly invitations to do things, such as visiting the South of England Show.
I knew I would find it harder to find work than my developer colleagues. Their skills are in demand in Brighton and all three found new jobs in the first few weeks. The Admin side of things is much more competitive, as there are lots of talented people with transferable admin skills. I was sensible and spent each day checking jobs boards for roles that interest me, I also accepted all advice and suggestions made to me. I wanted to be in work. I wanted to be useful.
One of the the things that I had found frustrating was the suggestion to ‘sign on’. I didn’t want to claim Job Seekers Allowance if I could possibly help it, I had some savings – yes they were for a trip we are planning for next spring to the USA but that could wait. I feel that benefits should go to those who need them, not people like me, who should have been able to manage. But my savings were small, and new, and not the recommended three months worth of bills and mortgage payments I’ve now read as the right amount to always have set aside.
Past Laura was frivolous with money and I am quite frustrated with her.
Future financial plans include learning from my past mistake and setting aside a emergency fund, to help if I or Jack is ever in a similar position again, though I really hope not!
The good news is: I have just started a new job at Liquid Light, so wish me luck!
What advice would I give to you, myself or anyone who wants some:
- Have some savings for emergencies
- Try to set yourself a routine – you will get back to work and you don’t want it to be a shock.
- Set yourself goals for applications, even if it’s just one or two per day.
- Vary your search terms and read the job details thoroughly, there might be exactly what you are looking for, just under a slightly different job title.
- Accept help: if someone wants to recommend you, say yes. If someone wants to pass on your details, say yes.
- Know your rights and apply for what you are owed as soon as possible.
The process of getting redundancy compensation via National Insurance in hindsight was quite quick, but waiting for the initial payment was painful and I am glad I had my savings to fall back on.
Have you been unemployed before? How did you find it? What advice would you give someone?