Surviving Unemployment - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/26/09

Surviving Unemployment

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - What would you do if you lost your job today? Unfortunately, it's a reality more and more families have to face. From December to January Lubbock's unemployment rate rose almost a full point from 3.8% to 4.7%. Lubbock's unemployment rate is still lower than the state and national rates, but statistics don't mean much when it affects you or a loved one personally. Losing your job is a tough thing, but here are some tips that might make it a bit easier.

Audra Ellis's new office is the career room at Workforce Solutions of the South Plains. For the past two months finding a job is her job after she was laid off from her position as a graphic designer. "The first thought is a little bit of terror. You don't really know what to do. After that, it's starting a list of what you need to get ready and need to get going so you can start looking for a new job," said Ellis.

Workforce Solutions says in the past six months they've seen an increase in the number of people who need their services. Their weekly job seeking seminars attendance more than doubled with people who find themselves in the same position as Ellis. Workforce of the South Plains says it's important to prepare for a lay-off before it hits. Have your resume updated and ready to send out at all times, and keep up your professional network up so you have people to go to for possible job openings.

It's also important to prepare financially. Myra McNeil, who leads seminars for job seekers, recommends saving 3 to 6 months worth of bills to keep yourself going. "Save money, and that's hard to do these days, but we really need a cushion," McNeil said. 

Ellis says the most helpful thing she's done is stay on a schedule and use her free time productively. "I get up, get ready like I normally would if I was going to work or something, and then I'll sit at the computer and I'll go through the Workforce website and some other job search sites and just try to find what I can," she said. 

Ellis is confident if she continues to be persistent the right job will come along. "Our number one service is to provide hope, because hope and encouragement I think are the most important things for job seekers," said McNeil.

Workforce Solutions of the South Plains holds a free seminar for job seekers every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Also, there is a job fair on April 8th from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Civic Center.

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