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Career Monday: Using Your Severance Package to Amp Up Your Job Search

Layoffs may feel a little less stressful when they come with a severance package that continues your salary for a set period of time. Of course, there are a wide range of practices among employers. Whether your severance package is generous or minimal, try these suggestions to turn those funds into an asset in your job search.

How to Use Minimal Severance to Rev Up Your Job Search

1. Lift your spirits. Acknowledge that you’re going through a rough time and treat yourself with kindness. Seek support from your spiritual beliefs and loved ones. Remember that you can thrive in adversity and emerge as a stronger person.

2. Team up with others. When you’re searching for a new job under such stressful circumstances, you’ll need every advantage you can get. Networking with others is the best way to speed up the process and access moral support. Join a job club, attend meetings at your professional association, and ask your librarian about what career services they offer.

3. Move someplace cheaper. Housing is the largest living expense for most people. Downsizing might reduce your financial pressures dramatically. Research your options immediately so you’ll be prepared for whatever happens.

4. Cut out other expenses. Look for ways to trim costs. Prepare meals at home rather than eating out. Cancel your cable TV subscription.

5. Indulge in free entertainment. Of course, you still need physical activity and playtime. Run through the park each morning. Attend free concerts and lectures.

6. Sell non-essential possessions. Clear away clutter and make some cash. Organize a garage sale or post an ad on Craigslist to sell your old hockey equipment.

7. Develop a side income. Think of ways to generate money until you’re employed again. Maybe you want to walk dogs or teach piano lessons.If you’re successful, it could turn into a full-time job.

8. Give to others. You have a lot to contribute, even if you’re short on money. Donate your time and expertise to a non-profit organization. Mow the lawn for your elderly neighbor. You’ll instantly feel better and you may discover a valuable job lead.

How to Use Generous Severance to Rev Up Your Job Search

1. Take a break. You deserve some breathing time to sort out your feelings and clarify your priorities. Climb a mountain or lounge on the beach. Come back feeling refreshed and energized

2. Schedule a start date. It’s easy to lose track of time when you don’t have to be at the office each morning. Pick a day when you’ll start your official job search and stick to it.

3. Try new things. An ample severance package enables more flexibility if you’re thinking about switching careers. You may want to experiment with a temporary assignment or internship to sample a different line of work.

4. Create a budget. Resist the urge to fritter away those extra funds. A line-item budget makes it easier to monitor your spending decisions.

5. Invest in yourself. At the same time, some additional spending could make sense. Check out classes and certifications that would prepare you to advance your career. Visit a salon to update your professional image.

6. Share your wealth. Using some of your funds to help others is one of the most beneficial things you can do. You’ll create goodwill that may help you land your dream job or at least feel happier wherever you go.

Looking for a job is especially challenging when you’re currently unemployed. Be gentle with yourself and remember your true value far exceeds any severance package. Hard work and a positive attitude will lead you towards a brighter future.

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