by Kimberly S., ResumeEdge Certified Writer –
If you’re facing a furlough, the prospect of a smaller paycheck can be unnerving. But there are ways to keep money in your pocket during that time. Being strategic and resourceful will put you ahead of the competition—and may even help you make your next career move.
No Job Is Safe Anymore
As federal sequestration unfolds and government furloughs are enacted, unpaid leave might be in your future if you’re a federal employee. A government job used to be known as a “safe” one. In these tough economic times, that’s no longer the case—and a growing number of other sectors across many industries are using furloughs to cut expenses. This approach is used to help save jobs, protect staff numbers, and keep the company competitive once the market starts to improve. So remember to keep a positive attitude during this time. You still have your job and your benefits. Getting laid off could be worse.
Being furloughed means you will lose money. You’ll need to compensate for that loss. Start by contacting your human resources department to learn if you qualify for unemployment benefits during a furlough. If you’re required to take the leave in week-long increments and not days here and there, and if your hours are significantly reduced, you’re more likely to qualify. Rules vary by state, and the Department of Labor lists unemployment offices by state.
Next, evaluate your monthly expenses and cut out all unnecessary ones; then be creative with your furlough. If your company pays employees for unused vacation days, try to schedule your furlough days when you would normally take vacation, such as around the holidays or during school breaks, rather than cashing in unused vacation days at the end of the year.
If your employer offers the choice to take all furlough days consecutively, other costs can be defrayed if you take that option. Lumping furlough days into one week could be a way to avoid daycare expenses during that time period. You can also cut back on costs like commuting expenses, dry cleaning, and pet-walking more easily if you take your days all at once.
Career Advancement (You Now Have the Time)
Try to resist the temptation of viewing your furlough as a holiday, an opportunity to sleep in, or a chance to clean out your closets. Instead, take advantage of a furlough to update your resume, network, and prepare yourself for a future job search. Hire a reputable professional resume writing company, such as ResumeEdge, to make your resume the strongest and most effective it can be. Create a LinkedIn profile, and begin linking in your professional contacts. Start researching other positions and learn or hone the required skills.
A furlough can also provide a good opportunity for transitioning to another field. Your time on leave can be used to research industries that interest you, talk with recruiters, arrange informational interviews, and attend industry events.
Just remember that it is often easier to find a new position if you already have one. While you still have a job on furlough, the fact that a furlough was implemented could also mean that budget cuts at this time won’t be enough for later—and your employer might need to make actual job cuts in the future. A furlough gives you time to prepare. It’s best you make the most of it.
Whatever your professional background or employment situation, the certified writers at ResumeEdge can help you stand out among the competition. We have helped job seekers with our services that include resume writing, resume editing, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and interview coaching via our JobInterviewEdge service.