The pending closure of several gaming properties in areas where there is an oversaturation, will result in thousands of displaced employees. Displacement can be frightening, especially for those who are unable to relocate to find new work. However, being prepared and knowing what to do next can ease much of the fear.
Casino Careers is a resource to assist job seekers in their search for employment. The tips below may be helpful during this difficult time:
Determine How Displacement Will Affect You— Understanding how your life will be impacted will help you decide what actions need to be taken to prepare. For example, it may affect your finances, health insurance, etc. If your layoff will cause an inability to pay your bills, you should determine if you have a nest egg to rely on and/or what your new budget will be. You may need to make certain sacrifices for the time being, such as cutting cable, driving less, discontinuing child care, or hosting Friday date night at home rather than a restaurant.
If your employer was the provider of your health insurance, you may want to consider whether or not you will purchase a private plan during your unemployment or select a public provider. You can sign up for Obama Care if:
- You get married, have a baby, or adopt a child
- You lose your health insurance
- You may a major move (i.e. to another country)
- You already bought a plan and have a change in income
Evaluate Your Options—Ask yourself the following:
- What is the maximum commute time I am willing to travel to work?
- Can I relocate? If so, to what areas? Is there someone with whom I can share a residence or carpool?
- Am I at the age where I may consider retirement, either partial or full?
- Am I able to take a Part-Time Job and still job hunt?
- Should I learn a new occupation that is in high demand? (Research the Workforce Investment Act Training Program)
- Who do I know who may have a job opportunity for me?
- With whom can I network?
- What other local job resources are available to me?
The answers to these questions will help you create a blueprint for moving forward. If your answers determine that you are willing to drive a max of 30-minutes to work, you can look to see what towns are in that area and seek employment there. Or if you were thinking about retiring in the near future, you may consider retiring early in a part-time capacity and seek a part-time job a few days per week.
Update Your Resume— If you’ve been in the same position for several years, it is likely that your resume has gone untouched. Before seeking new employment, you should tidy up your resume to ensure it is up to date. You also want to make sure not to date yourself, so be sure to use a clean and modern layout and don’t go back more than 15 to 25 years. Some job seekers may also consider resume enhancement or rewrite services.
Search for New Opportunities— Once your resume has been updated, you may begin searching for new opportunities. If the selection of full-time jobs is scarce, don’t be afraid to apply for part-time positions. You may continue to collect unemployment wages while working a part-time job until you find something more permanent or may even consider small “gigs,” such as mowing lawns, cleaning houses, or childcare. You may also consider seeking the assistance of a local employment agency or staffing service, whose representatives may be able to find a job match for you.
Reach out to Professional Networks and Expand Them— Advising your current network of your displacement is always a good idea and may help you get a foot in the door at a new company. However, you shouldn’t stop there. Expand your network via both online mediums and face-to-face interactions. The larger your network, the more opportunity for professional advancement. Remember to not only ask others for help, but to offer your help to others.
File for Unemployment— Those who are unable to immediately find a job after being displaced may file for unemployment benefits in their state. While exact steps varies by state, the overall process is basically the same. Individuals will file for unemployment via their local Unemployment Office or in some cases, online. Typically, an individual can collect unemployment benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks.
Individuals may find it difficult to find a job if they live in an area with a declining job market; however it is important to not get discouraged. Finding a job may take several weeks to several months—remember, Rome wasn’t build in a day!
Amanda Hopkins is a member of the Casino Careers, LLC Recruitment Team. She specializes in identifying resources to publicize career opportunities enabling qualified candidates to connect with Employers seeking their expertise. Amanda possesses a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications and was Editor-in-Chief of The Voice at Bloomsburg University in PA.