Few life experiences are more difficult than losing your job.
But there’s lots of help available in the community, both for finding a job and for maintaining your mental health during even the most trying of times.
Here are some of the best tips offered by experts Tuesday night at the Sandusky State Theatre during the Register’s latest “Solutions” seminar.
Q. Where can I go for a “one-stop shop” if I don’t know how to go about getting a good job?
A. Come to Your Job Store, said Rick Carson, director of the agency.
The agency works with many other organizations in Erie County, so if it can’t provide help for your particular issue, it can refer you to someone who can.
Q. What do I do if I’ve found a job I would like but don’t have the necessary training or qualifications?
A. In many cases, money is available to help you retrain. Contact Your Job Store for details.
Q. How can I figure out how to network to get leads on jobs?
A. “Everyone that you have contact with is your network,” said Melany Smythe of the Sandusky Career Center. Talk to people, and keep copies of your resume handy.
Q. I’ve lost my job. How do I apply for unemployment or ask questions about unemployment benefits?
A. Call 1-877-Ohio-Job (1-877-644-6562).
Q. How can I do well at a job interview?
A. Dress to make a good impression on a new employer. Don’t dress as if you are going to Cedar Point or shopping at the mall. Take a few minutes to research the company where you are interviewing, so you can demonstrate interest in and knowledge about your potential employer.
Q. How do I keep my spirits up and avoid depression when I’m out of work?
(1) Establish a daily routine. Get up, get dressed and follow a set routine. Establish a plan for the day. Remember that looking for a job is a full-time job.
(2) Exercise, eat right, and remember that drugs and alcohol can make your problems worse.
(3) Volunteer. Use the extra time you have to help others and forget your own problems for awhile.
(4) If depression persists, get help. Depression is very treatable.
Q. How do I find where the jobs are?
A. Look online at www.ohiomeansjobs.com and look in the classified ads in the newspaper, but remember that many jobs aren’t advertised. Be prepared to make the rounds at local businesses.
Q. Are any of the “work at home” jobs legitimate?
A. Some of them are, but make sure by doing your homework and contacting organizations such as the Better Business Bureau.
“If you have to pay them money, it’s not a job. End of story,” Smythe said.
Q. Are there any skills I should try to pick up while I’m out of work?
A. Any job you’re likely to get will require computer skills. If you don’t have any, look for a free computer class at the local library.
Q. How can I find out about how to start a small business?
A. Call the Erie County Chamber of Commerce, which every month helps provide free seminars aimed at helping people get started.