Around 2 million or more Americans could be losing their unemployment benefits this year end. “California has more residents at risk of losing unemployment benefits than 36 other states and Washington D.C. combined.”

That means those who had been relying on the weekly payments and insurance programs for rent, food, family expenses will have none for a decent survival. Though not much can be done now to reverse the republicans vote or accuse others for this was no fault of yours, here’s what you can do to sustain till the economy takes an up-turn. Note that there are many jobs around, you just have to work harder to get to them.

    1. Network more to get back to the workforce. Use the holiday parties to inform those you meet that you are actively looking for a job. Don’t hole in your house and keep on posting online to the job-boards, reach out and meet new people, it promotes visibility and boosts your spirit too. Most people like to help, all you have to do is ask and ask the right way.

    2. Research on companies that are actively hiring, read newspapers, trade journals, online press publications and the job boards of course to keep up-to-date on new hiring trends/ or new industries which have expansion plans for the next year. Then try to get in touch with acquaintances or friends who work for these companies, try a direct networking approach.

    3. If you have a financial backup to sustain yourself and your family for a few months to a year, consider retraining or taking courses during your job search to enhance your resume and cut back on the “resume gap”. I know it’s tough but that’s the way to be ready when the opportunity arrives.

    4. Consider voluntary or part-time temp work at local stores or organizations in your area of expertise, it adds to your experience and the temp opportunities may very well become your permanent job if you stand out as a valuable contributor.

    5. Look up your skills set or your passion – are you a natural artist, a writer, a handyman or a great piano player? What do you naturally do best? Identify, polish your skills and then consider offering classes/tutoring/freelance work in your area of interest –in the evenings or weekend. This enables you to generate a considerable cash-flow while you wait for the next best opportunity and also the best stress-reliever during these hard times.

    6. Hone your social networking skills, if you are in the IT industry or any technical/medical/sales field and you are not on the social networking sites liked LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook – you’re losing big time of the current jobs offers and the hunting recruiters eyes. Recently a report stated that around 95 percent of the companies are using some form of social networks to look for potential candidates in the US. Don’t be left out, join in.

    7. If you can and have a knack for starting your own small business to generate some cash flow or a major one – chances are you’d want to do it now especially if you have a strong drive to be an entrepreneur. And also since there is urgency and a necessity to make money fast perhaps the implementation process will accelerate due to your intentional or unintentional motivation. There are many organizations in your local area for example SCORE which provides free and confidential business advice and counseling to meet the needs of your small business and your personal objectives. But do read this article before jumping in to start your own business – talks about the 5 Common Misconceptions About Starting Your Own Business.

    8. None of the above will work out if you don’t take care for yourself first. With limited or no insurance and the financial stress you must ensure that to do something right the first step is to be positive, the second to ensure health and wellness for yourself and your family and the third to act – act to take charge of your future and priorities. Seek help and support from whosoever in your close circle – help and support counts much more than any other advice online or through the know-all gurus.

    9. If you are still using credit cards – don’t. Don’t add to the debt load, lessen it. Assign a certain amount for every week expenditure, it is a pinch but worth it for your future stability.

    10. Prepare a list of Do’s and Don’ts for your family today – stick them on the fridge or message board or wherever or everywhere you feel right and follow it consciously daily. Add humor or a smile or just a feel good message to it so that it does not cause stress to an already overburdened family – motivate and inspire your family and yourself to work towards a brighter future. It is just round the corner –all we’ve got to do is brave this storm!

As you see from the points above, 8 out of 10 focus on increasing your cash flow or to help you begin earning as soon as possible. The other two are on managing your current retargets and being frugal and prudent on your spending. That’s the 80/20 rule you should be following-a steady cash flow will give you the support and stability you need now so focus your energy in that direction first.

And while you are working on to implement most of what is written above please also think on this very important question – what I can do in the short and long-term to ensure this does not happen to me again? Yes, I know what you are thinking this is not my wrongdoing and perhaps many others are to blame – but the only preparation I can do for myself is to be more financially safe in future – financial stability is extremely important at every turn in life making it easier to navigate when you arrive at the turn.

What has worked for you in such a situation, or any other suggestions you would like to add here? Please comment.