How to Create a Job Hunting Budget
March 25, 2015 / Sara Davis / Get a Job
That old phrase "It takes money to make money" is, unfortunately, true. This doesn't mean you are going to go broke trying to find a job, but it does mean that you need to be prepared. Job hunting takes time and effort, and you have to eat and live while doing so.
Additionally, even when you land an interview, there are going to be costs included, such as transportation to and from the interview, whatever it costs to make resume copies, having your suit dry cleaned and whatever other expenses you will certainly come across. Be ready by having your budget established.
You certainly have been in situations when you were looking for a job, either because you were tired of where you worked, you moved, or a company you worked was having financial difficulties of its own and had to let some employees go. All these reasons are common and can put you in a situation in which you have to turn back to the job postings and put effort into polishing up your resume.
This costs you time and energy. Naturally, it would be easier to sleep or enjoy your recent freedom, if only for a few days. Instead, you need to organize your funds.
Consider the costs of a job hunt and start writing them down. If you don't have a budget for this purpose already put together, it is time you start taking the proper steps in that direction.
"It costs money to live whether you have a job or not."
Take steps to establishing your job hunting budget
According to GCFLearnFree.org, you need to start trimming the fat from your expenses. This could mean reducing your junk food purchases or maybe canceling your Netflix subscription until you get another job. When you are in between employment, or your current employment is not doing enough to build your bank account, then you need to focus your resources on the job hunt, not the extras.
This is no easy task, especially when you have additional time on your hands. But don't think of it that way. This is the time you should be dedicating to your job hunt. Instead of messing around on the Internet, you should be updating your resume. Instead of checking your fantasy football stats, you should be checking job postings. And rather than spending money on items you don't need, you should be securing your budget for the foreseeable future.
Have what you need
Though it seems contradictory to purchase items when you are focusing on budgeting, this is exactly what you need to do. Certain items can help you stand out when interviewing, such as having a clean-cut and pressed suit, or a professional-looking bag, according to Career Girl Network.
In an ideal world, you would be valued on merit and skills alone. However, a professional appearance means a strong first impression, and when looking for a job you need to impress on all levels. Make sure your clothes have been pressed, and if you don't have clothes that are appropriate for an interview it is worth purchasing some. That's what the budget is for! That's why you are trimming other areas out of your spending. Have a clean outfit, polished shoes, neat hair and a professional bag or purse.
Additionally, have a fare card for public transportation or enough cash on hand for a cab ride, if you do not have a car of your own. After all, you can't just beam to the interview. If it is close and the weather is nice then riding a bike is a possibility, but you run the risk of getting sweaty or disheveled during the ride. It is best when going to an interview to play it safe, and that usually means forking over a bit of dough so that your suit doesn't dirty and your bag doesn't get scuffed up.
When you are looking for a new position, you should be utilizing all outlets that are available to you. In many instances, there are networking events for industries or companies. LinkedIn is a great free source that you should use, as well as other Web-based platforms, but there in-person events that are worth attending, according to MarketingHire.com.
Some of these events might cost an entry fee, which means going to all of them might not be possible depending on your allotted budget. However, you should absolutely make use of those you can attend. Put on your best outfit and have copies of your resume printed off so you can walk around and introduce yourself, convincing people why you are the hire they've been waiting for.
Not having a job can be a daunting experience, but having a budget to get you through will help keep your spirits high and your focus on the prize. Begin your job hunting budget today, whether you are looking for a new position or not. Have it ready so when that call for an interview comes through, you will be ready to go.