Though the average job search takes three to six months, it’s easy to start feeling down when your job search has taken that long (or even longer) without results.
Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to put an end your long-term unemployment. Here are eight tips you can try.
1. Reassess Your Job Search Routine
By now, you’ve probably developed a job search routine. But if your search seems to be going nowhere lately, it might be time to take another look at how you’re approaching your job hunt.
Look back at your job search journal to see if you can identify where you’ve found success and where you haven’t. Once you identify where the stumbling block is, look for ways to improve it.
Then, review your job search plan. Are you hitting the daily and weekly goals you’ve set for yourself? Do you need to adjust your goals or even set new ones?
2. Think Outside the Title Box
Job titles are important. They tell you a lot about the position, like what the duties and responsibilities of the role likely are. So, it’s logical to start your job search with job titles. But to help end your long-term unemployment, try searching outside of job titles.
For example, instead of a narrow search for “Senior Project Manager,” try exploring related terms like “Project Manager” or even “Project Management.” These subtle changes may net you more results in industries you hadn’t considered or with companies you didn’t realize had jobs that are perfect for you.
3. Assemble Your Team
In addition to reaching out to family and friends for support during your job search, make sure you reach out to your professional network too. They are often your greatest asset during a job search and while you’re unemployed.
Optimize your LinkedIn profile, send out some messages to your contacts, and start spreading the word that you are looking for a new opportunity.
4. Learn to Network
Even if networking isn’t your favorite activity, it is typically one of the most effective ways to meet new people, create new connections, and uncover hidden job leads.
Whether online or in-person, if you go into the event checking the clock and holding up the (virtual) wall, you’re wasting your time. Instead, go in with a positive attitude, and focus on making real connections with people. Here’s how to network when it’s not your thing.
5. Consider Alternatives
You want a full-time position but aren’t having any luck connecting with the right role. In that case, consider alternatives, like part-time, temporary, or seasonal roles. Even freelancing can help you find a full-time job.
These kinds of jobs can help boost your self-esteem and your finances. They can also help you fill gaps on your resume, keep your skills up to date while you learn new ones, and give you the opportunity to grow and expand your professional network.
6. Stay Busy
Until you have a firm job offer in hand, looking for a job can feel endless. To help ease that feeling, take on projects you didn’t have time for while you were employed.
Maybe it’s as simple as cleaning out the garage or finally backing up your computer. Whatever the task is, make sure that you see it through to completion. You’ll feel better about yourself and more motivated about your job search too!
While you’re at it, schedule some time to volunteer! It’s a great way to stay busy, keep your skills up to date, and meet new network contacts, all while doing something awesome for your community.
7. Learn Something New
Every day, you click through the job listings, send in your job application, and wait. That routine can get boring pretty quickly. Consider taking a class and learn something new while you search for a job. While it can be job-related (such as learning how to write a cover letter that works), try a class that has nothing to do with your job search.
Take a pottery class, or learn how to finally perfect your Photoshop skills. Giving your mind a break from the job of hunting for a job (yes, looking for a job is a job in and of itself!) will help you ward off job search burnout. And you never know: you might meet your next boss at your Indian cooking class!
8. Take a Break
Just like you take breaks from your job, take breaks from your job search too. A break can do wonders for your perspective and improve any negative feelings that may creep in.
Don’t worry about missing out on the “perfect” job. Another one is right around the corner. But you can also optimize your job search break by knowing the best times of year to look for a job.
The most important things to remember when faced with unemployment of any length are staying confident, keeping up the job search, and knowing that there are many wishing you success!
How many times have you heard that Medicare is “complicated” or “confusing”? It’s enough to make anyone dread dealing with it, right?
Well here are seven inside tips that just might help clear a path to Medicare enrollment for you.
1. You can sign up for Medicare as early as 3 months before you turn 65
Medicare eligibility begins at age 65, but you can sign up earlier to make sure your coverage starts as soon as possible. You will have a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) that starts 3 months before the month of your 65th birthday. If you sign up during the first three months of your IEP, your Medicare coverage will kick in on the first day of your 65th birthday month. If you sign up later on in your IEP your coverage could be delayed.
2. Find out if you’ll be enrolled in Medicare automatically
If you currently receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare (Parts A & B). Medicare will mail your Medicare card to you. This applies if you are eligible for Medicare due to age or disability Your coverage will go into effect on the first day of your 65th birthday month or the month of your 25th disability check.
NOTE: You will still have your IEP during which you may make other coverage choices such as getting a Part D prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan.
3. Consider delaying Medicare Part B
You may be able to postpone Part B – and delay paying the premium – if you have other creditable coverage. You might be working past 65 and have employer-sponsored health insurance with an employer that has 20 or more employees, for example. Or maybe you have employer-coverage from a spouse’s employer, and that employer has 20 or more employees and allows covered-dependents to delay Medicare enrollment.
Check with the plan benefits administrator before deciding to postpone your Part B enrollment. You need to confirm that you have creditable coverage, ask for written proof (especially for your drug coverage) to ensure you can qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
4. Choose a Medicare plan with benefits you need
Once you sign up for both Part A and Part B, you have to consider if you need further coverage. Parts A and B only cover hospital and medical coverage, respectively. This means things like drugs and dental are not provided for.
Identify what you need and want covered before selecting the kind of Medicare coverage you end up with.
5. You can add additional coverage to government-sponsored Original Medicare
If you choose Original Medicare, you can add additional coverage. For example, many people add a Medicare Part D plan to help with prescription drug costs. These plans are offered by private insurance companies.
6. Enroll on time to avoid late enrollment penalties
Medicare Part B and Part D may add penalties to your premium payments if you enroll after your IEP ends and don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. If you don’t qualify for premium-free Part A, you’ll also face late penalties for Part A if you miss your IEP. Each part has its own rules for timing and for calculating the penalty.
7. Evaluate your coverage every year
You don’t have to keep the same Medicare plan every year. The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is October 15 to December 7 every year. During this time, you can join, switch or drop a Medicare Advantage plan or a prescription drug plan. It’s a good idea to review your Medicare coverage every year to make sure it still serves your needs.
You will automatically go back to Original Medicare if you drop a Medicare Advantage plan during open enrollment, and you will lose drug coverage if it was included with your plan. You may replace drug coverage with a stand-alone prescription drug plan at this time without penalty. A penalty may apply if you drop drug coverage and more than 63 days pass before you get it again.
It may feel like Medicare is a vast and overwhelming maze. Partly that’s because Medicare serves millions and millions of people, each with his or her own set of circumstances, and the program must anticipate and accommodate them all. Focus in on what applies to your personal situation and choosing your Medicare coverage will be a lot easier.
Americans who apply for federal Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program benefits are required to meet an extended set of eligibility criteria to qualify, and one of those has to do with income.
SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is a federal program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that provides food-purchasing assistance to low-income households. Beneficiaries now pay with electronic benefit transfer cards instead of food stamps.
Everyone who lives together and purchases and prepares meals together is grouped together as one SNAP household, according to the USDA. That’s the case even if they purchase and prepare meals separately. In most cases, you are not eligible for SNAP benefits if an institution gives you most of your meals, but there are exceptions for elderly persons and disabled persons.
In terms of income eligibility, the USDA looks at both gross income and net income. Normally, your household must meet both the gross and net income limits or you are not eligible for SNAP and can’t receive benefits. The exceptions are households with an elderly or disabled person, in which case you only need to meet the net income limit.
For the purposes of SNAP, gross income is a household’s total, non-excluded income before any deductions have been made. Net income is gross income minus allowable deductions.
If all members of your household receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income or, in some places, other general assistance, your household might be deemed “categorically eligible” for SNAP because you have already been determined eligible for another means-tested program.
The current income eligibility limits listed below apply to households in the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia that apply for SNAP between Oct. 1, 2021 through Sept. 30, 2022. SNAP gross and net income limits are higher in Alaska and Hawaii, so if you live in those states, contact your local SNAP administrator.
Gross monthly income
Net monthly income
Each additional member
The benefits of car insurance are plentiful, especially if you are involved in an accident. Without insurance, you pay for damages out of pocket and navigate the aftermath on your own.
What is Car Insurance?
If you've ever been involved in a car accident, you know how tedious and time-consuming the entire aftermath can be. With the right coverage, you're spared from negotiating with other drivers or property owners involved in the accident. You're also spared from managing the costs of replacing or repairing your vehicle.
Excellent auto insurance can help you deal with a lot of these issues. A good policy can cover repairs and replacement as well as towing. Once you make a claim, the insurance company manages and supports you through the entire process.
Is Car Insurance Required?
Almost every state requires drivers to carry car insurance and carry proof in the vehicle. The Hartford states that New Hampshire drivers don't need to buy car insurance but must show proof that they can pay for an accident if it's their fault. According to AAA, each state also sets minimum auto liability coverage limits that drivers must purchase.
Having third-party or liability insurance is a law, and you must buy a policy whether you purchase a new or used vehicle. You can also purchase a comprehensive policy. Third-party insurance covers you against legal and financial obligations toward a third party. The comprehensive policy covers you against damage from an accident, fire, theft, or natural disaster.
What are the Benefits of Car Insurance?
Car accidents happen all the time, no matter where you drive. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2017, there were 34,247 crashes in the United States. These crashes involved 52,645 motor vehicles, and 37,133 people died.
If you cause a car accident, you might be responsible for any costs associated with it. This includes legal fees, medical expenses, and lost income. Without certain types of coverage, you would likely pay for these costs out of your pocket. Also, if your vehicle is damaged, the insurance covers the cost to either replace or repair it.
One important benefit of insurance is that you'll pay less if you're involved in an accident, especially a large one. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average yearly cost for an auto insurance policy in the United States in 2016 was $935.80. On average, a single head-on crash can cost thousands of dollars in losses, so having a policy will cost less than paying for the accident.
Insurance also helps you avoid the devaluation of your vehicle. Some policies help to prolong the value and life of your vehicle. You can't avoid natural disasters such as a hailstorm from damaging your vehicle. But comprehensive insurance can lower the losses you incur and save you money in the long run.
It also gives you peace of mind to know that your policy protects your family against monetary losses. Without insurance to cover the costs, it might be difficult to pay for repairs to your vehicle.
Car insurance also protects you against a lawsuit, even if you cause significant damage to someone's property. The insurance safeguards you and helps you with claims that others make against you in accidents. It also covers legal costs.
Some insurance companies offer a no-claim bonus (NCB) in which eligible customers can qualify for every claim-free year. The NCB might be offered as a discount on the premium, making car insurance more affordable.
What Affects Car Insurance Prices?
You might wonder why car insurance prices vary so much. Several factors affect the costs:
What Types of Car Insurance Are Available?
When it comes to car insurance, the three main types of policies are liability, collision, and comprehensive. Mandatory liability coverage pays for damage to another driver's vehicle. Not all states require collision and comprehensive, but even if you own your vehicle outright, you should consider adding these coverages.
Collision coverage pays for damage done to your vehicle in an accident, regardless of fault. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage from a natural disaster or vandalism. Other types of coverage include:
The benefits of car insurance far outweigh the risks as you could end up paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for an accident you cause. Make sure to examine your policy closely to know exactly what type of coverage you have, and consider adding other policies if needed. It's usually better to have more coverage than not enough.
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