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Unemployed Clients - Teaching Job Seeking Skills
Unemployed Clients - Teaching Job Seeking Skills

Section 4
Self-Efficacy Amidst the Financial Strain of Unemployment

Question 4 | Test | Table of Contents |
Psychologist CEs, Counselor CEUs, Social Worker CEUs, MFT CEUs

In the last section, we discussed how your client can tell his or her significant others about their recent unemployment.

In this section, we will discuss how your clients facing unemployment can raise funds to help their family financially during their unemployment. We will also discuss how your unemployed client can use EBay and other selling sites to successfully to make money during their new job search.

For most clients that are laid-off, the financial situation created by not having a job can be stressful. Dana, age 35, who you may remember as being recently laid off from her job, discussed her fear of not being able to sustain her and her family during her unemployment. She told me with tears in her eyes, "I have my daughters Haley and Leah that I have to think about through this whole process!" I shared with Dana a few ideas to raise funds during her unemployment that could help decrease her anxiety.

The following are the five tips I gave Dana regarding raising funds. Can you share any of these with your clients who are unemployed?

1. Sell Big Items
I stated to Dana, "Look through your hard assets and decide if there are items you can sell. What I am talking about are items such as boats, electronics, or other big ticket items you have that are not essential and that can be sold at this time." Dana thought for a while with some anguish and decided that she and her husband could sell the old car they were holding on to for their children to use. Dana told me, "It is just sitting there and we could use the money now for it. I can get back on my feet and into a good job and build up enough to buy another car when the time comes for Leah to drive."

2. Organize a Garage Sale
I stated to Dana, "Even little things that have been laying around can be sold for some money." Your client can collect the items that have been lying around their house and sell them all at once at a garage sale. When I suggested this to Dana, she told me, "A garage sale would be a good way to clear out all the clutter and give me a chance to reorganize my home at the same time that I reorganize my life. That way Ican work off some of this anxious energy."

3. Use a Hobby to Create Cash
Help your client think about hobbies or interests they have that they could generate income. I helped Dana think of her different hobbies when we started talking about woodworking. She told me, "I usually do some woodwork making personalized signs for houses as gifts for friends, relatives, and neighbors but I could spend some time creating these to sell at craft fares."

4. Find Contract or Freelance Work
There ay be a lot of short term work that your client could offer to smaller term businesses. What do you think of encouraging your client to think of skills that these businesses might need such as bookkeeping skills, writing or editing skills, or computer skills? I encouraged Dana to make a list of possible skills she has for freelance work and she listed bookkeeping and computer skills. Dana told me with an air of self- encouragement, "I can establish accounts with online freelance websites so I can get my name out there. I could also register with a temp agency."

5. Apply for an Equity Line
Applying for an equity line may be helpful for your client to get quick funds. I stated to Dana, "I encourage you to not take this option lightly and you should talk to a financial expert before following through with this option."

As you know, for many clients who face a job loss, money is often the source of fear as they look for a new job to take on. Over several sessions, my client Dana expressed her fear of providing enough for her family during her unemployment. Dana shared with me, "I am afraid that I will not be able to feed my family as I am struggling to find a new job."

I then shared with Dana a list of community resources, such as the local Community Cupboard, that provide donated food with no income testing. You need to meerly go to the location at the appropriate time, tell them how many members are in your household, and they provide bags to fill with donated food. Also, other more formal means of providing food were given to Dana.

I shared with her, as I did with other clients that have faced unemployment and have computer skills, that EBay may be a way to get by as she searched for new employment. I stated to Dana, "If you have a lot of items to sell, finding a selling website like EBay to sell these items may be your best opportunity." WIth the following five tips, assist one of your clients with computer skills to sell items on EBay.

Selling on EBay:
1. Make sure to describe your items thoroughly and accurately and include any imperfections in the description. I stated to Dana, "This will help potential buyers who are interested in items you are selling locate them easier amongst all the items on EBay."
2. When people ask you questions, respond with honesty, remember the buyer rates their selling experience with you on a scale of 1 to 100. I stated to Dana, "People will respect you more if you are up front about the details of what you are potentially selling to them."
3. Make sure to ship your merchandise in a timely manner and package the item well.
4. If any buyers are unhappy, make sure to make amends. I stated to Dana, "If you disappoint one buyer, it is important to not burn that bridge because they may be able to bring new potential buyers to your items or may be willing to buy more of your items themselves."
5. When buyers comply with EBay contracts of paying make sure to leave positive feedback. I stated to Dana, "This will also establish a good relationship with your buyers."
These tips not only apply to EBay but to other selling websites as well. Etsy and Craiglist are just two other selling sites your unemployed client may decide to explore. I stated to Dana, "You may find that you may be able to sell some of your items easier on one website than the others. Look at the typical items you find on each site and evaluate if you find similar items that you want to sell. Explore your options as to what website you want to use."

What to Sell on EBay:
I shared with her the following items that she may have in her home that she could sell. After doing a Google search during our session I discussed with Dana that the following ten types of items are most likely to be wanted by people on selling websites and more likely to get the most money for her effort:
1. Vintage Collectibles
I stated, "It is possible that you have something in your home such as baseball cards or old kids toys that may earn money."
2. Consumer Electronics
"Since electronics are in high demand," I stated to Dana, "anything such as an iPod, television, car stereo, or DVD player could possibly get you some money. You may also want to look into selling websites that specialize in selling consumer electronics."
3. Computer Accessories
Much like consumer electronics, any computer accessories your client has may be able to earn them some extra money.
4. Cellphone Accessories
People are always updating their phones so any accessories for cell phones may be profitable for your client to sell if they no longer need them.
5. Quality Fashions and Clothing Accessories
I then continued on with Dana by stating, "If you have apparel that you no longer wear this might be a good option to sell." Dana explained to me that both she and her daughters Haley and Leah could go through their packed closets to get rid of any clothes they haven’t worn in a while.
6. Sporting, Exercise, and Fitness Goods
7. DVDs and CDs
8. Cameras and photo equipment
Dana thought about it and she recalled that she had an old camera that she no longer used after she brought her newest camera.
9. Jewelry and Watches
10. Hardcover Books

Dana told me during our session that she had some book sets by specific authors that might be worth some money.

Do you have a client like Dana who could benefit from these tips for selling on EBay and other selling sites to help them raise money during their unemployment?

In this section, we discussed how your clients facing unemployment can raise funds to help their family financially during their unemployment. The five tips are sell big items, organize a garage sale, turn a hobby into funds, find contract or freelance work, and apply for an equity line. We also discussed how your unemployed client can use EBay and other selling sites to successfully to make money during their new job search. The five tips for successfully using EBay that you can share with your client are: make sure to describe your items thoroughly and accurately and include any imperfections in the description; when people ask you questions, respond with honesty make sure to ship your merchandise in a timely manner and package the item well; make sure to make amends if buyers are unhappy; and when buyers comply with EBay contracts of paying make sure to leave positive feedback.

In the next section we will discuss what your unemployed client can include in their cover letter to help them obtain a new job. We will also discuss questions that you can ask your client and preparations they can make for their job interview.

Source: Epstein 52-54 Epstein 126- 130.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
Dahling, J. J., Melloy, R., & Thompson, M. N. (2013). Financial strain and regional unemployment as barriers to job search self-efficacy: A test of social cognitive career theory. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 60(2), 210–218.

Galatzer-Levy, I. R., Bonanno, G. A., & Mancini, A. D. (2010). From marianthal to latent growth mixture modeling: A return to the exploration of individual differences in response to unemployment. Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics, 3(2), 116–125. 

Zhou, Y., Zou, M., Woods, S. A., & Wu, C.-H. (2019). The restorative effect of work after unemployment: An intraindividual analysis of subjective well-being recovery through reemployment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 104(9), 1195–1206.

What are the five ways discussed that your client can make funds during their unemployment?
To select and enter your answer go to Test.

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