Preparing for the End of Unemployment Insurance
Hcareers / DECEMBER 16 2020

If you began collecting unemployment prior to this past July and benefited from the $600 weekly supplement provided by the U.S. federal government, you likely recalibrated your financial situation when that added benefit ended on July 31.

Regardless of when you started collecting unemployment in 2020, Morning Consult estimates that 66% of Americans currently collecting unemployment benefits will lose them by Dec. 26 if Congress doesn’t pass a new stimulus package before then. 

So now is the time to take stock of your finances and make necessary adjustments to help cope with the lack of income. Consider some of these takeaways offered by the national credit bureau Experian, the free financial advice resource NextAdvisor from Time Inc., and CNBC.com.

But cutting expenses and deferring debt are only half of the equation as far as figuring out how to manage costs after unemployment payments stop. Of course, there’s also the issue of finding work.

Although the hospitality industry has yet to shift back into full hiring mode, you should nevertheless continue your job search. You’ll want to stay in the game now on the chance that you will find your next hospitality role sooner rather than later. Staying on top of your hospitality job search now will also give you a better chance of finding your next hotel or food and beverage job when the industry when hiring steadily picks up again. 

Now is also the time to double down on your job search efforts. Look to other sectors that are currently hiring as you look to generate monthly income. As you do, keep in mind that your hospitality experience is marketable to other industries. Additionally, there are short-term jobs out there that will allow you to continue honing your hospitality skills. Here are a few worth looking to for immediate work as you continue your quest for a hospitality job. 

Grocery & Retail

People may not be spending money to shop in the same way that they have in the past, but groceries are still essential. For some, new clothes and home refurbishments are too. So don’t discount working at a local grocery store or a big-box retailer. Customer service is key for both of these businesses. So they are likely to welcome your prior guest service experience. Plus, your next hospitality employer will no doubt appreciate knowing that your strong service spirit led you to look for a customer-facing role during the Covid 19 Pandemic. 

Similarly, working as a remote customer service representative for any company in need of consumer or client support can also bring in income and give you an opportunity to put your service skills to work while avoiding the potential health risk that currently comes with working with the general public. 

Food & Beverage Opportunities

It’s certainly a tough time for restaurant servers. But don’t let it get you down. Instead, look to food delivery services like Grub Hub. You may not be interacting with dining patrons in the same way as you did when restaurants were fully opened. However, accurate orders delivered quickly will still be appreciated. Staying in the foodservice industry may give you a leg up on your next server job and future employers might also be interested in your newly acquired knowledge of the local dining scene. Plus, you could meet your next employer in the process of working with local eateries. 

Grocery delivery services like Shipt and Instacart are another option as far as earning money now and keeping an iron in the foodservice fire. 

Anyone who has worked as a restaurant chef or food and beverage manager might also look to area alcohol distributors, distilleries, and breweries for immediate work. According to the publication The Spirits Business, “The beverage alcohol market has shown ‘greater resiliency’ than initially expected in 2020.” 

So even if restaurants and bars aren’t yet fully opened, some are still buying alcohol as are grocery stores and other chain retailers (dependent on state laws). So your industry experience may help you find work as a delivery driver or marketing professional with a distributor or other alcohol wholesaler.

Food suppliers –whether distributors or wholesalers—might also prove similar avenues of opportunity for more experienced food and beverage professionals. If you have a favorite food product, now might be the time to see if they have a local distributor or manufacturing center that’s hiring. 

Marketing & Advertising Agencies

If you have experience working in hotel marketing, especially if you have digital marketing experience, you might consider looking for current work with an agency. Digital marketing and advertising skills certainly have broader applications beyond the hospitality industry for which these types of agencies are looking. Even if it’s an entry-level position, a stint with a digital marketing agency could also give you a competitive edge with your next hospitality employer. 

Community Relations Professional

The community services offered by government agencies and non-profit organizations have become more important than ever. If you’ve previously worked as a hotel concierge or building local community partnerships at a hotel, you might turn to a government agency or not-for-profit in your area as you seek temporary work. Another consideration could be the community outreach programs that many larger companies have as they strive to maintain positive relationships in the locale where their business is located. 

Even if it’s a low-level position, this type of work will undoubtedly be appreciated by your next hospitality employer, regardless of the type of job you apply for within a hotel or restaurant.

It’s a challenging time for everyone in the hospitality industry right now. But don’t despair. The hospitality and travel sectors always bounce back. So don’t be deterred from your search for a job in hotels or restaurants.

Remember that your prior experience in the hospitality industry could be valuable to you right now and a temporary gig to get you through the post-unemployment period could be a boon to you during your next hospitality job interview.