Trying to Find A Job Before Benefits Run Out...
The Government's extension for unemployment benefits officially expired Tuesday and unless Congress approves another extension, 2 million people nationwide will lose their benefits this month.
However, a local man has a plan to find a job before his benefits run out.
People from all walks of life are relying on unemployment benefits to make ends meet. Even professionals with multiple degrees are struggling...like Eli Santana of Gainesville.
He said, "If I don't manage to get additional income I may lose my car, I may have to move out from here." Eli Santana holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business and an MBA in Accounting. He has worked internationally in all areas of accounting.
After being laid off in February from a local accounting firm, Santana began a frustrating job search. He said, "I have been applying for jobs at a minimum of 12 per month."
Santana has been living on a significantly reduced income since losing his job and the loss of his unemployment check will be devastating.
He said, "You lose your income 70 percent, but still you have all the debts and you have, and you live at according to your income."
Santana is taking deliberate steps to find work, spending 8 hours a day on networking, searching the internet and applying for jobs.
He is maintaining hope that he will be able to find employment before it's too late. Santana said, "You have to adjust to the circumstances and be glad that you have people who you can love and that love you and that give you the strength to keep going."
Jose Gavarrette from local workforce system, Florida Works, said taking steps, like Santana, is critical. Gavarrette said, "They need to take action, they need to come, they need to ask questions, they need to search, they need to talk to employers, they need to be networking with their friends."
Gavarrette said there are jobs available, if job seekers would just use the resources right in front of them. He said, "So don't wait until you are in that situation...be proactive, think ahead, come visit with us."
Santana hopes that by taking the advice he's received from Florida Works, he will find a job. But his unemployment will cast a shadow over Christmas this year. He said, "It's going to be different. There's not going to be any gifts, not even for my loving wife. There's not going to be any gifts, there's no way that we could afford any gifts this year.
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