The longest federal shutdown in history ended on January 25, 2019. It lasted a full 35 days, and many government employees did not report to work during the entire period.
Plus, when the government reopened, it was initially only for a short period. This created a lot of uncertainty as another possible shutdown – which would potentially begin if a deal was not struck by Friday, February 15, 2019 – loomed on the horizon.
Figuring out what to do during a federal shutdown is challenging for employees. Those who remain home suddenly have a lot of time on their hands and may lose income, especially if backpay is not approved. Luckily, there are things government workers, contractors, and anyone else who misses work during a shutdown can do to safeguard their finances, occupy their time, and potentially bring in income. Here’s what you need to know.
Revamp Your Budget
If there will be a loss of income, even for the short term, figuring out how to make the most of every penny you have is a smart move.
Additionally, you may want to contact creditors, utility providers, and anyone else who receives a monthly payment from you. Go over the situation and see if they can provide any relief until the shutdown is over.
Look for Volunteer Opportunities
Being stuck at home with nothing to do can be disheartening. If you have enough in savings to keep your financial house in order, consider scoping out volunteer opportunities in your area.
By volunteering, you can stay busy while supporting your community or a cause that is dear to your heart. This can provide you with intrinsic rewards, helping you feel like you are contributing to something greater than yourself until the shutdown ends.
Find Training Opportunities
If you want to use your time away from work wisely, professional development opportunities can be a great choice. Consider looking for self-paced, short-term courses or other independent learning options and work to improve your current level of competency or acquire a completely new skill.
Not only will additional training keep you busy, but it also helps you become a more attractive employee or job candidate, should you choose to seek out something new.
Take a Contract Assignment
Many staffing agencies have short-term work opportunities that can be ideal for a variety of government employees. By signing up with a recruitment firm and accepting contract assignments, you aren’t just staying busy, you are earning extra income too.
If you financially can’t afford to be without work for long, these arrangements can be ideal. There isn’t a long-term commitment, so you can return to your regular job when the situation resolves. Plus, you can network with professionals at other businesses and potentially learn new skills, both of which are beneficial to your career.
By following the tips above, you can make the most of your time away from your job. If you would like to learn more about temporary assignments, the team at The Squires Group can help you explore your options. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled recruiters today and see how our services can benefit you during a government shutdown.