Lost Your Job – What To Do
Losing your job can be stressful to say the least, especially if you have a family that depends on your paycheck to help with everyday living and even worse if you are the main breadwinner . Sometimes it isn't that you lost your job, but instead had to accept a rather hefty pay cut required in order to keep your job. That can be just as demoralizing as an utter loss.
There are several things that you could do in order to set your mind back on the right track. These following tips will help you to do just that.
Stay on the Right Track in the Case of Job Loss
- Don't Panic – this is the number one rule a person who faces job loss should remember. Although the situation may seem helpless when you are first notified of this occurrence, you will recover from the shock. It is vital to stay focused on a plan of action. By doing so, you will have space and time to formulate a plan.
- Check to see what your “exit options” are – One of the scariest things about losing a job can be the loss of health insurance. By law, companies over a certain size must offer you the chance to continue (at your expense) on the health plan (known as COBRA insurance). If you are being laid off because of simple downsizing, there may be some sort of severance package available for you.
- Accept the circumstances as they are – By doing so, you will be able to act in ways that may even surprise you. If your job is gone, it is gone and the sooner you accept that, the better. A person can be very resourceful when stuck between a rock and a hard place.
- Take time to reflect on the situation and do not beat yourself up because you lost your job – In these tough economic times, job loss is common. Be confident that you will find something that you enjoy and perhaps it will have better benefits as well. Think of job loss as a career change, it could open many doors for you. If the job loss was a result of your poor performance, it might be worth it to take a hard look at the career you have chosen and possibly think about changing your line of work.
- Finish some projects that you have let fall behind or create new ones – Loss of a job can really get you down; starting a new project will give meaning to your day and help to keep your spirits up. Have you been meaning to paint the kitchen? You have some free time now. Obviously, it's not the time to start planning a vacation to the Bahamas, but you can take a few days to relax, get your head on straight and knock out some things on your “to-do” list.
- File for unemployment – I know people who have lost jobs who just REFUSED to file for unemployment because they felt like it was an admission of defeat. Here's a little secret: in most states, YOU have been paying in to the state unemployment program (as a separate line item on your paystub) for as long as you have been working. All of your past employers have been as well. Collecting unemployment isn't “sucking on the government teat”. It's getting back what you paid!
- Work on your resume – I know that this idea is as appealing to many as root canal surgery, but it has to be done. Make sure that your resume is up-to-date not only in content as well as format. It is not enough to just dust off your old resume and add your latest job to your work experience. Make sure that your resume is following the most current standards and don't fall in to any “resume-writing traps“
- Don't be ashamed to tell people that you lost your job, especially if you have friends in the same industry as you – They are going to find out anyway and your friends and family may have some contacts for you that can help you find a new job! Check the classified ads in your local newspaper and see if there are any job offerings that are interesting to you.
Most importantly, keep a good outlook on things and perhaps things will fall into place sooner than you think. Being jobless is not a shame, it happens to many people during their lifetime. Developing a good coping mechanism will help you to overcome the situation.