When you lose your job unexpectedly, you are bound to experience a rollercoaster of emotion. This is something that is quite hard to accept especially when you’re not financially prepared for it. In the recent turn of events due to the global pandemic that we are all facing today, millions of people are not only scared of getting infected by COVID-19, but also, a lot of people are getting stressed out and anxious about losing their jobs. This is a very difficult situation for everyone because of the huge financial impact it will have on a person’s life.
News about layoffs and pay cuts is now becoming uncommon as economies of various countries fall down due to the lockdown policy that is being implemented around the world. If you are one of those affected by the layoffs or if you feel that your company may not be in good shape to withstand the uncertainty of this pandemic, know that there are certain things that you could do to help yourself bounce back in the shortest possible time.
Here are 10 things that you could do when you lose your job:
Keep Your Emotions in Check
You have to understand that this is beyond your control. But you are, of course, allowed to feel angry, frustrated, and sad. But don’t let your emotions consume you. This is an awful place to be in for anyone, but remember that we all have to move on as soon as possible. Having a forward-thinking mindset will help you prepare for the opportunities that will soon come your way.
Talk to Your Family and Close Friends
One of the first things to do when you lose your job is to let your family know about your situation. This would help them mentally prepare for the actions that you as a family would need to take while you’re looking for a new job. Take this opportunity to also release all the emotions that have been piling up inside you. And also, they might be able to help you in dealing with this situation and who knows, they might be able to find you a new employment too.
If you have a spouse and children, have an open discussion and tell them what happened and discuss how you as a family will move forward. There might be decisions that you will have to make as a family to navigate this uncertainty. Ask for suggestions on how you as a family will deal with this situation.
Know Your Receivables
Ask your employer if you are eligible to receive any separation pay or any form of final compensation. If you live in a country with unemployment benefits, then check the process on how you could file for unemployment. In case it is available in your country, file for unemployment right away.
Also, check your health insurance options. Ask your company if your health insurance gets terminated exactly on the same day of your employment or if it’s extended for a period of time. Different countries might have different policies on how this is handled. Ask your friends and family or colleagues who are also on the same boat as you. They might know the best health insurance option that would suit you.
Does anyone owe you money? If you have friends or colleagues that owe you money then don’t hesitate to inform them of your situation. Ask them if there’s a possibility that they could pay you back. I know that this is a difficult conversation to have with friends but this is something that they would definitely understand.
Create a Budget
Regardless if you’re single or if you have a family of your own, it would be best to create a new budget right away. It’s like a mini-financial map that could help you navigate this uncertainty. Start by creating a draft by listing the basic payables such as rent, utilities, credit card bills, and then groceries.
Check if there are any unnecessary items that you could remove from the list. For example, if you currently have subscriptions to various services such as cable, magazines, or streaming services, check which one you’d like to keep and which ones can be disconnected right away. Maybe you could also downgrade your phone plan service to save a few more dollars.
It would be best to hold on to your cash without going into further debt. This is a personal strategy of mine which may or may not work for you. What I do is I use my credit card to purchase my groceries and to pay my bills and then I put the equivalent amount of money in an envelope to ensure that I have the money to pay for the card purchases when the due date comes. In essence, I gain a time buffer of 30 days (might vary depending on your cutoff date and due date) without going into further debt.
If you have a family, involve them in creating this budget and ask them how they could help in cutting your monthly costs. This is also a great way of being transparent to your family and in setting the right expectations for the lifestyle changes that you might need to do in the coming days/weeks.
Update your CV, Job Search Accounts and Social Media Accounts
Once you have finished doing your budget, update your CV, social media accounts, and professional online accounts. There are numerous articles available online that could help you further improve your CV. Focus on the highlights of your career and the things that will make you stand out from the crowd. Focus on the small details such as the formatting of your CV. A recruiter scans hundreds of CVs a day. You don’t want your CV to drown in a pile of thousands of other CVs.
It would also help if you update your social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and professional online accounts such as LinkedIn. Check if you may have posted anything in the past that does not represent you well. We all have posted something stupid when we were younger but it does not mean that those posts still represent who we are now. We all grow and change for the better. It’s better to remove them right away.
Scan your Facebook friends list or LinkedIn and check if there is anyone working in the same industry as you are. Check all the business cards that you have gathered in the past few years. Filter out the ones that are in the industries that you might find employment with. Reconnect with your contacts and let them know that you are looking for new opportunities.
Develop New Skills and Work on Your AFIs
When you lose your job unexpectedly, you might find yourself with more idle time in your hands than what you’re used to. It would be best to use this time to develop yourself starting with making an inventory of your skills and competencies.
Write down the things that you know you are good at and write down your areas for improvement (AFIs). Search the internet for free online courses that could help you address your AFIs. In my past job interviews, I have been asked a lot about what I did to address my AFIs. It’s always good to let them know that unemployment did not stop you from learning and improving yourself.
Aside from improving your AFIs, try to learn a new skill that you think will help you in landing your next job. There are numerous free courses online and tutorial videos available on the internet. And learning a new skill does not always need to cost you money.
Look for an Alternative Source of Income
While you are waiting for a call from prospective employers, it would definitely be of big help if you also start exploring other sources of income. One of the easiest ways to earn money while you’re at home is by selling online. You can start selling your personal stuff that you don’t use anymore. You could also consider selling low capital items but have a high-profit margin such as thrifted items.
You could also try earning money online. One of the ways that people earn online is by blogging. Starting a blog is not that expensive. Think of a topic that is very easy for you to write about and something that is of great value to a specific group of people. Maybe you can write about something that is related to what you do at work. For example, if you work in the finance industry then you can write about financial and employment-related stuff.
I will write a separate post about this as this is a very broad topic and there are tons of ways on how a blog can be monetized.
Another way to help augment your budget is by growing your own food. If you have a small plot of land, then consider planting vegetables and herbs. Although this activity will not earn you money, this could definitely help you save a lot of money in the long run and it’s also a therapeutic hobby that could help you minimize your worries and anxiety.
I know that it’s hard to stay positive when you lose your job and that this is easier said than done. But the only way to get through this is by staying optimistic. Losing a job unexpectedly is very difficult and can be very emotional. It is mentally draining, but we have to keep our heads above the water or else we will be swept away by the current of chaos.
Engage yourself in hobbies that will not cost you money to keep yourself busy and to keep yourself away from being anxious. Surround yourself with positive people and minimize your contact with toxic people.
Reflect and Plan for the Future
Difficult situations(such as when you lose your job unexpectedly) bring out the best or worst in people. And I hope that for most of us, we will choose to see how this situation could help us live a better life. Think of how to avoid being in this kind of situation again. Maybe we need to reflect on how we could better financially prepare ourselves.
Once you get that new job, maybe you should consider saving more money or maybe you should consider learning more about personal finance to help you grow your savings. Or perhaps, you should consider keeping the side-hustle that you built while you were waiting for this new employment.10 Things to Do When You Lose Your Job Click To Tweet
Do you have additional tips on things to do when you lose your job? Feel free to share your ideas in the comment section below.