Losing your job can be a devastating, life-changing experience. There’s nothing worse than waking up in the morning thinking that you have job security, making the trip into work, and having your life shattered in front of you. Everyone copes with job loss differently; some become depressed while others are capable of picking themselves up and moving on. There’s no right and wrong answer; it’s all about what you personally feel.
Of course, there are things everyone can do when they lose their job, regardless of their personal situation. Unemployment stress is a very real concept, so doing whatever you can to minimise its effects is definitely a good idea. The worst thing you can do is become inactive, so no matter what you’re doing, you need to stay focused on moving forward. Here are eight things that you can do if you happen to find yourself in the unfortunate situation of losing a long- or short-term job.
1. Find a source of financial help
Whether or not you’re the sole provider of your family, losing your job can have a serious effect on your finances. It’s important that you find a way to stay afloat financially while you look for another job. You could ask friends and family to spot you in the short-term, or you could take out a loan. If you’re looking for a friendly loan provider that won’t leave you in the cold, maybe Fair Finance can help. You’d be amazed at some of the positive effects loans can have if you’re unemployed.
2. Don’t despair
Whatever you do, make sure you don’t lose hope. Losing a job can be devastating, yes, but it’s not the end of the world, even if the dismissal happens in bad circumstances. No matter what your situation might be, there’s a job out there waiting for you, so don’t let yourself fall prey to depression. If you find yourself becoming depressed, make sure to take it seriously and speak to someone as quickly as you can. Your emotions matter and should never be swept under the rug.
3. Start looking for another job immediately
Don’t put off looking for another job. The longer you leave it, the more accustomed you’ll become to unemployment and the harder it will be to get yourself back into the habit of searching job sites and listings. In addition, the longer you look for a job, the bigger the gap on your CV will be and the harder it will become to explain that gap to prospective employers. If you start searching straight away, it will look good for you in interviews and will help you to move past the job you’ve just lost.
4. Cut back on expenses
Once you’ve lost your job, you won’t have access to the kind of money that you did when you were pulling in a regular wage. As such, you’ll have to make some cuts in your budget. Some of the luxuries you afforded yourself while working won’t be available to you now; things like Netflix or Spotify might have to be put on the back burner while you look for a job (only temporarily, of course). Look for alternative and cheaper arrangements like taking public transport or buying cheaper food.
5. Make a budget for yourself
If you never budgeted while you were working, now is an excellent time to start. Budgeting means you’ll have a much tighter grip on your finances and you’ll be able to see exactly where your spending needs to be reduced. Sit down and construct a tight, strict budget that you know you’ll be able to stick to. Don’t be afraid to turn to loved ones for help, as they may actually know you and your spending habits better than you do. You’ll become accustomed to your budget before long.
6. Rework your CV
Your CV has probably languished in obscurity for a while because you haven’t needed it. Losing your job is the perfect opportunity to rework your CV and make it look a little nicer. Employers are going to want to see a well-maintained CV, and besides, you’ll need to update it to reflect your new employment situation. There are plenty of great CV templates out there that you can use, so don’t let a lack of design experience stand in your way here.
7. Apply for benefits
The likelihood is that you will be eligible for benefits, especially if you’re out of work in the UK as an adult able to work. Contrary to what some people may say, there is absolutely no shame in applying for benefits; they are a necessary safety net to help you get back on your feet. Apply for financial benefits as soon as possible to dull the blow of losing your job and allow you to keep going while you look for another. Depending on your situation, there may also be other help available.
8. Don’t stop looking, even when you get a new job
Once the search is over and you have a new job, it pays to keep searching. Why? Well, if something like this happens again, you should be prepared. Staying vigilant as to what kind of jobs are available means that you’ll be ready to look for new employment as soon as your current situation doesn’t work out. You may have the most secure job in the world, but even the least volatile jobs can turn on a dime, so make sure you’re not surprised if this happens.