How to Survive Job Loss

Posted by Michael Kirby on May 22, 2018 7:00:00 AM

One of the most devastating things someone can go through is the loss of a job. Results can be long lasting and often the associated implications go far past just financial. It will definitely put your finances at risk, but the emotional consequences can be just as damaging.

Most of us spend the most time at our jobs than anywhere else, so the sudden loss of it can mean not only the loss of a pay check but a loss of identity. If you unfortunately receive the news that you won't be returning to work, firstly you need to step back, evaluate your situation and find a way to move on.

Stop Panicking

The very first thing to do is stop panicking. Loss of employment is devastating but it is temporary. Life will continue and you are very likely to find a suitable position sooner than you may think.

Panic can blind you and be just as dangerous as the loss of a pay check. When we let our emotions control us, we tend to make poor judgements. No matter how hard it may be, the best strategy is to emotionally detach yourself and let your brain be in charge.

Gather Your Resources

The immediate aftermath can be very difficult, so how you handle the first few days can make a big difference. It's now time to gather your resources and start job hunting. If you still have access to, make a record of the contact data of former colleagues. They can be valuable resources, but still give yourself a few days to cool off and take stock.

Use the time to build your own online network and prepare for the oncoming job search. If you don't already have one, create a LinkedIn profile and spend a few days polishing it. Update your resume and ensure all information is up to date while matching the required format.

Assess Your Monthly Expenses

The loss of regular income can be financially devastating but taking proactive steps can reduce the pain. Get out your monthly bills and checkbook, and start doing some intense financial planning.

You may not be able to afford your current phone plan and you may need to limit eating out for a while. Making these temporary changes can help to reduce your expenses and ease the burden of job loss. It may even be easy to live without these changes. If so, making some of these changes can give you more money to save in the long term once you find a new job.

Get What You Have Coming

If you are laid off from a large company, they often have some kind of severance package, but the rules for them aren't universal.  If your time there was positive you may be able to negotiate a better deal than what was initially offered.

Don't rush to sign any papers; it could cost you a lot of money. Take time to read all documents carefully and negotiate the deal if you are able to. Whether it be a longer severance period, company paid health insurance or more, anything else you can get will give you a firmer financial footing.


Stop Blaming Yourself

Losing your job is no indication of yourself as a worker or the respect you deserve. Don't beat yourself up over it and accurately place the blame - on the financial conditions that forced the company to cut back.

Even if the loss was in part your fault, use it as a learning experience. It's easy to put up defensive walls when faced with unemployment but instead pay attention to the reasons and move forward with the best strategy.

Very little can soothe the emotional and financial devastation of unemployment. However, making the right moves now can make recovery easier and faster. Whether it was an important part of life or simply a way to pay your bills, you can still recover your financial independence and dignity. You may even end up with a better job and a more secure future.

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Topics: Firm News


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