Losing your job can be one of the most stressful and life changing events.
But there is always light at the end of the tunnel…
1) Do not panic
The initial shock at the loss of a job can be very stressful, and it can lead to panic and a lack of focus. But remember, there are always options- the main key is to let yourself have the time and space to work out what those are.
Remember that you are also allowed to worry – you are only human – and when you have given your emotions space to exist, you can start to see the big picture more clearly, enabling you to act in ways that will help you and your career.
2) Ask for help
There are many organizations available to offer help and assistance with various different things when you lose your job. These include:
Job Centre: When you find out that you are going to lose your job, the first place to contact is your local job centre. They will issue you with an appointment to go and see your personal adviser. They will be able to tell you about any benefits you may be entitled to, and help you with any training courses you may need, and with your overall job search.
Citizens Advice Bureau: They are great for advice regarding financial issues when losing your job. Book an appointment at your local office, and take along any paperwork that may be relevant. They can also help if you feel that you have been unfairly dismissed, or if you feel that the company owes you more financial severance.
Library: Most libraries offer community groups – such as ‘Job Clubs’ or ‘I.T Training Sessions’. These can be useful when job searching, as they can update your skill set, and provide the opportunity to network with others in the same situation.
3) Update your CV
Getting your CV up to date is a challenging task for some people, especially those who have been employed a long time, but remember, your CV is the first and most important tool you will need when starting to search for a new job.
There are many organisations that can help you with writing your CV, including the job centre and library.
Once your CV is updated, you can start posting it on websites such as Monster / Reed / CV Library etc (certain websites will be more suited to certain job specifications)
4) Research the job market
Start looking at what jobs are advertised at similar types of companies that hire that job type. This will give you an idea as to what type of jobs are being advertise in those industries, and how many etc
Google the industry – this will tell you how rapidly it is either growing or shrinking, and this can help you decide whether to continue in the same line of work, or perhaps consider a career change.
Remember to consider these points when researching:Be proactive – decide what you want and build a plan to look for it. Don’t wait for something to turn up!
- Plan your time – use your time carefully otherwise looking for a job can take over your life. Do some research and then take a break.
- Spend time thinking about the things you enjoy doing – studies have shown that we are better at jobs we enjoy doing.
- Think about your medium or long term goal and how you can take the first step towards it? You may not get straight to your ideal job.
- Explore as many options as you can.
- Decide your strategies for searching advertised jobs.
- Check vacancy pages of the press regularly.
- Read relevant papers/sites which might give you ideas about what is happening in the workplace generally.
- Plan which companies or organisations to target that match your criteria.
- Research them as fully as possible.
- Find out the name of the appropriate business manager to write to – ideally this is the leader of the group you would like to work in, for example the marketing manager, not the HR or recruitment department who see all the applications and follow the formal process.
- Write a personal letter to the business manager.
- Speak to family and friends – they often have thoughts about where they think you would be good that might not have occurred to you.
Contact old colleagues that you may have worked with…as them where they are working now – do they know of any job openings coming up?
Use networking sites such as facebook and twitter to contact old colleagues and ask about if anyone knows of any jobs going….
Send speculative letters to companies in the industry – along with a copy of your CV – generally enquiring into whether there are any job openings on the horizon?
6) Contact your creditors
Personal pride can often get in the way of asking for help, especially if you’re feeling ashamed, but when it comes to paying bills and debts, talking to your creditors right away to explain that you lost your job will help avoid any unnecessary issues.
Banks and creditors benefit more from sustainable customers than they do simply from the assets they collect, and they have a vested interest in making sure your life doesn’t spiral out of control. The more your lenders know about your circumstances, the more likely they’ll be to help you out. Some ways creditors might be willing to renegotiate your credit terms or freeze your interest rates, though the terms attached to that will depend on what kind of loan you have (student loans, credit cards, etc.).
7) Do not neglect yourself
Losing your job is one of the most difficult life experiences that people will go through, but having said that, the question really is how long do you want to stay stuck in that position of being angry and anxious?
Watch your stress levels, whether that means taking up meditation, yoga, or simply trying to smile more. It helps you see your choices and have a clearer perspective of what to do next. Stress may still be around us, but meditation gives us a better ability to cope with it. Yoga can also help reduce stress hormones in the body.
By the same token, don’t let yourself become too busy to exercise, especially because it’s been shown to reduce stress and actually help people build stronger relationships.
All in all, unemployment can be extremely draining, but remember: it’s almost always temporary! By leaning on friends, family, and your own inner fortitude, you’ll brave the storm and come out stronger in the end.
Photo by: Canvas