THE UNEXPECTED UPSIDES OF BECOMING UNEMPLOYED
First, let’s just get it out there: to lose your job is scary, but it’s happened to most of us, so you’re not the Lone Ranger.
And since most of us are still here to talk about it, it’s not the end of the world either.
You’ve lost your job. Now what?
First of all, keep reading to learn ways for making this time easier and maybe even positive.
Try to stay calm. If you do an online search of what to do when you lose your job, it’s unlikely any article will suggest that you immediately plow into a job-search. Panicking never solved anything. Planning, however, works wonders. A little introspection doesn’t hurt either, so taking a deep breath and thinking are Steps One and Two. Do start your job-search within a few days, however; waiting too long is bad for momentum.
And remember that in a pinch, there are many ways to keep your head above water financially. You might consider:
The website, pennyhoarder.com posts lots of ideas for bringing in extra cash, and it’s upbeat to boot!
If you have a spouse or significant other, this is a good opportunity to strengthen your bond. Stay as positive as you realistically can and explain their crucial role as your partner. This is not a time to inform your beloved that if they hadn’t nagged you into that timeshare in Orlando, you’d both be a lot better off right now. This is a time to join forces. By the same token, it’s not a time to beat yourself up, either.
How to tell your kids you’ve lost your job
Wait a day or so until you’re closer to getting your bearings before talking to kids about your job loss and banish all fear from your voice when you do. Share reassuring details and upsides, like how you’ll be there to see them off to school until you find your next job. Make sure they understand that everyone is okay and will continue to be. Challenge them to think up fun things to do as a family that don’t cost a lot of money – like tracking down a drive-in theater. Tell them that people used to see movies at drive-ins all the time, and that kids often went to them in their pajamas. You can wear your PJs to the drive-in, too, provided you haven’t been wearing them all day.
Stick to a schedule after you lose your job
Which leads to another important point. Stick to some type of schedule. Get up, take a shower and put on clean clothes; it’s a great way to fend off depression. Consider assigning yourself a business casual dress code during the day, especially once you launch your job-search. It will help you to remain positive and focused and, believe it or not, help you sound sharper should you happen to talk on the phone to an employer.
Keep in mind that sometimes things happen for the best. Before Lisa Kudrow landed the role of Phoebe Buffay in Friends, she was fired from the mega-hit, Frasier. All kinds of good can come out of a job loss, things you might have never thought could be in the cards for you. The article, What’s Going Right in Your Job Search has more on this and can be helpful in keeping your head on straight.
Make a budget when you lose your job
Make a budget early on, as it’s especially important when you’re between jobs. You’ll probably be surprised how much money can be saved by knocking out minor, habitual expenses. No longer having a commute might make a big difference to your savings account in gas alone. For more on the importance of budgets, read Budgeting When Job Searching.
Becoming suddenly unemployed is a rude awakening but keeping your eyes open to all the tactics that can help you come out on top, makes life that much easier.
Need more job search advice?
For more insights and a community of like-minded professionals join our LinkedIn group Resume Help and Advice for Professionals and Executives