Losing your job can feel incredibly lonely but it doesn’t have to be. Here are the Money Do’s and Don’ts for what to do if you lose your job.
With many countries in recession, losing your job is becoming more common. If you’re reading this and you’ve lost your job, you’re in good company, with Walt Disney, Anna Wintour and Oprah Winfrey also losing their jobs before they hit the big time.
Losing your job is a reality that many of us are dealing right now. But there are some actions you can take (and avoid taking) to soften the blow.
Here are the money do’s and don’ts for what to do if you lose your job:
- DO file for unemployment benefits. If you lose your job in Australia, you can apply for job seeker benefits, which provide you with money to tide you over until you find your next job. It’s not intended to be a long-term fix but does provide a safety net if you lose your job without warning.
- DON’T bad mouth your employer. We’ve all worked for horrible bosses. I have stories of bosses that would not look out of place in the Horrible Bosses movie but most importantly, I don’t share those stories. Stay away from Facebook, Twitter and any kind of social media if you feel the need to vent because one bad word can haunt you online.
- DO work out a personal budget. I believe you need to know how much it costs to be you. Because when you lose your job as your source of income, those costs will still need to be paid. We can show you how to budget here and there are some fantastic budget apps to help you manage money.
- DON’T treat yourself to a brand new wardrobe. It can feel really tempting to indulge in retail therapy to make yourself feel better. But without a job and secure income source, you need to look after your money more than ever. If you feel like you need to invest in a new wardrobe, instead look at clothes swaps or charity shops as a way to build a new wardrobe without breaking the bank.
- DO tidy up your CV. Your CV or resume is often the first thing that people see when you apply for a job. Check that your job titles and dates are accurate and that your references are happy to be contacted for jobs you’re about to apply for.
- DON’T let your routines slide. When you’re working, you have a routine of getting up at a specific time, dressing professionally, and meeting people. If you lose your job, it is too easy to let those routines slide by staying in bed later. Instead, adopt a routine that will provide your life with structure and help you stay on track to get your next job.
- DO apply for jobs without getting in your own way. Your confidence can take a knock when you lose your job. Many of us count ourselves out of what might be the perfect job because we get in our own way and talk ourselves out of even applying. Make sure that you do apply for those jobs and put yourself forward because you learn from the job application process.
- DON’T get discouraged if you don’t get a job straight away. It can feel disheartening to apply for jobs in a recession as there are generally fewer jobs on the market with more people out of work who are applying for those jobs. It is possible to find a job in a recession and persistence is key.
- DO clean up your online presence. An employer’s first impression of you is important. Many employers might Google you to see who you are, including your LinkedIn profile, which can serve as an online CV. Take the time now to make sure your social media reflects who you are now and clean up anything from your past that no longer reflects who you are in your present.
- DON’T ignore your network. Your friends and family want the best for you. Tap into your network and put it out there that you’re looking for work. It can also be a great time to catch up with old colleagues who might have roles going at their companies and who know what you can do well. Don’t underestimate the importance of your network when you’re looking for work.
Remember that this too shall pass.
Losing your job can be one of the toughest experiences that will go through. It can feel like a death as you grieve the life you had in that role, the people you worked with, and the lifestyle you led. Instead, remember that this is an opportunity to create a new lifestyle and an opportunity to create different experiences through a new job. Have faith in yourself that you can do this and put yourself in the best possible position to find a new job that you love.
Read more: How to find a job in a recession