Losing your job sucks. Especially when you didn’t see it coming or had time to prepare for it. If you find yourself in this position, I’m sorry and I sympathize with where you’re at.
I’ve been there myself and know what it feels like. It hits especially hard at a time like this when everything seems uncertain and nothing is guaranteed.
But looking back at that time in my life when I lost my job, it became a pivotal moment in my life which ended up changing the course of my life…for the better!
I want to assure you that as terrible and gloomy as the road ahead may look to you right now – This is not the end of your world! It’s the beginning of a new chapter and an opportunity for a happier career and lifestyle…
Here are 10 tips of things to do when you lose your job
1. Acknowledge your emotions, Reset, and then Plan your come back.
It’s important to go through a mourning phase. Pretending as if nothing happened and just moving on as normal is going to backfire on you at some point. You’ve just lost your job for goodness sake! Take some time out to grieve your situation, have a cry, feel sorry for yourself, and reflect on the reality of what’s just happened. Open up to your partner and let them know what’s happened. You’re in this together and you’ll get through it together. Then you can start to reset.
OK, so now, what are your options? Take some time to plan your next move.
2. Count your blessings and practice gratitude
It’s scientifically shown that taking time out to meditate on the things that you are grateful for can have a huge positive impact on your mental health and wellbeing. You still have a roof over your head, your health, your family, your education, your skills…you have so much to be grateful for.
By focusing on what you have, rather than what you don’t, it can help to reframe your outlook and prevent you from going into depression or a loss of motivation. Have faith in the fact that you’ve gone through tough times before and everything is going to be okay.
Start a gratitude journal where you write down one thing you’re grateful for every day. Do this first thing in the morning to motivate you and get you in the right mindset for the day.
3. Tell your colleagues and friends
You may be embarrassed to tell others that you have just lost your job but letting people know you’re available for new opportunities is the first step in getting your job search off the ground. Friends and family can’t begin to help if they’re not aware you’re unemployed. You’ll be surprised to see how people will step up to help you if they know you’re looking for a job.
When talking about it, focus on what you want to do next—rather than what happened. For example, “I recently lost my job and what I’ve missed most is working with people, so in my next job, I’m looking for a customer-facing role” sounds better than, “I was laid-off because my boss cannot manage people and now I can’t afford to even pay the rent. At this point, I’d take anything that doesn’t suck.”
4. Prepare your story
In the future, someone is going to ask you why you were laid off. This could be during an interview by your future employer or by a recruitment consultant. You need to have your story straight as to what happened, and an honest but professional narrative is always the best approach. Most employers will understand and even sympathize with you when you tell them you were let go due as a result of a company restructuring or downsizing. This is particularly understandable under the current global market conditions.
5. Tap into your emergency fund and rework your budget
You may have received a gratuity or severance payout. Start by figuring out exactly what you’ve got to work with. Rework your budget and stay on top of things by tracking your expenditure in an Excel spreadsheet. Use a tool like https://www.mint.com/how-mint-works/budgets to plan your budget and spending.
If you have an emergency fund, now may be the time to tap into it. If you don’t, then you need to be extra resourceful and cut back on expenditure. Start by making a bunch of small cuts. Reduce your spending on expensive gym memberships, clothes, pricy restaurants, takeout, and Netflix. Go for a run and start doing home workouts instead.
6. Update your CV, your portfolio and social media profiles
Invest time in updating your CV and portfolios properly because they’ll be providing you with the support you need to find a new job.
Update your social media profiles, especially your LinkedIn profile. Try to have consistency in what your profiles say about you across your LinkedIn, Twitter, and other profiles.
Contact a recruitment company to help you find a new job. You can also start your own search online for work.
While you are searching, consider accepting a minimum wage job as a short term solution after losing a high-paying position to help you make ends meet financially.
A great way to earn some short-term cash online is by offering your freelance services online. This could be anything from content writing to graphic design, logo design, website design, and copywriting, to offering architectural drafting services.
Use a platform like Upwork.com to get your services listed online.
7. Go back to who you really are
Losing your job may actually be the exact thing you need to force you to get you out of a comfort zone that you could have been stuck in for many years. See this as an opportunity to rediscover who you really are now. Chances are good that you weren’t fulfilled by your job anyway and haven’t been living true to your authentic self and what you came here to do – or you wouldn’t have hit this bump in the road.
It’s time to step out of the comfort zone and step into a world of new opportunities that await you. What are your passions, your talents, what excites you? Now you have the opportunity (and the time) to reset and look for something that is aligned with who you are now. Perhaps it’s time to get back some adventure in your life, to ditch the 9 to 5 corporate world and start your own thing…! The world is crying out for new solutions to old problems.
8. Invest in yourself and learn a new skill
One of the biggest benefits of being unemployed is that you will have more free time. Use this time to reskill yourself to become useful and relevant in today’s digital economy.
Look at job vacancies in your area or niche to see what skills employers are looking for that you don’t have. Enroll for an online training course with Udemy or LinkedIn Learning to learn these new skills.
It may seem like the wrong time to spend money when you’ve lost your job, but remember, it takes money to make money. Investing in yourself and your skillsets is never a waste of money and will more than pay for itself in the long run. Learning some new skills will also help to boost your self-esteem and make you more confident when searching for new jobs.
You can also look for a personal mentor and ask him or her to train you.
9. Starting your own Business
Over the past decade, the number of people using the internet has grown from 2B in 2010 to 4.6B in 2020, which is equivalent to 60% of the world’s population! This digital revolution has resulted in a massive transformation from traditional to digital business models and the way that companies choose to operate. There is now a huge demand for people who can sell their products and services online.
Perhaps its time for you to leverage this opportunity and consider becoming your own boss by starting an online business. With a low start-up cost, almost anybody that can read and write can have access and a presence on the Internet. The comparatively low cost and low-risk factor of an online business, compared to traditional brick & mortar or franchise type business model make it an attractive option for start-ups.
Some options include are Affiliate marketing, E-Commerce, Freelancing, Coaching, Consulting, or developing your own online course.
Read more about the options for online business models in my blog post entitled, Here are 9 ways to make money online & How to Start an Online Business – 10 Steps to Success!
The company that I’m affiliated with offers excellent mentorship and an online training program that teaches people how to start an online business and how to sell online.
10. Keep yourself busy and stay informed
The surest way to become demoted and depressed over your situation is to do nothing. Make sure you get into a good daily routine. Get up in the mornings, have your breakfast, shower, and get dressed as though you were going to work. Plan your day and keep a journal.
Invest in yourself by meditating, reading, and listening to audiobooks. Spend time online searching for jobs and reskilling yourself.
Keep informed and follow new market trends in your industry that will give you the edge over your competitors when the time comes for your future employment.
Do some form of physical exercise every day. Use the time to do the stuff around the house that you’ve been putting off for months because you didn’t have the time. Spend quality time with your family and help your kids with their school work. Do the grocery shopping.
The key is to remain active and avoid allowing yourself to slip into a depression. Use these tips to navigate our way through uncharted waters. Rest assured you’ll find something soon enough. Who knows, you may actually end up ditching the 9 to 5 and start your very own business. That’s exactly what I did when I was retrenched back in 2003!