Even if you’re at the worst job of your career, losing it can be terrifying and hurtful. You’re likely angry that they let go of you so quickly, and wishing that there was something you could do to get the position back (if nothing more than to leave on your own terms). But, many lose a job in their professional career through no fault of their own, and it’s not as bad as it seems. Follow these tips for making a quick and happy recovery in the transition:
The day after… do something enjoyable. Your boss brings you into their office first thing in the morning to tell you, “I’m sorry but we have to terminate your position. Immediately.” Within an hour you’ve collected your personals from your desk, and are left wondering how to spend the rest of the day. No plans, nothing at home to do. Why not go out (or stay in) and relax? You will be flooded with mixed emotions that day, so take it easy and allow yourself to process.
Analyze your financial situation. No paycheck means you’re going to need a budget adjustment until you find a new job. It could take a few weeks, or a few months, and your new job may not have the same pay schedule or salary that you’re used to. Budget your last paycheck, and potentially some of your emergency savings for the next two or three months. And if you live with someone else, talk to them about your bills and expenses to agree on where you can cut back for a while.
File for unemployment if necessary. If you’re having trouble finding a new job, or don’t have enough savings to sustain you or your family, you may qualify for unemployment benefits. Check the laws within your state, and visit a local government office to learn about your options. Even if you don’t file right now, it’s best to be prepared.
Come to terms with why you lost your job. No matter how or why you lost your job, you need to understand the cause. If you were fired, you can learn from your mistake or better see why that particular position just wasn’t right for you. If you were let go, you need to accept that losing your job wasn’t your fault. Coming to terms with the loss of your job will help you move forward and identify better career options.
Decide on what you want to do next. Sometimes losing a job is actually better for us long-term. Was that job actually right for you? Or did you keep it to pay the bills and hopefully get a better offer or promotion one day. This could be an opportunity to change careers or go after the job you really want.
Start to network. Reach out to old colleagues and friends on where you might find job openings. Not only will you have a “foot in the door” by referral, but you can get inside opinions on the company and what it's like to work for them. Most placements are made through personal referral or by a company recruiter. Don’t underestimate the power of professional relationships.
Talk to a recruitment agency. Recruiters are always looking for new talent to place with their clients. They can also help you craft a better resume, talk to potential employers, and set up interviews with the ones that are most likely to hire you. Many job seekers overlook this option, but it’s one of the best if you don’t have a specific company or position in mind already.