Surviving a Job Loss

JobSeveral years ago this happened to me. I lost my job in a massive round of layoffs– and it was completely devastating, at the time. But now, years later, I can honestly say it was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

I learned to prioritize and how to take control- both in terms of work/life balance, and in terms of managing money- just in case.

What should you do if you lose your job?

Don’t Panic

Everything is going to be fine. Really. It’s hard when you are on the receiving end of such jarring news.

Take a few days to grieve, and then get busy planning your new job hunt. You never know- this may actually even turn out to be an opportunity to do something new.

Cut Unnecessary Spending. Now.

When the income stops, you need to stop spending, to stretch out what money you have- especially as you are looking at an uncertain time frame.

Once you land your new job, then celebrate and splurge. But for now- lean and mean on the spending front.

Knowledge is Power

Look at your savings. Examine any package you may have received in detail- and don’t be afraid to ask questions of your employer or get a second opinion.

Understand what sort of financial assistance or support you are eligible for, and recalculate your budget based on that amount.

Taking control of your finances will help you feel more in control of everything else.

You’re the Same Person you Were Yesterday

We tend to define ourselves by what we do for a living. This is not only inaccurate, it can be really damaging to your entire identity when that role goes away.

All the things that are great about you (including all your marketable skills that will land you an even better job) are still there today, and will be tomorrow.

Don’t Take it Personally

Easier said than done, as you-the person has lost their job. Chances are, your job cut was purely motivated by business reasons. Your performance may have factored in, but chances are it was all a little more random.

Treat your Job Hunt like a Job

Plan out your job hunt. Start with rattling your networks and reaching out to everyone you can think of. Plan your day as though you are still at your desk, except the objective is finding another job.

Also plan breaks in there. Finding a job is hard work!

Are there skills that you are lacking or need refreshing? Now is the time to get up to speed.