I Lost My Job, What Do I Do Now?
When you lose your job, you’re not only losing income. You lose structure, routine, friendships and a sense of well being. Immediately get support from your family and friends, letting out your feelings and allowing yourself to release the anger or hurt from your job loss. This will also allow them to keep you in mind should they see an opportunity for you in employment. Now that you’ve dealt with the emotions, it’s time to make a plan. Here is a list of things to do when you lose your job:
Reflect – Why did you lose your job? Did the company restructure or downsize? Were you directly responsible? You should start to think about your current skill level and abilities, how you can excel in an industry and what you need to accomplish that. Think about whether you enjoyed what you were doing or is this your chance for change.
Apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits – Find out if you qualify for EI. It may take a while to apply and to receive your first payment, your payments may barely be enough to cover your expenses and they run out really fast but it’s definitely a step that you should take until you get employment again.
Cut Your Expenses – You will want to make your funds last as long as possible so cut back on unnecessary expenses. Talk to your creditors and explain your situation. See if you can negotiate smaller monthly payments or interest rates. Never ignore your bills. Change your cable service to basic, make a decision between landline or cell phone, cut back on entertainment. At this point, you’re not sure if you’ll find a job that is less money, more money or whether you’ll find a job in 3 months or 2 years so it’s always best to be wise.
Create a new daily routine – Embrace the change. Dust off your resume, develop coping strategies and network to increase your probability of finding a job soon. A job takes a large portion of your time and although looking for a job may not take up all your time but it will take up a big part of your schedule. Set up a time for job searching activities and also set aside time for recreation and leisure such as walking, going to the library or taking a workshop.
Remember to take care of yourself. Don’t hide on the sofa. Keep yourself well groomed and keep your sense your humour. You can accomplish so much when you’re smiling so keep smiling!
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