No matter who you are or what your career trajectory looks like, it can be a devastating moment when you lose your job. The safety and security you’ve depended on for a long time have just deserted you; suddenly, you might feel like you’re alone in the world, and that you don’t know what’s going to happen next. This can be a hugely disorientating and unsettling feeling, so don’t worry if you’re feeling confused and lost after a job loss.
Happily, although the circumstances might not be particularly pleasant, there is always something you can do to help yourself in some small way after you lose your job. Whether it’s bolstering your mental health or taking small steps to get yourself back in the world of work, recovering after a job loss can be difficult, but it’s something you can affect. Here’s how to recover after you lose your job.
Try to make sure you have enough money
One of the biggest and most pressing worries for anyone who loses their job is where the next meal is going to come from. If you don’t have a significant amount of money saved for the proverbial rainy day, then it can feel especially terrifying to lose your job. There is help out there, though, even if it comes in a short-term form like applying for loans on benefits. Make sure you apply for every source of income you possibly can, no matter how small it might seem. After all, those sources of income might be the difference between being relatively comfortable and being desperate.
Start looking for jobs immediately
The instant you know you’re going to lose your job is also the instant when you need to start looking for more work. Pound the metaphorical pavement and start applying for as much work as you possibly can. Use as many online job sites as you can find to apply for jobs, and don’t neglect physical applications either. Many businesses don’t accept online applications or don’t have an online presence, so even if it’s just stopgap work that doesn’t necessarily fit your skillset, you might find a job by hitting the high street. However you do it, just make sure you’re engaging with the application process.
Allow yourself to grieve
A job loss is very similar to grief; although it doesn’t involve the passing of a loved one, it does involve a similar seismic change to your routine, and it can also feel like a part of your identity has been ripped away from you. During this time, it’s perfectly normal to grieve the loss of your job, so make sure you’re not beating yourself up for feeling grief if you’re struggling. There are support groups and forums you can visit to talk to others who might be in your situation, and your friends and family will also provide sympathetic ears for you.
Take this time to think about your career
What was the reason you lost your job? It may have been simple redundancy, in which case there’s no real reason to think about a career change. However, if you’ve found that you weren’t a good fit for your job or you left of your own volition because you weren’t enjoying it anymore, then maybe now is a good time to reassess whether this is the career path for you. Changing careers can be a difficult process, but it’s easier when you’re not locked into any particular employment path, so this could be the opportunity you’ve been looking for.
Rewrite or brush up your CV
Your CV is not a document that should ever be set in stone. Of course, if you lose your job, you’ll need to update your CV to reflect the change in circumstances, but it may also be a good idea to think about rewriting or working on your CV to make it look more appealing for employers. After all, depending on how long you’ve been in your current position, it may have been a while since you brushed up your CV, and it might be in need of a little TLC. Don’t be afraid to seek some outside help if you’re not sure where your CV might be in need of improvements!
Whether you’re seeking a career change or just looking for something to do while you wait for new employment opportunities, volunteering could be just the thing to lift you out of the post-job loss doldrums. Volunteering has great benefits for everyone involved; you’re giving your time and skills to an organisation that probably desperately needs them, and you’re also bolstering your experience at the same time. There aren’t any downsides to volunteering apart from the fact that it doesn’t pay, so if you’re not currently struggling for money, volunteering could be an amazing opportunity for you.
Don’t hold any resentments
It’s easier said than done, but one of the easiest traps to fall into when you lose your job is to resent either your previous place of work or your boss for firing you or making you redundant. However, in the long term, all resentment does is make you feel worse, and it won’t fix the situation. You never know when networking opportunities might present themselves (or, indeed, when your former place of employment might need you again!), so it’s not a good idea to burn bridges; try to stay as calm and collected as possible, and don’t allow your emotions to dictate your actions after a job loss.