While some people work to pursue a passion, most people work to earn a paycheck. So when you lose a job that you rely on to pay the bills, it can be devastating.
But you can’t let it destroy you. You have to stand tall, brush yourself off, and put your focus on the next big thing:
Whether you’ve been laid off as a result of downsizing or terminated for something you did or didn’t do on the job, here are the seven steps to bouncing back after a job loss.
Table of Contents
1. Learn What Rights You Have (or Don’t Have)
If you signed an employment contract when you started the job, you’ll need to review it as closely now as you did when you first signed it. Your contract may offer built-in benefits, such as severance pay or continued healthcare insurance coverage, which can be a huge help during this time.
On the downside, it may put limitations on where you can work next.
Employment contracts often include termination clauses that specify the allowable reasons for ending an employee’s service. Sometimes they also include restrictive covenants that restrict where you can work next. Both can have a significant impact on where and how you start searching for a new job.
To learn more about termination clauses and restrictive covenants, check out this article about employment contract review for physicians.
Even if you didn’t love the job you lost, losing it can be detrimental, especially to your finances. But dwelling on that loss won’t make it any easier to pay the bills. Instead, maintain a positive state of mind and try your best to be upbeat about the situation so that you can keep up your self-confidence.
You’ll need that self-confidence to embark on a new job hunt, ace interviews, and land your next gig.
3. Update Your Resume or CV
Regardless of why you lost your last job, now is an excellent time to assess your skills, think about your accomplishments and experiences, and think about what you want your next position to be.
When updating your resume or CV, craft it for the job you want, not the job you lost. If your current job loss inspires you to want to make a career change, draft a resume that focuses on transferrable skills and soft skills rather than technical skills that may not be relevant in your next career.
4. Reach Out to Your Professional Network
It takes time and effort to build a strong professional network, so when you suffer a job loss, use that network to help you find a new job.
You cannot sit in a slump waiting for a great new job to come to you. You must be proactive in looking for a new opportunity.
Reach out to people in your network with a phone call or email and let them know that you’re searching for a new position. They may know of one that would be perfect for you!
5. Establish a Routine
The longer you’re out of work, the more difficult it can be to get back into a routine. To avoid falling prey to bouts of laziness and self-doubt, create a new routine for yourself and do it every day until you land a new position.
Get up at the same time every morning. Get showered, get dressed, and get ready for the day. Take a break, exercise, and eat lunch at the same time every day. That way, when you find a new job, getting into a new routine will be much easier to do.
6. Create a Plan of Action
Before you start conducting your new job search, create a plan of action. This includes taking some time for self-reflection.
Think about why you lost your last job. Think about what it was that you loved or didn’t love about that job. Think about what it is you want to get out of your next job.
If your ideal new job means making a career change, moving, or getting more education, put a plan in place to start working towards that goal.
If you think improving your Excel skills would help, attend a course. Its also helpful to be able to take about what you’ve been doing to improve yourself at a job interview.
7. Consider Going Into Business for Yourself
Depending on the type of work you do and how far along you are in your career, now might be the perfect time to go into business for yourself.
There are also endless freelance opportunities online that you can do from the comfort of home. Taking on freelance work is an excellent way to gain more experience, continue to earn income, or help you decide if you’d like to build a business of your own. Freelance work can also help to eliminate employment gaps on your CV. Because resumes are written in reverse chronological order, two or three freelance gigs can push the job that you just lost a bit further down on the page.
Losing a job is never easy, but if you keep a positive attitude, network, job search diligently, and establish a new routine, it doesn’t have to be the end of your world. Today it might seem like you have an uphill battle in front of you. But years from now you may look back on this moment and think of it as the best thing that ever happened in your career