Losing your job can be a devastating experience. After all, it’s a huge part of your identity; you may even have based your life plan around your career, and when that falls apart, it can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, there’s always a way forward, no matter how hard it may seem. Picking yourself up after a job loss isn’t easy, but it’s something that can help you achieve true success and move forward. Here’s how to lift yourself out of the doldrums and move on after you lose your job.
Start looking for new jobs immediately
The most important thing to do if you lose your job is to start looking for a new one as soon as you can. Any gaps in your CV will be a point of consternation for potential future employees; they’ll see the gaps and potentially assume that you’ve been lazy or unwilling to search for work. As such, you should begin your search the day you find out that you’ve been unfortunately made redundant. Start searching job websites, looking for real-life listings, and asking your friends if they’re seeing anything that might be useful for you.
Make sure you’ve got enough money
Money can be a serious worry for many people who lose their jobs, unfortunately. After all, your primary source of income – and potentially the primary source of income for the whole family – has just disappeared. As such, it’s important to make sure you have enough money to survive on. Of course, that’s much easier said than done, but there are several ways you can get some cash. You could, for example, look into loans for people on benefits; if you’re claiming benefits, you can still take out loans, which can be a godsend. Alternatively, you could ask friends and family for help, or potentially sell things you’re no longer using.
Keep your network going
Networking is almost more important than good interview technique when you’re hunting for a job. The old adage, “it’s not what you know but who you know”, certainly contains at least a grain of truth; a large percentage of jobs are filled by networking rather than by blindly picking applicants. You’re more likely to get a job by asking someone you know if they have any vacancies, so keep your network going and keep asking your friends, colleagues, and former co-workers if they know of any opportunities that might present themselves.
Work on your CV in the meantime
While you look for a job, be sure that you’re working on your CV. Now is the perfect time to re-examine that document and see if there’s anything in it that needs to change. We’re not just talking about circumstances changing; you might want to take a look at the layout or the writing style and see if you can’t improve them somewhat. There are lots of free CV-writing workshops that pop up on the internet from time to time, and you may also find that if you sign up for benefits, your local job centre will help you to learn new CV writing skills as well.
Take the time to learn a new skill
No matter how old you are or what stage you’re at in your career, it’s always a good idea to learn new skills. Adding something new to your repertoire could help immensely when it comes to the job search, especially if you’re looking for a change in career. If you’re learning for your job, try to make your skill marketable. A good example might be learning to code; this is a useful skill in many different disciplines, not least web design, and they’re almost all in high demand pretty much all of the time. Even learning non-transferable skills can be useful, though; the simple process of learning a new skill is an experience in itself.
Take up volunteering
Volunteering is an incredibly useful thing to do if you’re looking to get a new job. Employers love to see volunteer experience on your CV; it tells them you don’t like to sit idle while you don’t have anything else to do, and it shows them you’re a good person willing to lend your time to good causes. Choose your volunteer position carefully, though. You want to volunteer for something that will enhance and further your skillset, and also something close to your heart. That way, you can maintain the passion and focus necessary to continue your volunteer journey for as long as you need to.
Claim any benefits to which you are entitled
Depending on your personal situation, you could be entitled to a number of government benefits. It’s definitely worth researching which ones you can claim, because any help you can get while you’re unemployed will come in handy. There’s a handy benefits calculator available on the UK government website where you can input your personal circumstances and see how much you’re entitled to claim. The amount will, of course, vary depending on how much you have in savings and various other variables, but you should at least be entitled to claim something.
See it as a new beginning
It can be easy to despair and lose hope if you lose your job. However, doing so would be misdirecting your emotions. Try to see losing a job as a new beginning, an opportunity to start over rather than a loss. It’s totally normal to grieve for the job you had; after all, you may have loved what you did, and you may have had many colleagues that you loved spending time with. However, you don’t need to change careers, and you don’t need to fall out of touch with those colleagues. Think of losing a job as an opportunity and you’ll likely be a lot less devastated.