Losing a job can be an emotionally debilitating experience and a severe blow to the ego. For some, it’s like having the wind knocked out of you when the loss was completely unexpected. In this economy downsizing, budget cuts, and reduction in force are common so more people than ever have experienced a job loss.
A friend shared a great piece from the Indiana Daily Business Report which showcased practical tips about getting back on track and devising a plan to move forward. You are in control of your next steps and this wisdom will help you get back on that job horse to design a career you deserve while also focusing on other necessities like benefits, finances, and keeping your confidence intact.
1. Immediately take inventory of your benefits-Most people take their benefits for granted. Whereas people generally value their health insurance, rarely do they value the rest of their benefits (e.g. life insurance, dental insurance, legal services, etc).
2. Create a list of people to talk to- You are now a part of the group of people seeking employment. This is a vast, diverse group of people. Your job is now to prove why you are better for a particular job than anyone else in this group of people. This means that you need to make a list of people than can help you get the job that you want – quickly. The list should include: former colleagues, competitors, industry experts, influencers, and confidants. This isn’t a desperation move. This is an extended version of “putting feelers out.”
3. Don’t ignore your money problems- You are undoubtedly stressed out. Your lack of job means that you have a lack of income. Don’t bury your head in the sand. You must become hyperaware of your financial life during this time. You must come to terms with all of your debt, all of your expenses, and all of the assets that may assist you during this challenging time.
4. Use your emergency fund wisely- How long until you find another job? I don’t know either. You must ration your emergency fund. If you are receiving unemployment benefits, then you must supplement these benefits with your emergency funds.
5. Don’t borrow money- Fight like hell to prevent your family from going into debt. Your unemployment is temporary, but you can’t let the financial problems created by your employment linger on forever. Your lifestyle SHOULD change significantly if you are unemployed. Borrowing a single penny (using a credit card) on unnecessary expenses while unemployed is foolish and inexcusable.
Feel free to get mad, but keep your head. Feel free to get mad, but make sure you are channeling your emotion towards problem solving. In fact, here are the top three skills/characteristics that you need to employ as you seek employment
1. Problem-solving skills- You have a major problem. To put this very simply: you have a major problem and you need to find a major solution.
2. Confidence- This may be the lowest point in your life when it comes to confidence, but you need to ignore this. You can’t expect anyone to hire you if you lack confidence. Do whatever it takes to build confidence. Challenge a toddler to a foot-race. Arm-wrestle your dog. Just hit the job-seeking process with confidence.
3. Humility- You may have loved your job, thus losing it may have caused you great disappointment. In addition, you may not like the new job prospects that are on the horizon. Approach your new reality with humility. Job loss affects your financial life, but that doesn’t mean that you should only make decisions based on money. If you can survive during one of the most difficult times in your financial life, then you will thrive when things turn around. Be purposeful.