Losing a job is painful. However, learn the steps you need to take after you lose your job to bounce back quickly and effectively.
Table of contents
- Steps to take after you lose your job
- 1. File for unemployment
- 2. Review your finances and create a new budget
- 3. Look into health insurance
- 4. Tell everyone and reach out for support
- 5. Invest in developing yourself
- 6. Start a business
- 7. Clean up your social media profiles
- 8. Update your LinkedIn profile and resume
- 9. Apply for new jobs
- 10. Take care of yourself
Steps to take after you lose your job
One of the worst feelings that you can experience is losing your job. Immediately after, you’ll find yourself feeling a variety of emotions. At such a vulnerable place, you must understand what you need to do to move forward.
Although you’ll learn the steps that you must take, it’s important to acknowledge your emotions. You’re in a stressful situation, and it’s normal to have a reaction.
With such a big, unexpected change in your life, give yourself grace. It may also be helpful to find a group or a professional to talk to. Regardless of how you do it, you need to acknowledge your emotions, then begin taking action.
Take the following steps to navigate a job loss:
1. File for unemployment
The financial effect of losing a job can be devastating. Without a paycheck, you may struggle to pay your bills, and it can put you in a difficult place financially.
The first thing you need to do when you lose your job is to see if you’re eligible to file for unemployment benefits. Although each state has its own guidelines, you’ll most likely qualify if you’re unemployed through no fault of your own.
Each state has its own unemployment benefits program, so start by contacting your state’s Department of Labor.
2. Review your finances and create a new budget
It’s important to know that unemployment benefits will partially replace your regular income. You won’t get the same amount as you did when you were working.
That’s why you need to look at where you’re at with your finances and set up a new budget. During this time, focus on cutting down your expenses to extend the amount of time that you can last.
Additionally, figure out what you’ll do with your retirement plan. If you have a 401(k), you have several options. You can roll it over to your new employer, leave it with your previous employer, roll it into an IRA, cash it out, or take distributions.
3. Look into health insurance
If you had health insurance through your previous employer, talk to the human resources (HR) department to figure out what you need to do.
If you’re losing your job-based health insurance, you can sign up for COBRA coverage or buy a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. If that’s the case, your former employer’s HR department may be able to help.
4. Tell everyone and reach out for support
Losing your job can impact your self-esteem, and you may feel like keeping it to yourself. Even if it’s difficult, you need to tell people because they can support you through a challenging time.
It’s also a great time to let people know that you’re open to new opportunities, which can lead to your next job.
Be sure you keep the conversations about your previous employer positive. Focus on what you want to do next, and not why you lost your job.
5. Invest in developing yourself
Chances are, you’ll have more time to yourself. During your downtime, invest in personal development. Read books, take classes, and find ways to grow. It’s the perfect opportunity to grow your mindset and learn new skills.
6. Start a business
While you’re unemployed, consider starting a business or brainstorming ideas of things that you can do. Although a business takes a lot of hard work and time, this can be a pivotal time in your life.
7. Clean up your social media profiles
When someone searches your name, it’s common for your social media profiles to show up in the results. Take the time to clean up your social media profiles because it acts as a first impression.
Make sure you take down anything that can be a red flag to potential employers, get you in trouble, or portrays you in a negative way.
8. Update your LinkedIn profile and resume
Before you begin applying for jobs, update your LinkedIn profile, and resume. You should feel confident sharing your resume, and the information in your LinkedIn profile should match.
Your resume must be error-free, show why you’re the best candidate, and that you have the in-demand skills. For your LinkedIn profile, make sure you have a professional profile photo, a good headline, and a solid about section.
9. Apply for new jobs
Now, it’s time to apply for new jobs. Losing your job can be a blessing in disguise because this can be a great time to rethink your career path. If you want to stick to the same field, great. If not, think about other fields or occupations that you’re interested in, and pursue them.
If a cover letter is requested, make sure you write a targeted one explaining why the company should hire you for a position. Using a generic one will show that you didn’t put a lot of effort into it.
You must also prepare what you’re going to say if a potential employer asks about why you’re unemployed. Remember, speak positive things about your previous employer, and be honest.
10. Take care of yourself
You’re experiencing a stressful time, and you’re busy looking for a new job. Be sure to spend time taking care of yourself. It’s a great opportunity to build healthy habits, including eating nutritious meals and exercising.
While losing your job is overwhelming and stressful, taking the proper steps will ensure that you can bounce back quickly. Whether you find a new job in the same field, change career paths, or start a business, acknowledge your emotions, and find ways to move forward.
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