Losing a job is the absolute pits. It has a massive impact to your everyday routine, your finances and your emotional well-being as well.
While there’s not really a play book for handling job loss, there are some practical items you can put on your to-do list while you’re looking work.
Damage control is essential, from tying up loose ends at your old job to ensuring you have enough finances to last you through this transition period as well as looking after yourself.
So, keep calm and read on for some practical steps to take after a job loss.
While you will likely get a new job sooner than you think, it’s best to limit your spending now to avoid maxing out your credit card or chewing through all of your savings. Cut down on things like eating out, take-away coffees, clothes and anything else you can go without right now. Try to remember that it’s just temporary and you will be able to enjoy these little luxuries once again.
Evaluate your finances
Look at your savings and then review your expenses for the next couple of months to get an idea of how long your money will last. This will help you to budget more efficiently, making your money last as long as possible while you look for work.
Speaking of money, you may be entitled to collect unemployment benefits such as Newstart Allowance. Have a look at the Department of Human Services website to learn more about eligibility.
Consult a career coach
A career coach can help you develop a new perspective and gain the confidence you need to get out there again. Have a look at a few different coaches to make sure you like their approach. Many coaches also offer a free consultation session, so take advantage of it.
Get active not only on LinkedIn and by attending local meetups and events related to your industry, but by talking to family, friends, neighbours and anyone else who’ll listen – you never know who will help you make your next connection.
Make sure you get your final pay squared away
Check that your final pay is correct and includes any holiday/sick pay you are entitled too.
Follow up with your superannuation fund
Check your balance to ensure your payments are up to speed from your former employer. You’ll also want to check in with your fund to see what happens when you have a gap in contributions. For instance, if you have life insurance through your super fund, it may require you to make regular payments in order to keep your insurance active.
Get out the door
Get up and out! Dress like you’re going to work, that way you’re ready for whatever may come your way like an impromptu coffee with an ex-co-worker or an interview with a recruiting agency.
Take advantage of the down time
The upside to this whole situation is that you’ve got a bit of extra time on your hands, so take advantage of it!
You may want to try:
Learning a new skill
Add another feather to your cap during the downtime while you’re hunting for new jobs. This will show employers you’re proactive and the new skill you acquire may just be the one that gets you in the door for your next interview.
Not only is it great for your mental health (studies now show that even one hour of exercise a week can help prevent depression), this could be your chance to pick up another healthy habit – now that’s something to be proud of!
Go easy on yourself
Don’t beat yourself up. You’re not the first person to find themselves without a job so cut yourself some slack as you navigate these new waters of unemployment.
If you’re worried about paying your bills, get in touch with a few temp agencies to make money while you search for the perfect full-time job. Don’t forget to reach out to your existing network as well to see if they are in need of contract workers.
Get in touch with your lenders
If you think you might fall short, talk to lenders about your situation. You may be able to delay/reduce payment temporarily. You never know until you ask right?
Focus on the silver lining
One of the best pieces of advice to navigating a job loss is to find the silver lining. Perhaps it was never a good fit or the commute was killing you. Or maybe this is your chance to change careers completely.
Whatever the case, focus on the positives that will come out of this change, rather than focusing on what you’ve lost. And when in doubt just remember – you’ve got this!
Seeking professional help
If you’ve experienced a job loss and aren’t sure how you’re going to keep up with your bills, get in touch with us on 1300 368 322. We’ve helped thousands of Australians find financial security and we can help you too.