What to Do If You Lose Your Job
Losing your job – for whatever reason – can be stressful. In fact, it’s one of the most stressful life events that people can face. It can leave you feeling angry, hurt, and depressed. And then worries can start to set in as you wonder about how you’re going to cover your expenses.
It’s important that you work through the range of emotions and then come up with a plan. Not sure where to begin? Here are some ideas to help.
- File for unemployment if you’re eligible: Depending on the circumstances, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. You can ask your former employer about this or contact your local office of unemployment. And always remember that unemployment benefits vary state-to-state.
- Figure out your health insurance: Health insurance is another big concern when you are not working. COBRA (The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985) is a health insurance program that allows an eligible employee and his or her dependents the continued benefits of health insurance coverage in the case that an employee loses his or her job or experiences a reduction of work hours. Be sure to ask your former employer if you are eligible for this continuation. Otherwise, you may need to seek out health coverage from other sources.
- Know what will happen to your retirement plan: If you have a retirement plan through your former employer, be sure to find out what happens to it now. You may be able to leave it in place or transfer it to another financial services provider.
- Establish a budget: You want to take the time to establish a budget. Create a list of all of your expenses. Then take a look at savings, unemployment benefits (if available), and other income sources. If needed, decide what expenses can be cut or reduced until you are employed again.
- Update your resume: You may not have updated your resume for quite some time so do it now. You might also look for some help with your resume. Sometimes local libraries or the unemployment office offer sessions to help.
- Check your social media: Social media is now a powerful source for finding a job. You want to make sure your social media reflects positively on you as potential employers may look at it when you are interviewing. Additionally, don’t be afraid to share that you are looking for a job. You never know who in your social circle may have connections to help you.
- Spread the word: Don’t just use social media to spread the word that you are looking for a job. Share it with anyone and everyone.
- Develop new skills: Take this time to develop new skills that may be beneficial for positions you would like. You can find many online courses that are offered for free. Additionally, check-in your area for classes that may be free or at a low cost.
- Apply for jobs: This is a no-brainer, right? Apply for jobs. Apply for as many jobs as possible if they interest you – even if you believe you may be underqualified or overqualified. Getting an interview is your goal, as that gives you a chance to network with people. While you may not get the job you applied for, you may be considered for other positions.
- Stay positive: Staying positive is crucial while you are unemployed – and maybe the most challenging thing to do if you continue to be without a job for an extended period of time. But try to maintain a positive attitude and know that you will find the right job for you.
Being unemployed can wreak havoc with your emotions and leave you feeling stressed. Once you’ve had time to work through your feelings, put a plan into place using these strategies. A plan will help you manage your time while unemployed and, hopefully, lead you to a new job in no time at all.