Being let go from your job can be stressful and frustrating, especially if it happened with little or no warning. Many people aren’t financially prepared to be without a job, and it’s common to feel bewildered about why exactly you were let go in the first place.
The truth is, being let go from a job happens to us all at least once in our lives. And unless you were dismissed due to poor behaviour or conduct issues, it’s important to remember that this untimely exit needn’t reflect badly on you – or your future employment prospects. If you have recently lost your job, the first thing to do is to stay positive. To help, this article explains the steps you should take to give yourself peace of mind and put yourself on the right path for the future.
5 Things to do if you find yourself without a job
#1 – Stand up for yourself
If you don’t understand why you were let go, or feel you were let go for the wrong reasons, you may have a legal case worth looking into against your former employer. While this may sound heavy, if you are unsure about your legal rights, or the legal premise of being let go, it’s a good idea to talk to an employment lawyer. These professionals can give you appropriate legal advice and will help protect you if you’ve been wrongly let go. For example, PCL Lawyers, an employment lawyer in Melbourne, have years of knowledge and experience in business and family law areas, and they are equipped to assist.
#2 – Update your resume
It goes without saying that updating your resume is essential so that you to start applying for new jobs quickly. Whether you build upon an existing resume or start a new and improved one from scratch, spend some time on it. This document will be the only thing representing you to potential employers and recruiters, so it’s important to put your best foot forward.
#3 – Reach out to people in the industry
If you were in your position for a decent period of time, then you’re likely to have developed a network of contacts in the industry. Start reaching out to the people you know to let them know you are looking for a new job. Whether you do this via LinkedIn, direct email, via networking events, or a simple zoom meeting, your contacts can help you find new opportunities that mightn’t be advertised publicly.
#4 – Cut expenses
If losing your job has a material affect on your financial health, then it’s a good idea to look at your expenses carefully to see what you can immediately cut out until you return to a steady income. Reducing expenses can feel painful, but just remember that it’s temporary. Those expenses (and more!) can easily bounce back once you have that steady income coming through again. If there’s an expense you simply can’t cut out of your budget (for example, utilities or insurance), there are companies out there that can help you find lower prices. For example, Moneygains is one such company that helps users find the lowest competitive price on different products. Keep an eye on Moneygains, or find a similar provider in your area to get ahead of the curve and start saving.
#5 – Consider freelance work
These days, freelance work and the gig economy is commonplace, and partaking in this type of work can be a great way to top up your bank account until you get a steady job. Most industries have some type of freelance work available, whether that’s offering a service, working on a project or filling in for a permanent employee. Better yet, freelance work is often something you can do from home around your own schedule, so it won’t prevent you from actively looking for a new job and going to interviews. You could also consider the increasingly popular option of teaching English online. The best way to get yourself set up to teach is by getting a TEFL qualification.
#6 – Insurance
Another way to protect yourself financially from losing your job is to buy income protection insurance while you are still employed. While you may already have short-term disability insurance, medical insurance, or be protected under workers’ compensation, income protection insurance provides a monthly benefit to maintain your current lifestyle while looking for new employment. The pay-out is based on the insurance plan you purchase, but it’s designed to provide financial security during insecure times. In short, it will help you cover your bills while looking for a new job. This will help you stay on top of monthly expenses and stay out of debt.