Managing the loss of any job is incredibly stressful, but the stress can be heightened even more when you lose your job suddenly. If you weren’t prepared to find a new job or weren’t even looking into a new job, you might have no idea where to start.
Fortunately, while losing your job can be very painful, there are many things you can do to help ease the stress, both personally and financially. If you just lost your job, look no further than this article for some helpful tips.
The Current Job Market
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on virtually every aspect of our lives for the past two years, but it has affected the job market especially. Many people lost their jobs suddenly as a result of the pandemic, and many others were laid off throughout the last two years as a result of pandemic losses. As a result, the current job market is unique and truly unlike anything America has seen before. With this in mind, be kind to yourself if you lose your job. And if you are having trouble getting a new one (or even a side job), recognize you’re not alone.
How To Manage Job Loss Emotionally
This article’s first section will discuss how you can emotionally manage a job loss. Aside from the obvious financial strain that losing your job suddenly will have on you, there are also a lot of personal and emotional stressors. Easing your unemployment stress will not only help you find a new job but will also help you relax in the meantime and not drive yourself crazy.
Allow Yourself to Grieve
Allow yourself to grieve and be sad about the loss of your job. It’s normal! You may have been with the same company for years. And perhaps you had coworkers or a role you really loved. It’s totally okay to be upset.
You don’t need to start looking for a new job the day after you lose your current one. Instead, take some time to feel your emotions and go easy on yourself. You probably worked very hard to get your current job, so allow yourself to be sad about losing it.
Reach Out To Others
Reaching out to friends and people around you can help you feel like you have more of a support network after losing your job. If you have lost touch with some old friends or have gone a long time without seeing loved ones who live far away, invest some time in talking with them and reconnecting. You might feel like you have lost your network when you lose your job, but reaching out to others can help you regain a new kind of network.
Engage In New Hobbies
Have you always wanted to start a new hobby but have never had time because of your stressful job? Even though losing a job is emotionally difficult, you now have some time to practice some skills or engage in a new hobby. Take up painting, start doing exercise classes, or do an online course to learn a new side hustle.
Get Involved In Your Community
After losing your job, one great way to give back and improve your karma is to get involved with your community. Find out ways you can volunteer and improve the conditions of your neighborhood or town. For example, pay attention to local politics, volunteer your time or skills, or fill up your local free pantry/food sharing services.
Giving back to your community can be incredibly rewarding and altruistic, and who knows? You may even be able to network and find a terrific new job along the way.
Open Up To Family
Opening up to your family about your job loss can help them understand how to best support you emotionally and financially. If your family doesn’t know that you have lost your job, they can’t help you. So they may not understand how they can change their daily habits, spending limits, or other behaviors that can make it easier on the whole family.
If your family is on the same page, it will most likely help you feel less anxious about money. In addition, this topic is especially important to explain to children, who may not at first be able to understand what it means to lose a stream of income.
How To Manage Job Loss Financially
The following section will cover how you can manage your job loss financially. Finances and emotions go hand-in-hand, as having better control of your finances will make you feel better emotionally and vice versa.
File For Unemployment
If you weren’t fired because of something you were at fault for, you should certainly be able to file for unemployment. However, you may still be eligible if you were fired, depending on the circumstances of your termination.
Taking unemployment benefits is nothing to be ashamed of, as you contribute to it with your own tax dollars. Unemployment benefits will give you some percentage of your paycheck as you get back on your feet.
Check On Your Insurance
Contact your Human Resources department or manager at your current job to see about your options for continuing insurance. You never want to be without health insurance in case something unexpected happens. So make sure you either continue your current insurance or figure out how to get a new policy.
If you are approved for unemployment, your unemployment checks will still be less than your current paychecks. So you will need to ensure you budget carefully for the money you will receive on unemployment.
If you continue as if nothing has changed, you will likely be quickly in debt. You’ll need to adjust your spending habits and expectations to make sure you cover the most critical expenses first. There are many excellent budgeting apps out there that can help you during this transition.
Adjust Your Resume
If you need to look for a new job, there is no better time than now to adjust your resume. Update your resume with your most recent job experiences, including any awards or accolades.
Having a clean, updated resume will make you more appealing to potential employers and allow you to get a new job quicker. There are many free resume templates online. And you can even find some explicitly tailored to your skills or industry.
Clean Up Your Social Media Accounts
You may have gotten comfortable posting on social media at your old job, especially if the company knew you well and you were there for a long time. However, you should consider cleaning up your social media profiles. Make sure you don’t have anything potentially unprofessional or inflammatory posted that could turn away any potential employers.
Side Hustles as a Stopgap Method
A stopgap method is essentially a temporary substitute until you can find a more permanent solution. For example, after losing your job and primary income stream, your stopgap method might be finding a side hustle to give yourself additional income until you find a new job.
Many people use gig work, such as paid surveys. You can make money taking surveys to help fill in some gaps in your income. Plus, they are easy and convenient. You can do them from your smartphone 24/7 and make take surveys to make money whenever you have a few extra minutes.
Other side hustles include delivering food, pet sitting, online tutoring, and many other part-time gigs. While they may not replace your old paycheck, side hustles are great for buying a few groceries or keeping up with a credit card payment. In addition, earning some extra money while searching for a new job will lift some of the financial and emotional burdens of being unemployed.