There are various reasons why anyone can end up getting laid off from their job. But if you know that the prospects of you getting laid off from your current employer seems imminent, then it’s better to start planning and learning how to prepare for unemployment.
Unemployment can be scary, in fact, job loss is one of the most stressful events in your life, according to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale. However, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. You can find a new job and you should! Prepare yourself for unemployment and you will feel better about life in general. Let’s take a look at things you should be doing if you are becoming unemployed and what to do.
List your essential outgoings
Being prepared for unemployment is a noble goal that is easier said than done. Most people prepare for unemployment by putting aside money from every paycheck and setting it aside in a savings account. This is a good start but you should go further if you want to be sure that you will not run out of money and can continue to live comfortably after losing your job.
A better way to prepare for unemployment is to figure out exactly how much you spend each month on everything including housing, transportation, groceries, utilities and toiletries. Once you have this information calculate how much money you would need to live off each month if you were unemployed. This will give you an idea of how much money you need to save in order to live a comfortable life without having to worry about your finances while unemployed.
When doing this look to identify luxury spends and unnecessary things you can afford to go without if your savings aren’t as strong as you’d like. A temporary sacrifice now can go a long way and they can easily be reinstated once you’re back in stable employment.
Be proactive in seeking new employment
Finding a job is easier than it used to be thanks to the internet, but it’s still something that can seem daunting. Consider the below points when beginning your job hunt.
- Specify what you want. Rather than looking for “any job,” be specific about the type of work you’re seeking. Tailor your resume to the type of work you are looking for and invest your time into finding those types of jobs. If you are looking to move into an area you haven’t worked in before, now is a great time to learn what you require in order to acquire those jobs.
- Your chances of getting hired quicker can increase if you utilise your professional network. If you have good relationships with colleagues from past employers or have friends or family members working for companies who are hiring jobs you might be interested in, reach out to them. A personal recommendation from a trusted source can go a long way in acquiring a new job. As the old cliche saying goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know!
- Get to work on your resume/CV. A stellar resume that is up to date with your employment history, qualifications and achievements is a vital tool in applying for many jobs. Take the time to make yours look the best to really stand out and impress any job recruiter or hiring manager who receives it.
- Use social media appropriately, remember that employers are watching social media sites now too. Don’t overshare negative details about your impending job loss and make unprofessional remarks about your soon to be previous employer. Social media can also be a great source for finding jobs in your local area, especially short term or part-time work to keep you earning while searching for something more permanent.
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What to do with vacation days
Seek to understand what your current employer’s position is on unused vacation days. If you will be receiving financial compensation when you leave in line with the number of unused days you have then you could factor this into your budgeting process for living once you become unemployed.
Alternatively, vacation days could be used to attend job interviewers at a prospective new employer or even for any skills training and courses you are looking to do to support you in gaining employment again.
How to deal with the stress
Whatever the cause of losing a job it can be stressful, and it’s important to deal with that stress in a healthy way.
The first step is to accept that you’re going through what might become a hard and challenging time. Don’t try to deny it or pretend it isn’t happening. It might help to talk to someone about your feelings, whether it’s a close friend, family member or counsellor. If you’re in denial about your situation, you can end up making bad decisions and waiting too long before doing something about your situation.
Once you’ve accepted the position you find yourself in, start thinking about ways to move on. Some people spend too much time beating themselves up about things that were within or without their control when they should be focusing on what the future holds for them.
After you’ve got clear on your situation, take time to think about what you really want out of life and how working can help you get there. Having ambition is great and admirable but also be realistic in your approach. Whether you are seeking similar employment to what you currently have or even if you are striving for greatness and new heights, put together a plan on how you will get there.
File for unemployment benefits as soon as possible
The best time to file for unemployment benefits is immediately after you lose your job. Having an amount of money still landing in your bank regularly can go a long way in covering your monthly outgoings and giving you some peace of mind while you hunt for a new job.
You might be looking for a job longer than you expected, or find that it takes longer than you anticipated to get back on your feet financially after losing your job. Unemployment benefits can help bridge the gap between jobs and keep you from falling into debt while you’re still looking for work.
It can be scary to think about becoming unemployed. However, it is best to be prepared and take the necessary steps to find a new job. If you are certain that your time with your current employer will be ending then hopefully the above ideas on becoming unemployed and what to do will help you in preparing for unemployment.