5 Things You Should Do If You Lose Your Job

Job loss is an intimidating issue that many people are forced to face these days. And no matter how stressed, embarrassed, or angry you feel about it – know that you can and will get through it. The best place you can put your energy is toward positive efforts to take control of your situation to the best of your abilities, as soon as possible.

Step 1: Keep calm, leave peacefully, and protect yourself.

Regardless of why you lost your job, don’t vent on your employer and say anything that you’ll likely regret. Keep communications brief and professional. And if you’re asked to sign a separation or termination agreement upon leaving, take time to look over the document before signing it.

Step 2: Get organized.

Get a personal email address if you don’t already have one – preferably an address using your first and last name.

Send a brief, professional email to your contacts to let them know that you are no longer with your former company; and ask everyone to update your contact information in their address books. (Don’t go into details. Save those for the one-on-one meetings with your contacts.)

Update your resume and references list.

File for unemployment.

Figure out your insurance situation and know that you can apply for COBRA.

Be responsible with your budget and reign in unnecessary spending before it becomes a problem.

Step 3: Clean up your social media.

Don’t bash your previous employer on social media. But do join LinkedIn and Facebook if you don’t already have an account, or update your current profiles. “Online networking and rah, rah self-promotion through social media channels is a little awkward for many of us, but with practice it gets easier,” says Kerry Hannon, a Forbes blogger writing for boomers about money, jobs and aging issues. Hannon suggests uploading a professional headshot (or at least a good-looking photo, even if you took it with your iPhone).

“Facebook is friendly, but rein it in,” says Hannon. “If you set your privacy settings properly, and highlight your work experience and education on your profile, the site has lots to offer. It’s OK to list your hobbies and comment or post articles you find interesting, but keep it in good taste. Think of Facebook as a way to let people learn a little about you. Plus, you are building your network with people who know you from high school and college. Trust me, they can turn out to be great sources when you’re job hunting. You never know where you might get an introduction to a potential employer, or hear of a job opening.”

Step 4: Evaluate your career direction.

Now is the perfect time to take a moment to re-evaluation your career direction. On this blog, we have many articles that will help you with finding a new, fulfilling career.

Step 5: Keep calm and carry on.

Try your best to stay positive and take care of yourself. It’s important to get enough sleep and exercise to stay emotionally balanced and focused on your goals. With time and persistence, everything will work out, as it always does somehow.

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