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What To Do If You Lose Your Job

A man is standing in front of a computer screen that says he has unfortunately lost his job.

Many people are probably worried about their jobs. It’s a tough market out there, and if you were to lose your job, what would you do next?

The good news is there are some significant steps you can take to get everything back on track, and even if you think your job is safe, it’s wise to know what those steps are because, in the end, the future isn’t something you can predict and anything can happen. With that in mind, here are some things you’ll need to do if you lose your job. 

Take A Deep Breath

If you get fired or made redundant for any reason, the first thing you’re likely to do is panic – you won’t have a job anymore, and you’ll be concerned about all kinds of things, from paying your rent to your career in the future and much more. That’s why you need to take a moment to gather yourself and take a deep breath. Or take a lot of deep breaths, slowly and calmly, because you won’t be able to do anything else until you can think straight. 

Instead of being completely taken over by fear and despair, try to use the first few days to reassess and reevaluate your life and career – this could be the catalyst you need to look at other options, but even if you do decide to stay in the same sector, that breathing space will help you prepare to find your next job. 

Look At Your Finances

The most worrying part of losing your job will always be money – let’s face it, most of us wouldn’t be working if money wasn’t necessary. So that’s why one of the first things to do once you’re calm is to look at your finances and see how much you have in savings. You’ll need to use that to live on until you find a job, and that could mean cutting back quite a lot, but it’s far better to know about it than to pretend there’s no issue and run out quickly. 

If you don’t have any savings, you might be tempted to take the severance package you were offered, but that’s not always a good idea. Speaking to an expert regarding your severance agreement is wise to ensure it’s fair before you agree to anything. In the meantime, talk to anyone you need to pay and let them know your situation – a lot of the time, you’ll be able to work something out. 

Start Searching

Taking those two or three days after you first lose your job is essential to help get your head in the right place to move forward, but don’t take too long because the sooner you start job hunting, the sooner you’ll land a job and stop worrying. 

Update your resume and LinkedIn profile (this is especially important if you’ve been working in the same place for a long time and haven’t even looked at these things for years), and make sure you do plenty of networking – speak to your colleagues and friends and see if anyone knows of any positions you’d be suitable for.  

This is also the ideal opportunity to use your new spare time wisely; you could get further qualifications or brush up on your skills to become the perfect candidate for your next role. 

Find Your Strengths

The period of joblessness, though distressing, can also be a time of reflection and growth. Have you ever asked yourself what you're truly good at? What sets you apart from others? These questions often go unasked in the hustle of daily life. Now is the time to explore your inner landscape and identify your strengths. Are you a people person, adept at resolving conflicts? Or your forte lies in analyzing data and identifying trends. Recognizing your unique abilities will boost your self-confidence and help you position yourself better in the job market.

Embrace Change and Adaptability

In this ever-evolving job market, adaptability is critical. It might be time to consider stepping out of your comfort zone and exploring new industries or roles. Do you remember when you had to adapt to new circumstances and discovered something incredible? You can use those memories as a metaphor for your current situation. Change can be scary, but it is also the only constant. Embrace it. This job loss may be the universe's way of nudging you toward a better career.


Being jobless felt like being in a maze with no exit in sight. But as I navigated through the uncertainty, I realized it was an opportunity to reassess my life and career. I took a deep breath, looked at my finances, and started job hunting. But beyond the practical actions, I discovered my strengths and learned to embrace change and adaptability. I know now that job loss is not an end but a new beginning.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do immediately after losing my job?
Take a deep breath and reassess your life and career. Look at your finances and start job hunting.

Why is it important to know my strengths?
Knowing your strengths can help you position yourself better in the job market and boost your self-confidence.

Should I be open to changing industries or roles?
In today's evolving job market, adaptability is critical. It could be beneficial to explore new industries or roles.

How can I use my jobless time wisely?
You can use this time to get new qualifications or improve your skills, making you a better candidate for your next role.

How long should I wait before starting my job search?
You should begin your job search as soon as possible, ideally within a few days of losing your job.

How should I update my resume after losing my job?
You can focus on the skills and experiences you gained in your previous job and tailor your resume to fit the jobs you're applying to.

What role does networking play in finding a new job?
Networking can play a significant role in finding a new job, as it can help you discover opportunities that may be private.

Is it okay to take a break after losing my job?
While taking a short break to regroup and reassess your situation is okay, I think starting your job search is essential as soon as possible.

How can I manage my finances after losing my job?
Reviewing your savings and expenses and adjusting your budget is important. You should also look into any severance pay or unemployment benefits you are eligible for.

Can losing my job be a good thing?
While losing your job can be stressful, it can also be an opportunity for growth and change. It allows you to reassess your career path, discover your strengths, and find a better job for you.

How can I stay positive after losing my job?
Staying positive can be challenging after losing a job, but focusing on your strengths, embracing change, and staying proactive in your job search can help.

What new skills should I learn to enhance my job prospects?
The skills you should learn depend on your industry and the type of job you're seeking. I'd appreciate it if you could research job postings in your desired field and see what skills employers seek.

How can I explain my job loss in an interview?
Be honest and concise. Focus on what you learned from the experience and how you use it to advance your career.

How should I deal with feelings of rejection after job loss?
It's normal to feel rejected after a job loss. Contact your support network, seek professional help if necessary, and remember that your job does not define your worth.

What are some effective job-hunting strategies?
Some effective strategies include tailoring your resume to each job you apply for, utilizing your network, and using online job search resources.

Should I consider freelancing or self-employment?
If it suits your skill set and career goals, freelancing or self-employment can be viable.

How can I take care of my mental health during this period?
Engage in activities you enjoy, maintain a routine, eat healthily, exercise regularly, stay connected with loved ones, and seek professional help.

Why is it important to embrace change after a job loss?
Embracing change can open new opportunities and help you adapt to the evolving job market.

Is it advisable to accept my first job offer after losing my job?
While you may be eager to return to work, ensuring that the job is a good fit for you regarding responsibilities, company culture, and compensation is essential.

What should I do if I feel stuck in my job search?
Please feel free to seek help from a career counselor, job search coach, or mentor. They can provide you with personalized advice and new perspectives.

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