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Losing your job can be an extremely stressful and overwhelming life event. Whether you’ve been downsized, your position was eliminated, or the company closed its doors, losing your job is a difficult time.

Since it’s a tough thing to handle, knowing how to go about it can help to alleviate stress and prepare you for your job search. But what is the first thing you should do? How should you strategize ahead to secure a new job? What can you do in between to reduce your stress and anxiety?

Let’s take a closer look at what you should do in the event that you lose your job.

Steps to take after you lose your job

Losing your job suddenly can be a big blow to your self-esteem and confidence. You lose out on your daily routine, sense of security, and can feel isolated no longer having co-workers to talk to daily. Plus, the uncertainty of what to do next and how you’ll pay your bills can be overwhelming.

Here’s what you can do in the very first few days of losing your job:

Give yourself time to adjust

Accept that you are facing a setback in life and give yourself the space to address the problem. Staying in denial will only keep you from taking proactive measures to get a new job. Avoid finding your faults in the entire situation. Look at it as a silver lining to go ahead and find a better job.

Figure out your strengths and future goals

Once you’ve had time to adjust to the situation both mentally and emotionally and feel better about it, begin the groundwork to finding a new job. You don’t have to start looking and applying to every job post right away.

Take some time to identify your strong suit and figure out the kind of new opportunities you want to go for. Think long and hard about your future goals.

This helps you determine which kind of job you wish to go for and what kind of companies you want to explore. If you possess transferable skills, you might even shift your industry and go for a completely different job.

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Steps to take to help you find a new job

Now that you’ve figured out how you want to go ahead with your new situation, work toward these new goals by using your strengths.

Begin networking

You may or may not have been networking in the past. However, losing your job is the best time to get started with this and let your network know that you’re looking for new opportunities. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about in letting people know that you are out of a job.

These things are just part of life. What matters is that you are taking efforts to better the situation. Also, you don’t need to give them the complete history of what happened and why it happened. Focus more on what skills you possess and what you are looking for next.

Prepare your narrative

It’s likely that you will be asked about why you are looking for a new job in your future interviews. So, it’s a good idea to prepare a narrative and figure out what you should say if you are asked about it. You wouldn’t want to make up a vague answer on the spot and make the interviewer suspicious.

Find a positive way to explain the situation, why it didn’t work out and what you hope to gain moving forward.

Keep a check on your finances

There is a clear uncertainty about when you’ll be able to have a steady monthly income. That’s why it’s a crucial time to check on your finances and create a strict budget for the next few months.

You might want to avoid making heavy purchases and only focus on essentials. Make sure that everything is in order so you can see what is and what is not needed. Also, assess your life and health insurance needs and create a plan to find coverage until your next job.

Things you can do in the time between jobs

The period in between jobs, especially when you are still searching and trying to chalk out a good path to move forward, can be overwhelming. Here are some things to focus on to help you both professionally and personally.

Spend time with family and friends

Seeking emotional support is incredibly important in such tough times. Open up to your friends and family and speak to them about your situation. You don’t have to necessarily focus on the bad. Try to figure out with them where you went wrong and areas you can focus on improving.

Redefine yourself

You could spend some time learning a new skill online or develop a new hobby. There are numerous online courses that are both free and resourceful. If you have the funds, you could look for more in-depth courses or online training that is inexpensive, but well worth it.

Hobbies like gardening, reading a book, or going for a hike can help alleviate stress and keep you mentally energized.

Exercise and eat well

You don’t need to go all in and use up all your free time to exercise or train for a marathon. Instead use some of the time you have off to do light workouts, stretch out your body and feel relaxed and refreshed.

Also, eating a healthy diet can will keep you from feeling lethargic and unmotivated to do anything.

Getting your life back on track

Job loss brings with it a lot of stress and uncertainty about your future. However, mulling over how unfair the situation is won’t do you any good. Get up, create a plan for yourself, and work towards securing your finances and career as soon as you’re ready.

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