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Five things you should do after you’ve lost your job

Career Tips By Audrey Masitsa
It can be disorienting suddenly finding yourself out of a job (Photo: Shutterstock)

Covid-19 has brought with it not only health concerns but economic ones as well. Many people have lost their jobs or been put on unpaid leave with no word as to when they will be able to get back to work.

If you’ve found yourself in this situation, you might be wondering what next? Losing your job is anybody’s nightmare. Whether or not you have a family to support, lacking a source of income is bound to affect how you live your life.

Below are some tips to help you navigate these uncertain waters and come out on top.

1. Stay calm

As uncertain and heart-wrenching as being told you’re being let go might be, it’s important to keep your cool especially when you’re speaking to the HR person or whoever is telling you that you’re being let go. Avoid yelling, cursing or using your social media platforms to bad-mouth your former employer. Remember, you need them to write you a good recommendation letter.

Ask as many questions as you want for instance, the reason behind your being sacked, when it takes effect and if there’s a severance package.

2. Work on your budget

One of the first questions you’re bound to ask yourself is how you’ll manage to settle your bills. Inasmuch as you might be tempted to spend days in bed feeling sorry for yourself, because who wouldn’t, you need to make the necessary financial adjustments as soon as possible.

If you have a partner, discuss what changes you might have to make now that only one of you has an income. Do you need to move to a cheaper residence, reduce expenditure on entertainment, change the kids’ schools? Can you look for better, cheaper deals on groceries?

If you have loans that you were paying off, speak to your bank on any reprieve they can give you. Consider unsubscribing from non-essential services or downgrading subscriptions to the internet or TV.

In short, streamline your budget to reduce your expenditure as much as possible.

Reach out to your friends and ask them to inform you of suitable opportunities (Photo: Shutterstock)

3. Restrategize your next move careerwise

Now is the best time to think about what you want to do next as regards your career. If you have enough savings to last you a while, you can take time looking for something that sparks joy. Otherwise, sit down and write a plan on how you’ll tackle this difficult job market. Do you want to go back to employment or would you rather be self-employed?

Reach out to your friends and ask them to let you know of any suitable opportunities. Use online platforms to update your profile and skills and reach out to people in your industry.

4. Develop your personal brand

Since you have more free time now, get to work building your personal brand. Streamline your social media pages to reflect your brand. Create content on topics that interest you and share them among friends and professional peers. Ensure that you don’t get lost in the labyrinth that is unemployment. Try as best as you can to stay relevant and known.

5. Keep learning

Make use of the thousands of online courses available to either sharpen or gain new skills. Ensure that you take out time every day to read up on the changing trends in your industry.

Inasmuch as it looks like your world is falling apart, losing your job provides you with an opportunity to start anew and hopefully move to the next phase of your career.

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