Losing your job can be a painful experience.
I’ve met several people who have been through job loss.
Every person tends to react differently. Some find themselves in a haze, unable to get a grasp on reality. They are quiet and sad. Some feel as though they are in a whirlwind, chaos seems to be everywhere. They are verbose and frantic.
And they all find themselves asking, “What do I do next?”
While there is no silver bullet to make everything that has gone wrong right, I can provide a few suggestions that might be a good next step after losing a job. Maybe, if you are in this situation now, it can bring some clarity in a time of great confusion.
- Pray. I have watched God do some remarkable things with those who face job loss. I have seen faith stretched and strengthened. I have seen men and women learn to be more like Jesus. So pray. But not just for a job. Pray that God will use this moment to shape you a little more into the man or woman He desires you to be.
- Consider why you were let go. The job loss may have nothing to do with you at all, just a financial decision the organization made. But it also may be because of you. Reflecting on your deficiencies as an employee isn’t fun. However, learning from past mistakes can help decrease the odds that you will not be let go again. Like the first point, God may be using this time to teach you something about yourself.
- Refuse to wallow in self-pity. Don’t let joblessness define you. Sulking causes stagnation. And you need to move forward. Self-pity is a waste of time. You don’t have time to waste.
- Focus on the future. Start looking ahead. There is little you can do to make the past better, but there is a ton you can do to make the future better.
- Evaluate your finances. Get a good grip on your money situation. When does your savings run out? What personal budget cuts do you need to make?
- Determine whether or not you can file for unemployment. You do this through your state. If you were let go for reasons beyond your control, you may be eligible. However, if you voluntarily quit or were fired for poor performance or behavior, your eligibility chances are slim.
- Determine your healthcare options. Per federal law, you may still be able to purchase your employer’s group plan for a specified time. You will probably have to pay the full cost of the insurance so it can be expensive. But for some, it may be worth it.
- Update your resume. Make sure your resume reflects all recent accomplishments.
- Reflect on your career. Were you satisfied and happy? Or would you like to try a different field? If you’ve ever wanted to make a career change, now is a great opportunity to try it out.
- Contact you network. Send them your updated resume. Make sure your network knows that you are searching for a new job.
- Make it your job to find a job. Don’t waste your days. Make finding a job your new full-time job. Be aggressive when hunting for a job. The more work you put into your job search, the more opportunities you will find.
It stinks to lose a job. But you can bounce back from it. Many have been where you are right now. They have experienced the pain and confusion you now feel. And yet, they were able to move forward. With prayer and hard work, it is likely that you can as well.
And remember, God can use this difficult time in your life to teach you something important about yourself and, more than likely, about Him.