Steps to Take in The Aftermath of a Job Loss

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No one relishes losing a job. Depending on your income level and where you live, being let go can prove financially ruinous in the short term. When dealing with job loss, the temptation to wallow in pity and retreat into oneself can be overwhelming. While feelings of depression and aggravation in response to sudden unemployment are perfectly understandable, becoming mired in these emotions can ultimately prove detrimental to both your job search and mental health. Anyone looking to hit the ground running in the aftermath of a job loss will be well-served by the following pointers.

Request a Clear Reason for Your Dismissal

People are often let go or furloughed as a result of circumstances that are completely out of their control. Their job loss isn’t the result of anything they did – or didn’t do – but rather a byproduct of downsizing and/or financial problems being experienced by their employers. However, if you suspect you’re not being given the full story behind your dismissal, it may be in your best interest to request a clear reason for why you’re being let go. Of course, when doing so, make a point of being as non-confrontational as possible. If your boss feels as though this request is being made out of spite, they may not be keen on providing the answers you seek.

An accurate accounting of why you’ve been let go may provide you with a solid understanding of things you need to work on and what sorts of qualities rub employers the wrong way. Additionally, if you feel that you were wrongfully terminated, receiving the reason for your dismissal in writing can give you an important piece of evidence to work with should you decide to pursue legal action.

Work with an Outplacement Consultant

If your employer provides outplacement consultancy services, you’d do well to take advantage of them. A knowledgeable outplacement consultant will help prepare you for what lies ahead and assist you in securing new employment in a timely manner. Among other things, outplacement consultants provide assistance with resume updates, interview prep and job coaching. No matter how displeased you are with your employer’s decision to let you go, don’t let your frustration prevent you from working with their consultants.

Reach Out to Your Network

In the wake of a job loss, summoning the strength to search for new employment can be an uphill battle. The longer you’ve been at a job, the harder the loss of that job is likely to hit. Fortunately, with a dependable network by your side, you won’t have to go it alone. Professional contacts, family members and close friends can provide you with valuable emotional support, as well as leads on potential opportunities. It’s often said that most jobs are landed based on who people know. While this isn’t true in every case, the people in your network can have a profound impact on your career prospects. As such, no matter how bad a recent job loss has you down, reaching out to your network should be among the first things you do upon finding yourself jobless.

Contacting References

Once you begin the search for a new job in earnest, you’ll need to get in touch with both current and prospective references. In the case of the former, you’ll be letting them know that they may be contacted by potential employers in the near future. In the case of the latter, you’ll be requesting their permission to be listed as references. This is where amicably parting ways with previous employers can pay off. If your termination was purely the result of downsizing or financial problems, your former bosses may be happy to provide you with glowing recommendations.   

Few things are more devastating than sudden job loss. With the cost of living steadily on the rise, losing a job can place you and your loved ones in a truly precarious situation. While there’s no denying the financial and emotional impact of being let go, it’s important to avoid becoming overwhelmed by feelings of dread and despair. If you’ve recently found yourself ejected from the workforce, putting the previously discussed tips to good use can help you navigate the choppy waters of unemployment.