I Lost my Job, Now What?

Unfortunately, many people have lost their jobs over the past few years.  Companies go out of business, “reorganize”, merge or have job reductions to improve the bottom line. While every industry is different, all industries have felt the pain and there is a knock-on impact on other businesses caused by job loss. Many people find themselves out of work and the difficulty of finding a new job is challenging to say the least.

Losing your job is incredibly stressful.  Our job partly defines who we are and the means by which we live. The stages of emotional change caused by job loss are very similar to the stages of grief when losing a loved one:

  1. Denial and Shock
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Guilt
  5. Depression
  6. Resolution and reorganization

Related Book ReviewKeeping Your Head After Losing Your Job: How to Survive Unemployment – This book, by Robert Leahy, is a very good guide to dealing with the stress related to job loss. There are some tools to help you face some of the difficulties encountered in job loss as well as tips for family members.

Just about everyone experiences these stages. How long they last is different for everyone, but the sooner you get to resolution the sooner you can move forward with your career search.

What to do first:

  • Apply for unemployment – Not a pleasant first task, but it is important.  You’ve paid your taxes and others have benefited by unemployment benefits, now it’s your turn.  You may feel that the amount is so small it doesn’t matter, but even $50 dollars per week is more than $0.  Additionally, some unemployment offices provide career advice and leads.
  • Enhance Your Resume – If you don’t already have an updated resume, now is the time. Take a look at 5 Steps to a Great Resume
  • Companies you want to work for – Make a list of the companies you want to work for and start applying to their websites (look at the New Location post for tips).
  • Business Social Networks – Look at the last post on this.  Once you’ve joined, you should leverage contacts who work for the companies where you may want to work.  Sites like LinkedIn will tell you if you know someone who works at one of your target companies (or if you know someone who knows someone).
  • College alumni Associations – Check out your college alumni association as well as your colleges job recruiting center.  These can be great resources.
  • Job Search Planning – Different things work for different people, but everyone should have a plan.  Don’t focus too much time on any one method of job search.  It is best to spread your time (every day) across:
    • Job Search Sites
    • Headhunters/Recruiters
    • Company Websites
    • Contacts

Your full time job is looking for a job.  Stay motivated, look at the prior blogs on this site and leverage all of the resources available on and off the Internet.

We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.

Good luck in your search,


New Careeralley Full Logo Small Cropped

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

Comments on this entry are closed.