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I Lost my Job, Now What?

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Table of Contents  
  1. Lost my Job
  2. What to do first:

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Lost my Job

Unfortunately, people lose their jobs all of the time.  There is nothing worse than going home and telling your spouse “I lost my job”. 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 at some point 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.

Everyone of us has, at some point in our career, been directly impacted or have a friend or family member that has been impacted by job loss.

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Losing your job is incredibly stressful.  Our job partly defines who we are and the means by which we live, not to mention putting food on the table. 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


There are many resources to help deal with a job loss, such as Keeping Your Head After Losing Your Job: How to Survive Unemployment – This book is a very good guide to dealing with the stress related to job loss.

Fighting FIRED With Fire: A Guide to Coping with Job Loss
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“Being fired and laid off are two distinct ways of losing your position, and the difference can impact your eligibility for unemployment, as well as your hiring prospects for the future. – Alison Doyle”

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

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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 from 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 job 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
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  • 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 college’s job recruiting center.  These can be great resources.

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

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.

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