Losing a job is always a tremendous hardship, but there are things you can do to limit your losses and preserve your finances. Here are five ways to stay in control, if you get that dreaded pink slip.
- Change your spending. The very first thing you should immediately do upon losing your job is change your spending so that you only spend money on what you absolutely must. Cancel cable, magazines, newspapers, streaming video services and any other routine bill that isn’t essential to your survival. You also need to find a way to lower your grocery spending and reduce your utility bills.
- Start looking for a new job immediately. You may need to take a day to clear your head and get over your hurt, but it’s important that you start looking for—and applying to—new jobs quickly after losing one. Even if you receive a severance, don’t take a week off or reassess your priorities; start looking for positions that fit your knowledge, experience and skill set and start booking interviews.
- Go to a temp agency. You can’t know when you’re finally going to get a full-time position, so you might as well sign up with a temp agency to find temporary work that keeps some income coming in.
- File your unemployment claim. It can take a while for your claim to be processed and for checks to start coming in, so the sooner you claim unemployment, the better. Don’t assume that you’ll quickly get another job and won’t need the benefits. While it’ll be great if that’s how things end up, there are no guarantees.
- Work your connections. Applying for jobs is a start, but you also need to talk to people you know and find out about openings that a friend of a friend might have. This can lead to faster employment and temporary positions that help bridge the gap until you find a new permanent position.
A job loss hurts your pride but it’s important that you try to push your emotional reaction aside and focus on taking positive, proactive steps to getting back on track.