Losing your job causes a range of unsettling emotions, from frustration to fear. One day you’re working 9 -5 to make ends meet, and the next day you’re wondering how you’re going to pay your bills. But it’s a pretty common experience, and chances are you’ll be fired or let go from at least one job in your lifetime.
But losing your job isn’t the end of your story, nor does it have to be a dark period in your life. Instead of letting yourself spiral into a depression, follow these steps to get back on your feet:
Figure out what happened.
It can be easy to blame yourself or point fingers at a backstabbing boss, but it’s more likely that your termination was a combination of other factors. Was the job a good fit for your skills? Did you work as hard as you possibly could have? Were you a team player, even during tough times? It’s important for you to get to the root of all the reasons you were let go – it will help you learn and be more successful in your next role.
Update your resume and LinkedIn.
As soon as you’re in the market for a job, polish up your old resume. Does it include your most current position, and does it make your experience sound as impressive as it is? Make sure it’s been given a comprehensive copy edit – a resume with errors will likely be thrown in the trash before it’s ever been read by a hiring manager. Next, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date. Don’t have a LinkedIn? Set up a page immediately. It’s a free and helpful tool for digital networking.
Network all the time.
Make sure all of your family, friends and colleagues know you’re looking for a new gig, and network constantly. At the doctor’s office? Mention that you’re in the market for a job. It may seem obscure, but you never know who has a cousin or uncle in your field that’s hiring. Research networking events in your area that pertain to your industry and attend as many as you can.
Schedule time to job hunt.
It can be easy to fall into an unemployment lull – sleeping in late, going shopping during the day and partying late into the night. But this routine won’t help you find a job. Pledge to spend at least five hours a day searching and applying for jobs, and hold yourself to that schedule.
Practice interviewing with your friends.
If it’s been awhile since you’ve interviewed, your skills may need polishing. Ask a trusted friend to ask you common interview questions and grade you on your responses. They should offer you candid feedback and help you improve your rough patches. Run through practice interviews until you feel completely confident.
Though it’s never an easy experience, losing your job doesn’t mean you aren’t destined for success. Instead, it can provide you with an opportunity to breathe some new life into your career and find a position that’s a better fit.
No matter how long you spend looking for a new job, don’t forget to count on your loved ones for support. They’ll remind you how great you are and that something better is out there – you just have to find it!