When you lose your job, it can feel like the world is collapsing in on itself. Your job is the backbone of your life. It informs your social schedule, dictates your body clock, and tells you how much time you’re spending with your family. When you lose that pillar of your life, it’s hard to know what to do next or how to replace it. You feel like you’re at a loss, and even though you’re searching for jobs as often as you can, it’s tough to fill your days.
The first thing you need to do is develop a plan. Remaining stagnant for too long can seriously impact your ability to get out there and put yourself back on the job market. If you’ve got a concrete idea of what to do next, the process of picking yourself up and re-entering the world of work will go much more smoothly. Luckily, there’s plenty you can do to make your life and your subsequent job search more effective. Here’s what you should do next if you happen to lose your job.
Apply for benefits
If you didn’t leave your job of your own volition, you’re likely eligible for benefits. You can apply for Jobseekers’ Allowance through the official UK government website. Your job search likely won’t take too long, but you can never be sure, so it pays to have at least a small amount of money keeping you afloat. If you’re in need of money on a more immediate basis, you could consider applying for a loan. Find yourself a company that provides good rates on loans for people on benefits and enjoy more lenient repayment terms while you search for a job.
Create a new budget
Whatever budget you had in place while you were working is unfortunately now likely to be less relevant to your life. As such, you should start working immediately on a new budget for your household. Be realistic about the amount of money that’s available to you; if you spend beyond your means, you’ll quickly find yourself running out. You should be fairly strict with yourself, as the more money you’re able to save month-to-month, the less you’ll feel the time without a full-time income.
While you’re searching for a job, you should be using your time effectively. Rather than simply waiting for companies to call you back, be proactive. Contact more companies, distribute your CV, and think about volunteering. You won’t be earning any money while you’re doing so, but on the positive side, you can still claim your allowance and volunteer simultaneously. It looks great on your CV, employers will like that you’re doing something while you search for jobs, and it’ll make you feel good about yourself, too.
Update your CV
If you’ve been in work for a long time, then your CV is probably in need of a little tender loving care. You’ll need to update it with your most recent change in employment, but while you’re there, a little extra attention couldn’t hurt. Make sure you’re making your CV look eye-catching and enticing for employers. The better your CV is, the more chance you have of being noticed and standing out from the crowd. If you just use your old CV, employers will get the distinct impression you don’t care and pass you over.
Practice your interview technique
It’s probably been quite a while since you’ve had to be interviewed for anything, let alone a job. As such, your technique might be a little rusty. If you can, enlist the help of family members or friends to pretend to be prospective employers. Draw up a list of likely interview questions and practice your responses. This works better if you’ve got a job interview lined up, but if you haven’t, you can still predict some common interview questions you’re likely to be asked.
Go hard on your job search
While you’re looking for jobs, you need to be as proactive and as involved as you can. Don’t just look for jobs online. Take your CV into places you’d like to work in person and ask the staff if they could deliver it to the manager. By doing so, you’re showing a healthy interest in the business and demonstrating your enthusiasm. Apply for as many jobs as you can without burning yourself out. While you’re waiting to hear back from interviews, apply for more jobs. It always pays to have applications and potential interviews on the back-burner.
Don’t vent on social media
It might be tempting to let loose against your former employers on your social media pages. This would be a grave mistake. Prospective future employers will likely look at your social media as an indication of what they might expect from you. The last thing you want them to see is a bitter rant against your former employer, because the new company will probably anticipate you doing the same thing if you end up leaving them at any point. If you need to rant, you can let loose to friends and family. Don’t be too vocal about your dissatisfaction on social media and try to be positive.
Don’t neglect personal development
Being out of work could provide the perfect opportunity to develop a skill you’ve been meaning to hone. If you’re not the main breadwinner of your family, and if your spouse or housemate is happy to support you for a while, you could consider taking classes. Languages, writing workshops, art…these are all surprisingly useful skills that could be transferable in future positions. Of course, even when you do get a job, you can still do this, and it’s well worth pursuing.