Unemployment and job loss can strike without warning. But dealing with it in a positive way is the best way to get past this hurdle.
David had a well-paying and satisfying job. But as luck would have it, his company was downsizing and he was given the pink slip when he least expected it. He was lost, hurt and didn't know what to do. But this is the time when you should be extra careful and avoid taking any knee-jerk reactions. Here are some things that you should not do if you ever lose your job.
1. Take it personally
Your employers may never disclose the actual reason for a layoff. There are various reasons for a company to downsize or let an employee go. The decision is made after a lot of deliberation. It is important that you don't let negative emotions get the better of you during this time, no matter how trying it may be. It will not be constructive and could lead to unsuccessful interviews later. Take time to mull over the situation and then objectively decide how to deal with it.
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2. Hit the panic button
Losing a job can sometimes push you into panic mode. Stay calm and think of a suitable alternative rather than fixating on the loss. Clarity and focus are particularly crucial during this time. Remember, the options are aplenty; all you have to do is find the right one. So don't let your job loss cloud your judgment. Try and negotiate a better severance package with your company, as this will buy more time to get back on your feet. List down potential contacts you can reach out to and why will it help, apply for other jobs or update your skills during the gap.
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3. Take on more debt
When you lose a job, the first thing you think of is, “What about my EMIs?" Avoiding payments will only make the problem worse as it could put you further into debt. Think of alternative ways to pay off your debts and steer clear of falling into a debt spiral. You can also make a few budgetary adjustments to repay your debts or negotiate a restructuring with your lender. If you wish to discuss your debt-paying difficulty with your lender, they may have a better understanding on how to help you.
4. Shut everyone out
Shutting people out after a job loss will not make things easier for you. It is important to engage in healthy and productive social interactions instead of avoiding people. It is also crucial to put yourself out there and explore new opportunities. Doing meaningful projects instead of staying home can lift your spirits. To get your mind off your current predicament, consider volunteering as a productive activity.
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5. Spend your retirement savings
Dipping into your retirement savings is not advisable after a job loss. You will have to reinvest in your retirement corpus after the gap, and you may not get the same returns. It could also set you back by a few years if you withdraw money from your retirement early. Instead, try tapping into your emergency fund until you land a job.
6. Wait for the perfect job
At a time and age where employment opportunities are few, but the bills are endless, you cannot afford to wait until you find the perfect job. Pick up any good opportunities that come your way, take up a part-time job or even freelance until you find what you want. This will keep your finances afloat until you find the right job.
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7. Forget to take care of yourself
Your stress levels may be at an all-time high after a job loss. It is imperative that you don't forget to take care of yourself. Take up yoga, meditation or some kind of class to help you stay calm and focused. It will help you de-stress a little and give you time to reflect on what your next steps should be. These courses can also be found online so you can take them from the comfort of your home if you choose to.
8. Burn bridges
Make sure that your exit from the previous company is not on bad terms. Instead of focusing on any 'unfair' treatment, try to work on your future. Refrain from bad-mouthing your former company or employer and focus on their positive aspects. Your employer is likely to contact you if an opportune position opens in the near future if you maintain a good rapport with them.
To sum up
Losing a job is not uncommon, but it is also not impossible to bounce back from. The trick lies in how you deal with it and what can help you move forward. So, stay focused on what you need to do instead of brooding over what went wrong. Talk to your loved ones and grab every opportunity that comes your way. Before you know it, you will back in the game.