Editor’s note: A version of this article was previously published by Ngcareers on Bellanaija.
Everyday people get sacked, retrenched or whatever name is used to show when someone no longer has a job. Many can relate to how irritating and depressing it feels to suddenly wake up and find oneself out of a job.
Losing your job (for any reason) isn’t always the best of experiences. While getting relieved of your job is a big issue the single most important factor to your growth in this case is how you react to getting the pink slip.
Here we explore 6 things you should do when you find yourself out of a job. These are tips to get you prepared for the next phase of your life and ensure that the setback of losing your job doesn’t derail your career growth and personal success.
Don’t Panic: It’s Not the End of the World
Yes, losing your job is stressful and puts paid to an immediate source of income but one thing you shouldn’t do is let anxiety overcome you. There are always options available when this happens. You just have to keep a cool head and plan your way out of the situation.
You will not be able to make headway if you don’t have a clear head and an open mind.
A calm head can even help you gain some positives from the negative process of losing your job as this brief story shows; A woman who just lost her job instead of letting anger take hold of her sat down instead in her office and used her last hour to type a very persuasive letter to the HR Head showing why she deserved 3 months instead of 2 weeks severance pay. She got paid 3 months severance! That was extra funds for her to go with while hunting for a new job.
That time when you lose your job is the time to pause and take a critical look at the state of your affairs.
What is your financial situation like?
Do you have enough savings to last you a few months while you get your acts together?
This is probably the time when you bad saving habits catch up with you if you have very little to survive on.
Taking stock of your financial and career situation will help you determine which options are open for you to pursue.
Explore Your Options
When you lose your job in your 20’s it is a very different ball game to when you find yourself out of a job in your 50’s. Factors like age, financial status, personal ambition (maybe you’ve been nursing the dream to set up your own business venture) etc can all play a part in deciding the options you may follow.
Age may not be on your side and as a result more viable options open to you may be self employment or starting a business.
You need to sit and look at possible options open to you to pick up your life and get on with it.
Dust Up Your CV
If you feel you still got a chance to try your hand at another job then it’s time to take a look at that CV. If you are like most people who were relatively comfortable in their last job your CV is probably in a neglected state; no updates on achievements and educational qualifications etc.
Take a look at that CV once again and give it a good polishing. You can try some expert help with re-writing your CV.
Hone Your Skills and Identify other Possible Organisations to Work For
Depending on your career path you will need to identify current and useful skills you will need to acquire, or improve on to brighten your chances at the job search market.
Also depending on your level of career progression your job search should now be a bit more targeted. This means you have some idea of the possible organisations you will be aiming to work for. This of course is based on relevance to your specialisation. Getting the specifics will help you do the next thing you need to do to get a job offer (aside from searching online)
Network Strategically (offline and online)
Your network most times indicate how quickly your career path rises. Networking doesn’t mean harassing anybody you meet asking them to give you a job. It is rather a smart engaging of relevant people towards availing yourself of every opportunity for career advancement. Below are a few tips on networking you can use;
– Reach out to new contacts to introduce yourself and ask them if they have time to talk with you about their career path
– Always ask new contacts interesting questions about their career path; Don’t let the focus be on you at first
– Ask for advice, don’t ask for a job. They will know you are looking and if they can and want to help in this way they will
– Ask if they know anyone else you can contact
– Networking is about engaging your existing contacts as well as cultivating new relationships
– Follow up. Follow their advice. Send Thank you notes.
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