Losing a job can be devastating. Not only are you losing your income, but statistics show that the longer a person goes without a job, the higher their risk of depression becomes. That doesn’t mean there is no hope. If you’ve recently been fired or laid off, there are some steps you can take immediately to get yourself back on track.
Talk to someone
Before your emotions have a chance to spiral downward, talk to someone you trust, like your pastor, your spouse, or your best friend. If you know a friend who was once in your situation, seek them out and meet for lunch. Sometimes just knowing you are not alone can help significantly. Most importantly, come to terms with the fact that grief is a normal part of losing a job and allow yourself to go through the process.
Take care of business
Don’t wait too long to take care of the important stuff. You need to get your finances in check immediately and put your family on a budget. Take inventory of how much you have in all your accounts and how long it can last. Check into borrowing from your retirement just in case it becomes necessary. Knowing right away how long your finances will hold out will help you decide your next steps. If you have enough to last a couple of years, you might feel a little less stress in replacing that income immediately. Or if you find that you only have enough to last a couple of months, you will know that it’s important to find a way to make some extra cash as soon as possible.
If you feel you’ve been wrongfully terminated, talk to an attorney. Depending on your specific circumstances, you may also be entitled to unemployment until you find another job. You can check out the US Department of Labor website to learn more about your rights.
Make some extra cash
There are lots of ways to start earning money while you’re applying for jobs or figuring out your next move. Lots of people make extra cash, or even full-time livings, by flipping items they find at reduced prices. You can purchase discounted products at thrift stores, garage sales, Walmart auctions, estate sales, or even Facebook selling sites. You can then flip these items for profit on eBay, Amazon, or Craigslist. Or you can choose to have garage sales to move your product.
But that’s not the only way to make money. Use your own gifts, talents, and interests to find a way to earn on the side. For example, if you love baking, you might sell some baked goods by advertising your services locally. Other side jobs include mowing lawns, babysitting, personal shopping, driving for services like Uber or Lyft, cleaning houses, or newspaper delivery. It’s not a career, but it is a source of income, so try not to let your pride get in the way of work you might consider menial. You might even make some great connections in the process that land you your dream job.
Consider a career change
Now is the perfect time to change direction. Have you always dreamed of being a nurse? Consider pursuing an Associate’s Degree in nursing. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to work in finance, but never took the time to go to college. There are more resources for college students available today than any other time in history.
Losing your job is not the end of the world, but for a lot of people, it certainly feels like it. Try to take this time to focus on goals for your future and don’t forget to take care of yourself. Eat right and exercise to keep your self-esteem in check. And surround yourself with people who care about you on a daily basis.