In today’s economy, it is common for people to lose their jobs. Even individuals with years of experience and advanced degrees risk being terminated from their position. The stress that comes with this type of circumstance can be overwhelming. However, you are not alone, and there are steps you can take to get back on your feet. A recent survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants found that the majority of Americans (more than 66%) who lost their job in the recession were able to find new work within nine months. Much of this has to do with taking action as soon as possible after being terminated from your position. Here are some suggestions on what you should do if you lost your job today.
Network and Stay Friends with Your Former Coworkers
When you lose your job, you lose a source of income, but you don’t lose your network of colleagues and friends. This is a great time to draw on this support system and reach out to your former coworkers. You’ve shared your experiences, and they’ve done the same. You know whom you can trust and who has your best interests at heart. You’ve gone through the highs and lows of the work experience with them, and you know you can rely on them for advice, insight, and help when you need it. While you’re looking for a new job, you can use these relationships to learn about job openings that you may not otherwise be aware of. You can also use these networks to get references for any positions you apply for, which can make your resume look even stronger.
Learn About Unemployment Benefits
When you’re out of work, you may also be out of luck when it comes to collecting unemployment benefits. In most states, you must be able to document that you were fired as opposed to laid off. Because of this, many people who get laid off are not eligible for unemployment benefits. Being fired is unfortunate, but there are some benefits to the situation. Losing your job through no fault of your own (e.g., being fired because of economic reasons that are not your fault) allows you to collect unemployment benefits.
Find a Job Quickly
If you’ve been laid off, you may be able to collect unemployment benefits while you look for a new job. However, if you were fired, you may have to wait a certain amount of time before you can collect benefits. For instance, in Georgia, you must wait 14 days after your last day of work before you can apply for unemployment benefits. In Massachusetts, you must wait five weeks before seeking benefits. If you’re fired and want to collect unemployment, you might be able to get assistance with job searches from your state’s employment agency. These organizations may be able to help you find jobs that match your skills and experience and help you navigate the application and interview process. You should also take steps to find a job as quickly as possible after losing your position. The longer you’re out of work, the harder it will be to find a job.
Take Care of Your Finances
Financial experts say the first thing you should do when you lose your job is to assess your financial situation. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck and have very little savings, losing your job may be a serious financial setback. You may be eligible for unemployment benefits, which could help with your living expenses while you’re looking for work. However, you might also be able to get assistance through a government program. The government has created several programs intended to help people who are struggling financially.
- Unemployment benefits – In some cases, you might be able to collect unemployment benefits if you lose your job. If you qualify for these benefits, the government will pay you a portion of the amount you took home when you were employed.
- Welfare or food stamps – If you don’t have enough savings to get you through a period of time while you’re job hunting, you may be eligible for welfare or food stamps. These programs are designed to help people who have very little income and few resources to get by.
- Tax breaks – If you lost your job recently and are still looking for work, you might be able to claim deductions on your taxes. For example, you might be able to deduct the cost of job-hunting or the cost of transportation to interviews.
When you lose your job, it may seem like the end of the world, but it’s actually a great opportunity to start something new. You may find that you’re better off after losing your job and that something better is just around the corner.
Being unemployed is a stressful experience, but you don’t have to go through it alone. You can take advantage of government assistance and support from friends and family members to get through this difficult time. You can also find ways to use this time as an opportunity to explore new interests and passions. Most importantly, you can use this experience to discover what kind of work you love and are good at. In the end, losing your job can be a positive thing.