So, you’ve just learned that you are about to lose your job. Now what? What do you do in those first few days and weeks when you are faced with an upcoming job loss? Do you take any steps before your current job is over?
Over the years, I have heard from a number of clients what it was like for them when they heard the news that they were going to lose their job for one reason or another. Everyone reacts in the first instance in a different way.
Clients did everything from:
- immediately notifying Employment Insurance of their upcoming situation,
- telling everyone they knew they were about to lose their job,
- start looking for another job and,
- doing nothing and waiting to see what would happen next.
Which one of those first steps is the correct one? All of them. It depends on you. There is no right answer to the question “What do I do first?”
You have to remember that a job loss is a significant impact on your life, and for some people, can have the same impact as dealing with the loss of a loved one. It can require you to go through some or all of the stages of grieving.
Of course, the level of importance that you felt for that job will dictate your response. For instance, if it is a job that you have had for 30 years, and you are older but not ready to retire, then it will be very devastating to find yourself back in the job market, which means you will go through most of the above phases.
But if you are new in the work force, and the job was just a stepping stone for you or one that you didn’t enjoy, then you might find that it’s a welcome challenge that your hand has been forced to take steps to move your career forward.
Whatever your situation, it is still something to be dealt with.
What choices do you have in the early stages of finding out you about to lose your job?
The first questions to ask yourself are, “How much time do I have before I am out of work?” “What can I do now to help mitigate the impact of the job loss?”
- Reach out to the Human Resources Officer
- There may be career transition programs put in place to help you deal with the change, i.e. resume and cover letter coaching, interview coaching, etc. Companies often help employees with financial aid for the purpose of helping them find another job.
- Explore the possibility of taking time off
- If you are in a financial situation that allows you to take some time off, and you feel that you need to do that before you can move into the job market, then do that. Start managing your finances now and decide how much time you can afford to take off based on how much time you have left in your job.
- Start looking for another job now
- Is financial stability a concern for you? Network with people in your industry and let them know you are currently in the market for a career change.
- Explore re-training
- Check into colleges and universities to see what programs are available and if there is a re-training possibility for you.
- Contact Employment Insurance
- Find out what is required to start receiving benefits. There might be a waiting period so you will need to factor that into your planning.
- Update your resume
- Be ready when you find the right job. Make sure you have a professional master resume/cover letter so you can target your resume to each job with very little work.
The bottom line is, no answer is right and no answer is wrong. It completely depends on you and your own personal situation. Every person will react differently to the news that they are going to be out of work.
If you’re not sure what the right approach is for you, don’t be afraid to reach out to others to help you make the best choices. Involve your family in the decision making process as your decision will affect them too. You can take advantage of a number of programs and services available to help you with this transition, and of course, you can always seek the services of a Certified Professional Career Coach.
Consider all of the factors that will play a role in your decision, and move forward in the direction that best suits you.
Do you know someone who is currently challenged with a career change decision? Feel free to share this post by using the share links at the top of this page. Also, if you’d like more career change assistance, feel free to check out the career coaching resource page.