A Sign Of The Times – How To Cope If You’re Laid Off

So you’ve lost your job and are a bit dazed and confused. Welcome to the new world of work where nothing is guaranteed!

Losing a job can be a devastating experience for anyone and you may feel as if you’ve just experienced a huge setback. Perhaps you just planned an exciting vacation or firmed up a mortgage for a new home. Suddenly you have no steady source of income and have no place to go in the morning.

While job loss can be a difficult time in your life’s journey, remember that in most cases it’s just a temporary transition and with the right strategy you’ll be back on your feet again.

Here are some tips on how to cope with job loss as you work towards finding your next job. And who knows, with some soul searching, you might even come out with a renewed sense of purpose or perspective in life!

Know Your Rights

Take time to review your severance package to see what’s being offered. Don’t sign any paperwork until you’ve had time to consult a lawyer. In many cases, companies offer a lesser or “just legally acceptable” package so be sure you’re getting your fair share. If you have health insurance, take advantage of it now. You’ll need your health and energy to find your next dream job!

Keep Your Options Open

Take some time to figure out your next step. If running around the block helps you deal with the grieving process, then do it. Once you’re ready to start the process, keep your options open. Do you want to jump back into another job in the same industry? Are there other industries that may appreciate your personality and talents? Would going back to school or taking a few courses give you a leg up over competitors? Now’s the time to find out!

Establish A Social Network

For some the loss of a job is a direct reflection of their value as a person. While you might feel like packing up and moving to a remote outpost in Alaska, now more than ever it’s important to reconnect with your network. Humans are social beings and talking to people can help to renew your sense of self-worth. Contact someone in your industry and offer to pay for lunch or coffee. Be sure to clarify that you’re not looking for a job just advice on how to move forward. Reaching out can help re-establish a sense of control over your life as you’re taking positive action to try and improve your situation.

Review Your Budget

Nobody likes reduced cash flow, but now is the time to review your budget. Are there areas where you can cut expenses? Are there other innovative ways to help increase cash flow? What about renting out a room in your home? Perhaps you’re good at math or languages and could tutor someone. Are there any objects in your home that might bring in some money? We’ve all seen the TV shows where someone finds a goldmine tucked underneath a dusty rag in their attic.

Eat Your Pride

Now is not the time to feel embarrassed about losing a job. You’re not alone and many successful people have been through one or even several jobs before they found their niche. Tell everyone you know you’ve lost your job. That means everyone. You never know who knows who. Remember the movie “Six Degrees of Separation” that claims most people are six or fewer connections away from a person of interest? Your next great job could come as a tip from your postal worker, hairstylist or while talking to someone at the bus stop. You just never know.


Volunteering is a great way to help you explore your passion while socializing at the same time. It can also boost your self-esteem and give you a renewed sense of purpose. Volunteering in your area of expertise can help showcase your skills to new audiences. While there are no guarantees, your positive attitude might just be a lead-in to a new place of employment!

Consider Contract Or Temporary Work

While not suitable for many in the long term, short term or temporary work is a great way to fill in the gap. Contact your local placement agency or recruiter and let them know what you’re looking for. Agencies have job leads that might otherwise be unadvertised during your own job search. And who knows. Your efforts and winning attitude might just result in you being hired on a full-time basis!