I Just Lost My Job Now What

I Just Lost My Job. Now What?

I just lost my job. Now what?

You were completely blind-sided the moment you got “the talk,” and you’re let go. You just lost your job ☹. Now you’re jobless and it’s scary.

You cry, vent, and grab a beer with a friend. Now what?

Meet Jeremy. He had a birthday and instead of being treated to a fancy dinner and drinks, his friend gave him the gift of enrollment to Best Money Class Ever, a four-week personal finance class that’s like Crossfit, but with money! This was perfect timing for Jeremy because he recently experienced job loss. He also wrote in to Ask Carly for advice.

Ask Carly is a way for us to stay connected and support one another on our journey to gaining financial independence. You don’t need to figure this money stuff out on your own. You can submit your questions about life and money here.

He wrote in plain and simple:

I just lost my job. Now what?

Once the initial shock of losing your job is outta your system, it’s time to put on your game face.

Here’s five things to do if you lost your job.

1. Realize Everything Will Be Ok

You’re not alone, unfortunately layoffs happen and approximately 7 million people right now are unemployed. It is normal to feel that a part of your identity is lost if you are unemployed.

As cheesy as it sounds, it helps to have positive affirmations, or internal dialogue to continually tell yourself that you aren’t defined by your job title. Here’s a brief Rolodex of clichés sayings, pick one to be your unemployment anthem:

  • I believe in the person I want to become.
  • Keep calm and carry on.
  • Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.
  • I never lose. Either I win, or I learn.
  • I never lose. Either I win, or I learn.
  • Stay positive, work hard, make it happen.
  • Everything is hard before it’s easy.

2. Stay Healthy

With extra time on your hand, now’s the perfect time to get physically fit. Pick up an exercise routine to stick with whether it is running, yoga, or even jump roping. Exercise will give you a reason to get out of the house, and it is proven to release endorphins to boost your mood.

Make sure that you are still covered with health insurance either through COBRA, which allows you to keep the insurance from your previous employee, or you may get coverage through Medicad. You can check you eligibility here.

3. Make the Most out of Your Severance and Unemployment Pay

Severance pay is not required by law, but Fair Labor Standards Acts, states that you’re required to be paid up to the last day of working and for any unused vacation days accrued. It’s common is to be paid one to two weeks salary for every year worked. Laws vary from state to state on how severance affects unemployment benefits.

Whatever your situation is, make those funds last as long as possible by curbing your spending and focusing on purchasing necessities only.

4. Deal with Debt

Just because your full-time income is gone, unfortunately your monthly debt obligations are not. Continue to make payments on your debt, including those pesky student loans. If you skip payments interest accrues and is added to the balance of what you owe.

If you are still searching for a job and your unemployment benefits expire, bring in income by taking a “hold you over” job, or side hustle while you dig deeper for the job that you really want and continue to cover your expenses.

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5. Reconnect

Payscale estimates that up to 85% of jobs are found through networking and getting referred by someone within the company drastically increases your odds of getting the position. Instead of only submitting applications online, get some face-to-face time.

Start networking by connecting with past professors, colleagues, and join professional networking groups in your industry. Take advantage of sites like meetup.com to find events in your area.

If you are a little rusty on networking and you haven’t updated your resume in years, see if your Alumni center offers free career counseling and resume feedback.

Losing you job and income is hard. Prepare yourself now by getting out of debt (debt-free = extraordinarily low monthly obligations) and build a 3-12 month emergency fund. Learn how to with The Ultimate Guide to Managing Money, it’s a free downloadable guide you can get here.

If you lost your job, remember you’re not alone. Now use those five tips.

Carly Michelle Best Money Class Ever

Hi! I'm Carly

Welcome! Let’s be friends:). I’m a Finance grad, creator of Best Money Class Ever and money coach. Here you’ll learn how to say bye, bye, bye to debt, build savings, and stress less about money.