What To Do When You Suddenly Lose Your Job?

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Whether you’ve been fired or made redundant, unexpected job loss can be tough to deal with. Our jobs provide us with a steady income and a purpose. When this is suddenly taken away, it can throw all of our plans into disarray. To help you overcome the unexpected loss of your job, here are some steps to take. 

Know your legal rights

First of all, it’s important to know your legal rights when being let go. If you’ve been fired, there needs to be a clear breach of contract, otherwise it’s wrongful dismissal. In some states, it is mandatory that an employer pays you a final paycheck or severance pay, but there is no federal law that governs this. Do your homework surrounding your right and know when to hire a lawyer if your sudden dismissal doesn’t seem fair.

Tell your family, friends and creditors

It’s important that you tell the people around you that you’ve lost your job and don’t try to hide it from them. Telling your partner or kids is important so that you can all financially prepare. Friends may need to be told so that they can be more understanding of your financial situation too. It could also be worth telling some creditors if you don’t think you’ll be able to pay all your bills. Telling creditors in advance could reduce penalties such as late payment charges or credit score damage by allowing you to organize payment plans or options like bill freezing. 

Make cutbacks and explore funding options

You’ll likely need to make some cutbacks to your lifestyle until you get a new job with a large enough income to resume your normal spending. This could mean a temporary reduction in certain luxuries like takeout meals or clothes you want but don’t need. To help you fund your unemployment, you could consider looking into online personal loans, as well as potentially selling items you don’t need. Remember to file for unemployment insurance so that you’re getting some form of income and explore individual state grants and income assistance schemes. 

Start looking for a new job

It’s important to start looking for a new job as soon as you can to reduce your period of unemployment. If you’ve been given a notice period before you leave your current job, take advantage of this by spending your evenings job hunting. If you haven’t been given any notice period, try to treat job seeking as a new job – set yourself a job hunting schedule each day that helps you to get up early and motivates you to look for more work. Don’t get into a bad habit of sleeping in late or drinking during the day as this could demotivate you and make yourself depressed. At the same time, don’t spend every waking hour looking for a new job and give yourself weekends off and evenings to enjoy. 

Consider the upside of unemployment

If a job was causing you stress, this could be a time to clear your head and work out what your next best direction is. Being unemployed may also be a chance to spend more time with family or catch up on household chores. While you don’t want to delay job hunting too much, it is important to give yourself some time to relax and catch up with other life commitments that your job has been getting in the way of. It could be that break you’ve needed, and you may not want to rush into a new job straight away – especially if you cannot afford a week or two’s break.



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