1) Get your emotions in order – Take stock of your feelings. They can range from anger, despair, panic and sadness. It is okay to get upset about it but keep a check that you do not become negative and defeatist in your attitude. You have to think of it as a challenge and of ways and means to overcome your challenge.
On the other hand, you can speak to career counsellors who can guide you emotionally as well as in practical matters.
2) Manage your finances – Your financial status can go haywire when you lose your main source of income. Some immediate steps to be taken -
- Review your loans, credit card payments. Pay off credit card dues. Check if the next 2-3 instalments of your home loan etc. can be repaid with existing money. If you think you will default on your payments, talk to the lender bank about your current situation. You might enter into an agreement of paying only interest etc. If you are paying rent, talk to your landlord about your situation so that eviction due to non-payment does not become an issue.
- Check your emergency fund corpus. It will come handy in this situation.
- Manage expenses prudently. Do not spend money on unnecessary things and comfort items. Do not use your credit card for purchases. Use cash. It will keep a check on your expenses.
- Do not cancel health and life insurance policy covers thinking you will save the premium money. Insurance will protect against emergencies like sickness or death.
When one door closes, another opens. We just need to see which one opened.
4) Increase your network – You have time on your hands. You can get in touch with former colleagues, ex-bosses and friends in the similar field. You can build your relationships. This can create opportunities for new jobs.
5) Update your skill levels – You always wanted to learn that new software tool or acquire a professional certification but never did due to work pressure! Here is the perfect time. Go ahead and acquire certifications to improve your job prospects. You can learn new skills that are in demand. You can upgrade your skills too.
6) Treat it as a sabbatical – Sometimes it is not so bad to lose your job. You finally have time to ponder over your next steps and your future. Are you doing what you really want to do? Is there some other career that will interest you? You can decide on your future course of action. You always wanted to go to the mall beating the weekend rush or go to a coffee shop and catch up on the books that you always wanted to read. You can do it now! Go for the trek that you wanted to go for or spend time with your children. It will recharge your batteries and give you a fresh perspective on many things.