What to do when you lose your job all of a sudden?

It isn’t easy to go through a job loss, and sometimes it’s even worse when you just don’t see it coming. Company-wide layoffs, or downsizing as it is sometimes called, can be devastating. Families with only one income, or who rely heavily on a higher income, can feel lost and individuals with bills, mortgages and other financial obligations might feel as though they are going to lose everything but don’t panic: there is an way to get your life back together. Losing your job is a very scary thing, and it might be tough for a while but there’s a few things you should do when you lose your job to help you get back on the right track.

Keep calm – it isn’t personal

If you’ve been called into a meeting room or your boss’ office for that dreaded talk then you might be feeling a little overwhelmed, and that’s completely normal but try to keep your emotions in check in a professional capacity. Losing your job often has nothing to do with how the company feels about you; it’s nothing personal but perhaps business has been bad, profits are down, or your position isn’t needed in the company any more. There are a lot of reasons for this happening, and it might seem personal but try not to think of it that way.

Update your contacts

During your career you have more than likely made a lot of new professional friends through networking events, conferences, professional development courses and so on. Keeping in touch with these people is bound to pay off, and this might be the time it does. Update them and let them know you aren’t working at the same company anymore. Many companies don’t post actual job positions because they don’t need to; they hear of candidates through current employees or people they know. By letting them know you aren’t working there anymore they might mention a position to you they didn’t before because they didn’t want to put you in an awkward situation if you weren’t looking to make a career move.

Update your resume

Since you (likely) haven’t been searching for a job your resume might be a bit dated. Take some time and update your resume, add any professional development courses you have taken or new skills you’ve learned. It’s important that potential employers know you’re focused on growing and are keen to keep learning.

Contact a specialized recruiter

Each job, especially once you move up the ladder, is specialized and so it’s important that if you contact a head hunter you aren’t contacting one that has no idea what your job entails, really. Contacting a head hunter is a great way to get your name out there, and they likely have a whole bunch of contacts in various industries. They also probably know about more available jobs than what would be posted online, too.

This is likely going to be a bit of a hard time: losing a job you have had for any length of time isn’t easy and your life is going to change a bit but use this as an opportunity to start over. Maybe you weren’t really happy at your job anyways, so why not take this opportunity to move onto something you do like or grow your skills in a specific area. You could, if you want to, even take some time off to decide what it is you actually want to do. There isn’t a right or wrong way to handle losing a job, but remember you have options so start exploring them.