Welcome to Geeks Vs Loneliness, our ongoing series of pieces that hopefully chat about things that matter to some of you, and maybe even come up with a few hints and tips. We hope so, anyway.
This time? We wanted to chat about what to do if you lose your job. It’s a tricky – and sizeable – topic, and we’ll come to it again in the future. But for now, we’re focusing on where next once you get the news that you’re about to be, or have just become, unemployed.
Firstly, an easy one (at least to write down, if not necessarily do): get through the anger, the upset and the emotion as best and as quickly as you can.
It can be devastating to lose your job, be it a freelance contract, a full time position, or just somewhere you were helping out for a few hours. It can do untold damage to your confidence and self-belief if not dealt with, and we’d heavily advise to talk to friends and confidants, and seek support. It’s utterly okay and entirely right to be upset and unhappy.
On a practical level, securing yourself needs to be a priority.
Do you have a mortgage? If so, tell your lender quickly. You may be covered by insurance, but even if not, make sure your bank or building society know. You aren’t the first to go through this, and they will have helped others before. It’s in their interest for you to keep paying off your debt, so let them know what’s happening. If you rent, you may need to play this a bit more by ear, depending on the relationship you have with your landlord and/or letting agency.
Honesty – with pretty much all yours debtors – is the best policy. They may, for instance, arrange for you to take a payment holiday while you get back on your feet.
You may also be entitled to government support. There’s far better advice on benefits you may be entitled to here than we could ever give.
Basically: get on top of money, and get a realistic snapshot of where you are, as quickly as possible.
Then, there’s seeking employment.
Can your previous employer give you a reference, and if necessary, can you agree that with them? Get your CV smartened up. Be willing to rewrite your CV for each different job you apply for. Get into a routine of applying.
Also, be open to jobs you may not already consider. There’s an old adage, that’s not always true but there is something to it, that it’s easier to find a job if you’re in a job. Again, not least for self-belief reasons. Many choose to volunteer for that reason, too, not least to keep themselves in a routine.
We’ve barely scratched the surface here, and we will come back to job hunting in more detail in the future. But the key thing: don’t panic. There is life after job loss, and there are more jobs out there, however it may feel.
Stay as strong as you, do feel free to share tips in the comments below, and thanks, as always, for reading.