Losing a job is never easy and adjusting to your new arrangement can be complicated. But there are steps to get back on your feet after being fired or made redundant. No need to wonder what to do when you lose your job – we’ve got some ideas to help you out.
Apply for government assistance
The first step when wondering what to do when you get fired is to make sure you still have some form of an income. The last thing you want to do is burn through your savings too quickly, so file for government assistance as quickly as possible. The process might take longer than you like, so the sooner you can get your part done, the better. The government assistance money will help keep you on your feet as you plan your next moves.
Check out our guide on managing your Centrelink income so you don’t have to worry about finances while you find a new job.
Take a minute
If you’re not sure what to do after you lose your job, be gentle on yourself and take a moment to reflect and process. It can be easy to feel lost and to not know what to do when you lose your job. Look back over the events leading up to being fired.
If you can, reach out to your former boss or manager and ask for feedback on your performance and why you were let go. That feedback will not only give you some closure, but it can help you improve so that you’re better equipped to excel at your next job. Not every manager will have the time to talk to an ex-employee, but a polite email asking for honest feedback never hurt anyone.
Consider a career change
Look back at the job you’ve just left. Was it really what you want to be doing? It’s possible that being fired could be a blessing in disguise or a wakeup call.
If you’re thinking “I lost my job, now what?” maybe the answer is to explore a new field. Of course, that isn’t the case for everyone, but it’s worth reviewing the career path you’re on while you’ve got time.
Create a budget
It’s time to assess your finances. It might be one of the more dreaded parts of being unemployed, but it’s time to move past the initial feelings of “I just got fired”. Those feelings are valid but not helpful, and unless you have a financial safety net, you’ll need to budget.
Take stock of your savings, any government assistance income, and the income of your partner if you have one or parents if you live at home. Use mobile apps to plan it out if that’s easiest or do it all yourself with a spreadsheet. Just make sure you’re not spending money you don’t have as you prepare for your next job.
Consider more education
Sometimes the reason people are let go from their jobs is they just don’t have the qualifications to complete it. This could that the right thing to do is to take some courses and level up your skills.
Check your budget to see if you have the time to take on some education before you re-enter the job market or consider studying part time. Sometimes an employer will value the fact that you’re currently learning new skills and be more likely to present an offer. Whatever method you choose, remember to add this new education to your resumé.
Update your resumé
When thinking about what to do when you get fired, you should update your resumé or CV. Realistically, you should update your resumé every time you change job title or complete some new training, but a lot of us don’t keep our resumé up to date until we need it. If you just lost your job, you need your resumé to ready to send.
If you left your workplace on good terms with your manager and team, reach out and see if anyone is able to be a positive reference for you on your resumé to help you land your next job.
Start job searching
You might not want to get out there again, but it’s time to get back on the horse. Finding a new job is what comes to mind first when considering what to do after you lose your job. Make sure you’ve completed all the other steps first though. There’s no point in applying for jobs if your resumé isn’t up to date, if you’re applying for jobs you don’t really want, or if you’re still mourning your last job.
There are a lot of ways to find new jobs, from LinkedIn to services like Seek and Jora. You can even check the ‘careers’ section on the website of businesses or institutions you want to work for. Remember to write a unique cover letter for each job you apply for and to tailor it to the specific job.
If you need a job to tide you over in the meantime, check out our list of the best paying jobs with no experience required.
Don’t give up
Jobs don’t grow on trees, and finding a new job might take longer than you expect. Remember to keep trying and give each cover letter, interview and phone call your all.
If you find your finances dwindling, you might find that a short-term loan is the right solution for you until you’re back on your feet. If that’s the route for you, our team will be happy to help.
Lean on those close to you for support (financial and emotional) when you need it if you can and stay positive. You never know when that job offer will come in.