How To Bounce Back After Losing Your Job
I lost my job. Now what?
It’s a situation countless Australians are facing amid the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting social restrictions. As thousands of businesses close or cut their workforce significantly, many people have been left in limbo looking for a new role in a difficult market.
Unemployment can be daunting, but it can also be a journey towards new opportunities or even a career change. Here we look at what to do after losing your job – focusing on your emotional wellbeing and your professional ambitions.
Thoughts & Feelings: How to Recover Emotionally
The first step is making peace with your situation. It’s important to consciously accept that you didn’t lose your job through any fault of your own. Just like many people across the country, you were an unfortunate casualty of the current epidemic and its economic impact. A feeling of failure or “not being good enough” is common after getting fired, but acknowledging that there was a real and unavoidable reason for your termination can help you overcome such feelings.
Nonetheless, losing your job is sometimes traumatic, and it could trigger depression. Here are some tips for looking after your mental wellbeing during this period:
- Stay occupied. When you’re not applying for new roles or working on your resumé, you may find yourself with a lot more downtime than before. Rather than dwelling on your previous job or worrying about the future, use this time to explore existing hobbies or discover new interests. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn a new language or pick up an instrument – now is the time.
Get more inspiration for things to do during the lockdown here.
- Keep active and eat well. Your body’s condition plays a vital role in stabilising your mental health. Make some positive changes to your diet and maintain your usual workout routine. Even going for a brisk walk each day can make a world of difference – especially with the fresh air.
- Stick to your routine. It’s easy to let good habits slip away while you’re between jobs, but sticking to your routine can help you stay productive. It will also save you from the rough transition back into the workforce when you find your next job! Make sure to keep getting enough sleep (at regular hours) and use your usual “working hours” to do useful tasks like submitting applications or learning new skills.
- Consider professional help. If your initial sadness feels prolonged or unusually severe, make a mental health plan with your GP or reach out to a counsellor.
- Stay social. It’s physical distancing – not necessarily social distancing. Speak with friends and family regularly to keep connected with the people in your life. Sometimes a simple phone call or video chat can brighten up your whole day.
What to Do if You Get Made Redundant
If I am made redundant, what am I entitled to?
A redundancy entitles you to:
- A notice period (as per your employment contract)
- Redundancy pay
- Any unused annual leave and other entitlements owed to you.
Note: If you’re made redundant with no notice, your employer should pay you out for that notice period in addition to the normal redundancy pay.
Career Track: What to Do After Losing Your Job
Becoming unemployed unexpectedly is a negative experience – few would disagree. But in some cases, it comes with silver linings. For example, this might have been the push you needed to expand your horizons, to pursue a more meaningful ambition, or to leave a workplace that no longer challenged you.
While you may need some time to grieve the job you’ve left behind, you can then prepare for the next step of your professional path. This might involve:
- Updating your CV and practising your cover letter writing
- Enhancing your presence on LinkedIn and attending networking events in your industry
- Upskilling to improve your prospects or open the door to a new field
- Taking some time to understand yourself and your passions to identify a satisfying career
- Spending some time freelancing or working on short contracts – perhaps even establishing your own business.
If upskilling and furthering your education is the right way forward for you, take a look at the wide variety of courses we offer online.