Whether you’re expecting it or not, losing your job always hurts a little and may leave you asking lots of questions. To make sure you’re able to land on your feet and reintegrate into the workforce, here are ten tips to try.
Job loss is considered to be one of life’s most stressful events. Depending on the circumstances, you might feel bitter, angry, betrayed, etc. “If possible, avoid the ‘Tarzan effect’ of jumping from one job to another,” suggests professional coach Carolina Castro, CRHA.
Taking some downtime will allow you to better manage the situation and the feelings that stem from it, and above all prevent you from taking those unresolved feelings with you into your next job. Maligning your former boss during an interview because you haven’t entirely processed being let go is never a good thing…
Once the initial shock passes, stress related to loss of income often sets in. To minimize the potential damage and impact, review your financial situation. What are your main recurring expenses, and how can you reduce them? Which of your financial obligations can you temporarily put a stop to, like dinners out or unnecessary impulse purchases? Try to make a distinction between expenses that are essential to your wellbeing and ability to find a new job, and those that are optional, even superfluous. Do you have mortgage insurance that might allow you to delay your payments for a period of time? Better to reduce your expenses as much as possible than to rack up avoidable debt. Losing your job is stressful enough, the last thing you need is to add debt to the mix.
If you have a credit card payment or balance protection plan, now is the time to use it. This type of insurance, which you can access in case of involuntary job loss, generally covers a bit more than your minimum payment at the time you lose your job and possibly part of your last balance. However, this product isn’t applicable if, among other things, your job was terminated because of a deliberate action or the position was temporary.
“It’s important to take time to define your needs, and identify the conditions you want for your next job,” says Castro. Do you want to stay in the same industry? What types of challenges are you looking for in your new role? Would you prefer to go back to school? Asking yourself these questions allows you to focus on what you really want at this stage of your career. “Taking the time to take stock of what you want can help direct your job search and help you present yourself better. It shows in interviews,” the professional coach asserts.
Ready to jump into the job hunt? First off, make sure you’re well equipped. CV, LinkedIn profile, cover letter… Review it all and make sure your achievements are front and center. “For LinkedIn, there’s no need to include every detail, you need to save some things to talk about in the interview. Also, if you submit a CV in French, make sure you’re able to back that up in an interview. Translating it isn’t everything!” advises Castro. She also reminds job hunters that a cover letter is meant to give potential employers a reason to read your CV over all the others they receive.
It can be hard to move on to something new after experiencing what you might see as a professional failure. Additionally, if you were employed at the same company for a long time, you may not know where to start when it comes to looking for a job and going through interviews. To get up to speed, speak to a professional. This exercise can prove to be an excellent idea. Many human resources specialists are available to provide advice and direction.
Once you’ve set your goals, it’s time to make use of all those business cards you’ve collected over the years. “The idea is to aim for quality over quantity. Prioritize your contacts based on the type of job you’re looking for,” the professional coach explains. And don’t forget about the contacts on your LinkedIn profile.
As mentioned above, some people have a hard time with this phase of their career. However, the worst thing you can do when you’re looking for a job is to isolate yourself. “Try to attend networking events. Sign up for courses. This can help you meet people, plus it’s always inspiring to hear the perspective of people working in your field,” Castro recommends.
Finding a new job is full-time work! So, “don’t hesitate to use an agenda to get a global view of the steps you’re taking,” advises the professional coach. Hours of online research, networking events, calls made or that need to be made… make note of it all. This can help you structure your search and avoid forgetting things. Nothing worse than forgetting to call a potential employer back, right?
Like with everything, it’s important to close the loop. “Don’t forget to thank the people who helped you, made a call for you or met with you,” concludes Castro. It shows people that you appreciate them. On top of that, you never know what the future will bring, and what offers might come your way as a result!
Any reproduction, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the prior written consent of National Bank of Canada.
The articles and information on this website are protected by the copyright laws in effect in Canada or other countries, as applicable. The copyrights on the articles and information belong to the National Bank of Canada or other persons. Any reproduction, redistribution, electronic communication, including indirectly via a hyperlink, in whole or in part, of these articles and information and any other use thereof that is not explicitly authorized is prohibited without the prior written consent of the copyright owner.
The contents of this website must not be interpreted, considered or used as if it were financial, legal, fiscal, or other advice. National Bank and its partners in contents will not be liable for any damages that you may incur from such use.
This article is provided by National Bank, its subsidiaries and group entities for information purposes only, and creates no legal or contractual obligation for National Bank, its subsidiaries and group entities. The details of this service offering and the conditions herein are subject to change.
The hyperlinks in this article may redirect to external websites not administered by National Bank. The Bank cannot be held liable for the content of external websites or any damages caused by their use.
Views expressed in this article are those of the person being interviewed. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Bank or its subsidiaries. For financial or business advice, please consult your National Bank advisor, financial planner or an industry professional (e.g., accountant, tax specialist or lawyer).