Woman packing up things after losing her job.

Job loss is an unfortunate occurrence in the job market. Perhaps your employer was downsizing, or maybe you made an unforgivable mistake. Whatever the reason, moving on from a job loss isn’t easy. Although it can be hard to find motivation, it’s important to push on. With that in mind, we’ve listed a few steps you should follow after losing your job below. Following these steps will help you get back on your feet, and also get back on track in your career.

1. Reflect on Your Job Loss

The first thing you should do is take some time to reflect on everything that happened. As we stated in the first paragraph, layoffs and job loss is different for everyone. It may have happened because of something you did, or it may have been entirely out of your hands. Whatever the case, you should take some time and piece together and think through what got you to where you are now. For example, if your lack of work ethic is what resulted in you losing your job, you should realize that.

Know why it happened, and correct any behaviors or mindsets that may have caused it. If your company was simply downsizing or decided to lay you off, realize it’s out of your control. Don’t let it affect your career confidence, and channel your energy into your efforts to find your next job.

2. Figure Out Finances & Healthcare

For the period of time between now and your next job, there are some important factors to consider. For starters, consider your financial situation. Think about how much you have saved up, how much you are receiving in severance pay (if any), and if you should file for unemployment. From there, consider your cost of living, and how much you should budget to spend going forward. Everyone will be in a different situation, but you should re-assess and know how much you should be spending moving forward.

Losing your job may also mean losing your health insurance, or having the option to buy it out. Consider what the best option is for you, and factor it into your budget. Every employer will have a different benefits plan with (or without) health, dental, and vision, so you will have to make the best decision for yourself. Just keep in mind finances and healthcare are both things you should assess immediately after you are let go.

3. Update Everything

If you are going to head right back into the workforce, you should start doing the appropriate prep work. This means a few things. First, you should update your resume if you haven’t already. Ideally you would be updating it constantly, but that doesn’t always happen. If you haven’t updated it in a while, take time right after you are let go to jot down all of your responsibilities in your past job. If you take too long to do this, you may forget certain things and not be able to include them in your resume.

You should also be updating your social media profiles. LinkedIn is first and foremost, but everything should be updated to exude professionalism. On LinkedIn, make sure your information is up to date, and reflects the work you’ve done most recently. It should line up perfectly with your resume. On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., ensure that you don’t have anything that would worry a recruiter. Once you update your online presence, it’s time to move onto your network.

4. Reach Out to Your Network

Now that you have everything updated, you can start working on getting your job search off the ground. Instead of applying to jobs right away, you should check in with your network. Let them know the status of your employment, and that you are looking for your next opportunity. If there is someone you think may have an opportunity for you, reach out! Also, if you have a mentor or someone you go to for career advice, you should definitely have a conversation with them.

It’s smart to let these people know early on that you are beginning your job search, so they can help you in any way they can. If you see a job you want to apply to, and know someone at that company, you’ve already been talking with them. You never want to lead off asking for help. There should always be a give and take with your network, so make sure you aren’t just asking for help and never returning the favor.

5. Start Looking For a New Job

Now it’s time for the main event! You may feel like you want to take some time off, or travel. This is all well and good, but you may be missing out on great opportunities during that time. The likelihood that you begin your search and find a job immediately is very low. Also, if you wait too long to begin your search, many employer will wonder why you were out of the workforce for so long. So usually it’s smart to start your search as soon as you can.

If you’ve followed the steps above, you should be prepared to start looking for a new job. You’ve checked in with your network, your social media is professional, and your resume is up to date. Start sending in applications, but make sure you keep track of where you’ve applied. You may also want to consider reaching out to a recruiter to help you find your next job. The sooner you begin working at it, the sooner you will find a job. Another important thing- treat your job search like your new full time job. It’s easy to get lazy and procrastinate. Try to keep a schedule similar to the one you had when you were employed. That way, you give yourself plenty of time, and you are used to being productive.

Dealing with job loss is certainly an uphill battle. However, if you make the right choices and follow the right steps, you can land on your feet. We hope this list helps you find your next opportunity, and wish you the best of luck in your search!