4 Things to Do When You Lose Your Job

Source: huffingtonpost.com

During the entirety of our professional lives, there is a good chance that there will be at least one time when we are let go. No matter what the economy is, losing your job is like a cold slap to the face. It jars you into a reality where you no longer have a paycheck coming in, an identity tied to your company, or a set professional schedule. Because of this, many people who lose their jobs become depressed, angry, and even hopeless.

Below read a number of steps to help you get through job loss:

1. Don’t Panic

The first thought you might have when you lose your job is how you are going to survive with no paycheck. No money means no food, house, phone, etc.

If you follow this train of thought, you are going to panic and imagine yourself homeless within thirty seconds. Instead, try to keep calm and remember reality. Do you have any savings to hold you over for a few weeks or months? Do you have connections with family, friends, or other contacts that can help you in a pinch? Even if you have no options, there are government programs in place for situations like this.

2. Follow the Thirty Minute Rule

Since you won’t be busy going to work, you have plenty of time to refresh your resume, make phone calls, and update your LinkedIn. This is the advice that everyone will give you.

In order to successfully take advantage of this advice, follow the “thirty minute rule”. Sit down at your computer with a cup of coffee. Set your phone timer for thirty minutes, and just work. If at any point you feel discouraged and want to quit, remind yourself that you can stop at the end of the thirty minutes.

If you follow this rule, you will actually accomplish something concrete, and chances are you will be motivated to keep working even after your timer goes off.

3. Volunteer

If you just set aside your entire free days to “job search”, chances are you will have difficulty getting that much done. We tend to work better on a schedule and with deadlines of some sort. For the most successful day, create an agenda just as you would if you had a job. Set your alarm for a specific time, like 7:30 am. Schedule in time to exercise and eat. Set aside at least 2-3 hours during the day for job related tasks, and break up these hours into thirty-minute intervals for the greatest chance of success.

Lastly, set aside at least thirty minutes a day for someone else. Volunteer your time helping an elderly family member, picking up litter at your local park, or working at some charity or non-profit in your area. This will break up your day, helping you to avoid mindlessly binging on pizza and TV for hours. More than that, though, giving your time to others will help you gain perspective, and help you to appreciate your blessings, despite your job loss.

4. Ask for Help

There are countless networks, programs, and people eager to help anyone who has lost a job. Check in with your past employees and ask if they are hiring or know of anyone who is. Make a call to your alma mater and see if they offer career placement services to alumni. The professional field is all about networking, so take advantage of this and ask for help.


Losing your job is a very difficult thing, so make sure to give yourself time to be upset and get used to your new unemployed status. Remember that being let go is just the end of one chapter of your life, which means that it will soon be the beginning of another one.

About the Author: Norah Kearneyunnamed

I am currently a junior at Webster University of St. Louis, Missouri. I’m working on my BA in English with a focus on creative writing. I plan to use my degree for writing, editing, teaching, or a bit of all three.

Read more from and about the author: Norah’s WiLab Profile