How To Quickly Recover From A Job Loss

March 25, 2020

I was a former college advisor and adjunct a decade ago. Then, I got divorced, lost my apartment, moved back home with my mother, and lost every dime I had. I was so dramatic about it, got depressed, and did nothing to mitigate my own job loss recovery options for years.

I have written often about it as a cautionary tale.

I spent too much time doing nothing proactive to improve my life after I lost my job a decade ago. There’s no future in despair.

When we hit obstacles in life, we must get up, get help, stay positive, and look for solutions.

Optimism, realistic planning, and constant personal reassessment are the cornerstones of responsible personal finance.

Bad things happen in life.

Good luck favors the prepared.

I am quite ashamed of how I conducted myself a decade ago – I gave up.

To be honest, I wish I could go back in time. I should’ve strategized my own job loss recovery options better.

I was very fortunate back then. I had friends, networks, and connections, and should have made the most of improving my lot in life.

How times have changed. I am now a full-time telecommuting freelance writer.

Many people are losing jobs now who can’t telecommute or find new work easily.

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has changed daily life as we know it, perhaps irrevocably.

And, its practically ensured that millions of Americans, and people around the world, will soon become jobless.

The unemployment rate was 3.5% back in September 2019, the lowest in 50-years. Some financial analysts think the unemployment rate could surge by 30% this year.

You can possibly recover quickly from job loss. It depends on your circumstances.

Job Loss Recovery in the age of COVID-19

Before getting into some good job loss recovery tips, it’s important to understand the abrupt severity of the lob losses this country will encounter this year.

Over 3 million Americans will file for unemployment benefits during the final weeks of March 2020.

Another 5 million could lose their jobs in April 2020.

About 25 million people worldwide could become unemployed this year due to COVID-19.

Billions of people worldwide are now under mandatory lockdowns to try to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While a necessary measure, its making life cruelly difficult for people recently laid off, with families to support, and rapidly dwindling finances.

It also doesn’t help that many local, state, and federal governments are ordering, “nonessential,” employees to stay home.

Hearing such a term, and losing work afterwards, can’t help to improve self-esteem.

It’s important to stay optimistic and consider every realistic option to recover from job loss quickly.

Here are some tips that could help.

Don’t Burn Bridges

You have every right to be angry, depressed, or even feel some self-pity.

Still, getting lost in negativity only clouds better judgment. It will prevent you from making logical decisions at crucial moments.

Talk to an emotional health expert if you need to.

Don’t get uncontrollably angry or scream at former coworkers or supervisors. Besides risking arrest, it just doesn’t make sense to burn bridges of potential future employment opportunities. Job loss recovery takes time.

Before you leave work, find out if you’re owed severance pay, have accrued sick, vacation or overtime pay, have unemployment benefits due, and so on.

Network with former coworkers and/or supervisors. Get references.

You never know if new work opportunities may appear in the future via your connections.

Reassess Your Finances

How much money do you have on hand?

This will be stressful. It may keep you up at night, but you need to know how long the money you have right now will last you in the weeks and months to come.

This way, you’ll have a realistic gauge of how much time you need to plan budgets, look for work, and make contingency plans.

Apply for unemployment benefits where applicable.

On March 25, 2020, the U.S. Congress approved a $2 trillion stimulus bill that will send money to Americans and boost unemployment benefits. However, don’t count on this to serve immediate or long-term financial needs. Keep looking for work, no matter how dire the situation feels. 

Update Your Resume and Reassess Your Skills

Update your resume to reflect new experiences, skills, and certifications. Remove any outdated or unnecessary references.

Make a list of every skill you now possess which may be marketable to new employers.

Be open-minded about adapting any skills you have into new work opportunities.

If you’re a former teacher the online teaching field, especially internationally, may be an option.

The service, hospitality, and restaurant industry has been especially impacted by layoffs.

These are the kinds of jobs that can’t be transitioned to telecommuting.

Still, many opportunities are opening up for such former workers.

Amazon is hiring over 100,000 people to cope with increased delivery demands since the COVID-19 lockdowns began.

I am not trying to be Pollyannaish or overly optimistic. Many people are going to financially struggle in the coming months.

That’s a given.

All I am saying is, don’t give up. You may have a skill or talent that could be monetized even in this cruel new world.

Be open-minded, strategize, and realistic about how such skills or talents can be marketed.

Don’t just decide you’ll get new work because you need it. You may need new kinds of training or certifications.

Get assistance or guidance from a job counselor if possible.

Stay Optimistic

You’ll probably need a little time to decompress and deal with the trauma of losing work.

Try not to spend too much time standing still. Millions of people are losing their jobs and job searches will only get more competitive as time goes on.

Stay optimistic.

Assess your finances.

Update your resume and assess your skills.

Re-market yourself and skills while searching for new opportunities.

It’s a cruel new world and fortune favors the prepared when it comes to job loss recovery.

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