Prattical things you can do after losing your job

10 Steps to Coping With Job Loss

Ten Steps to Coping with Job Loss

Check you have received your full entitlements. Ask your company’s human resources department to explain your entitlements. Try to negotiate financial advice, outplacement and career planning as part of your redundancy package. If you feel that you have been underpaid, call your union.

Organize your personal finances. Review your budget. If you are unable to fulfill financial commitments, such as mortgage or credit card payments, you may have to negotiate new terms with your creditors. It is better to be up front than fall behind with your payments. If your home loan has a redraw facility, for example, you can access cash when you need it.

Do not rush into any major financial decisions. Do not immediately go out and book that overseas holiday or new car, and do not use all of your payout to pay off your mortgage – you will have to live off that money for an indefinite time until you find another job. Any decision regarding paying off your mortgage and debts should be balanced against your future prospects and the amount of the package you received. You will need money to live on until you receive benefits or get another job.

Register with Centrelink. You may not be eligible for benefits immediately, but it will help you to budget if you know when payments will begin and how much you will receive. Discuss your employment options with Centrelink; they may provide assistance with Job Search Training, which includes resume writing and interview preparation.

Revise your budget in accordance with your changed circumstances. How much will it cost to maintain your home and lifestyle? List all outstanding debts. Acceptance will come, however, and losing your employment may be the impetus you need to re-evaluate your life. You may opt to use your payout to open your own business, or decide to retire early if you are near retirement age. First make sure you have enough superannuation and funds to retire on by seeking advice from a financial planner.

Seek professional help. Pay any outstanding bills then take time to consider your options; talking to a financial planner or accountant may help to clarify your situation. Seek out professional advice from an accountant or financial planner, as tax rules apply to redundancy and retrenchment packages. Obtain information on Redundancy and Investments from NICRI (National Information Centre on Retirement Investments Inc.) for free independent information.

Think positive. Long-term employment is increasingly rare in these days of ‘restructuring’ ‘downsizing’ and ‘centralising’. Try to think of losing your job as a positive event, an opportunity to rethink your future and, potentially, change your career. Losing your job is stressful, almost like losing a loved one; you may actually go through a grieving process, with initial feelings of anger and denial. It is not the end of the world, but if you are having continued difficulty coping with your changed circumstances, seek counseling.

Update your résumé. To add to your chances of finding new employment, consider updating your existing skills or adding new ones by doing further courses, such as computer training. This may be an opportunity to tackle that degree you always wanted.

Network while job-hunting. Search newspapers and the internet for suitable jobs and send out your résumé; at the same time, spread the word to ex-colleagues, friends and family that you are looking for work.

Look for other ways of earning money. If your job search is unsuccessful, you may have to find alternate sources of income. If you are receiving a social security payment, find out how much you can earn before it affects your pension or benefit, then supplement it by having a garage sale, selling your home-made creations from a stall at your local market, letter-boxing leaflets or delivering newspapers, babysitting, ironing, dog washing and/or dog walking, window cleaning, gardening, home maintenance for the housebound or elderly … your options are many!

* These steps are discussed in more detail in Money Management for Women by Sheila Freeman and Helene Richards. Download your FREE chapter, “Breaking Up”.

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