Navigating Job Loss: What To Do After Leaving The Workforce

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Losing or quitting a job; a place where the majority of us have been. However, that doesn’t make the situation any better and we definitely don’t feel that way at the moment. When you lose your job unexpectedly, you basically see your whole life flash before your eyes, and you are most likely riddled with anxiety about what the future holds. I am here to tell you there is a future and we’re here to show you how to navigate your way to the outcomes you desire.

After losing your job, start by taking time to self-reflect; what direction do you want to go next and how will you get there. This can take time, so try and avoid money constraints by having you accept the first job. File for unemployment, organize your health insurance and adjust your spending habits.

There are some items for you to do that we deem necessary after you lose your job and you’re here because you are wanting some help. Follow along with this article for some inspiration on your next steps.

1. Self Reflect

No matter the reason for losing your job; whether you quit or you were let go, being jobless comes with so many questions. It leaves you wondering about what the world has in store for you next. Therefore before going too far down the rabbit hole that is the ‘future’, begin with some self-reflection.

Finding a new job takes precious time and energy and for most, they want to get started right away as the bills likely don’t stop flowing. So for us, self-reflection is a great way to get a jump on things.

With your newfound free time (wanted or unwanted – you’ve got it), start to figure out what it is exactly that you want in life. This is a chance to evaluate your emotions. How do you feel about the situation as a whole? What could have been done differently (if anything) to prevent this from occurring?

There are no limits when it comes to self-reflections. Anything you choose to implement in your self-reflection is a start.

2. Verbalize It

Losing a job can take a huge jab at your ego. It also includes an element of cover-up, as some want to remain private about their employment status.

Our society has made it seem like being without a job is the absolute worst thing that could happen to a person. This way of thinking makes it hard for people to feel comfortable voicing that they are without a job and they choose to keep it hidden.

However, it is our suggestion that you talk it out with someone.

There’s nothing to gain in bottling up your emotions and how you feel about the situation.

Talking to others about where you’re at allows a different perspective to be introduced. As I said, most people have been in the same situation that you are currently in. Therefore, talking to a trusted and respected person may give you some inspiration – or at the very least, make you feel like you are not alone.

Seek a family or friend and confide in them – it works wonders for the transition process.

3. File for Unemployment

Unemployment is made available to us for a reason. If you lose your job for circumstances beyond your control, you may qualify for some amount of monthly unemployment payments.

Listen, it never hurts to apply – even if you think you may get denied.

Make sure that you check unemployment requirements for your state, as they may vary. Be honest about your situation, and they will advise you on any payments you may be entitled to. Having a regular income can help alleviate added stress and allow you to find the next job that’s right for you. is a good starting point.

4. Determine Health Insurance

One of the biggest perks that comes with being employed is that most jobs offer health insurance. The loss of your job often guarantees the loss of your insurance following shortly after.

We all know how important health insurance is, especially if you live in an area in which medical expenses cost the patient a fortune.

Therefore it is important for you to try to acquire new insurance before your current insurance lapses.

It would be your luck that you get sick the day following the end of your insurance. There are some insurance plans out there that are affordable for those with low incomes.

Contact a health insurance representative for more information. If you don’t feel like that is the right option for you, it is important for you to come up with a contingency plan for if you do fall ill.

5. Resume Updates

Chances are you probably haven’t looked at your resume in a while have you? Well, now that you are without a job – it is time to revamp it a little.

Your resume is your first impression when it comes to prospective employers. You need to make sure that your resume is a reflection of you – all the best parts!

Take a look at your resume – some things to think about updating are:

  • Your contact details (address,phone number, email)
  • Previous jobs
  • Any new skills or certifications you have acquired since creating your original resume
  • Your next goal and career aspirations
  • Professional memberships
  • Awards
  • Volunteer work

There are all kinds of websites, even Google which has readily available templates that could assist you in revamping or creating a new resume altogether. 

Related post: Night Shift Worker Resume Guide: Structure, Style, and Content Needed to Get Noticed

6. References

When you are looking for a new job, one thing your employers could potentially ask for would be a list of references. They want people who can attest to your character and work ethic.

The most important thing to consider when creating a list of references is who will speak highly of you?

Most employers want people that you have worked with in the past – previous coworkers or supervisors would be a great place to start.

Make sure you get their permission before adding them to your list, and get a good phone number and email address that they can be contacted on.

Some employers may even allow family members or friends to be listed as a reference, and we all know that there is nobody better to speak to how awesome you are than your mates! Even if your employers do not request a list of references, it is always good to have them just in case.

7. Explore New Opportunities

There are so many opportunities available out there, you just have to put in the work to find them. Exploring new opportunities includes considering going back to school, starting your own business or looking for a new job in an industry you’ve not previously worked.

We all know there are many ways of going about getting a new income. There are so many websites out there that allow you to search study options in your area, provide you with ideas for starting your own business or assist with applying for a new job.

If you already know you’d like to work in the same space and want to know where to find jobs available, we suggest checking out websites like Indeed or ZipRecruiter – they seem to be the most common place for some inspiration.

We also have a few ideas and posts written about each one;

8. Revamp your Budget

The loss of your job translates to a loss of income. Therefore, it is important to sit down and recreate your budget. Or, if you have never had a budget – now would be a great time to start.

Even if you are approved for things like unemployment benefits, it is likely that you will not have as much money coming in as you previously had.

That’s why it is important to sit down and determine what it is exactly you have to work with. You need to know how much money is coming in and how much you are spending (we suggest breaking this down to weekly or monthly periods).

If your income is less than the amount you are spending, then some things need to go (or you need to find a quick way to boost your income without compromising what you want to do next).

9. Clean Up Your Social Media

This shouldn’t need to be an option here, but we live in a society today that is run by social media. Therefore, when you are applying for a job the first thing that potential employers are going to check is your social profiles.

The internet is accessible to everyone, so if you have a social media profile – it takes just a few minutes for an employer to get a feel for you. So how are you currently portrayed in those environments? Some employers make their decision off your social media profiles alone (rightly or wrongly).

If there is something that screams CAUTION on your platform, chances are you will not even get a call for an interview.

You might not like this, because after all your social media account is your own, but most are publicly available for view. There is no law against employers searching you on Facebook or Instagram. That’s why it is important to give your profile the once over and make sure everything still represents you but does so in a way that does not raise any red flags.

10. Be Upfront

If you decide to apply for a new job, your prospective employers are going to find out one way or another that you were either fired, quit, or laid off from your previous job. Not only are they going to find out about it, chances are they are going to ask you about it in your initial interview. The best thing that you can do for yourself in that situation is to have a response and BE HONEST!

Most employers recognize that sometimes things happen outside of your control. They also know that there are things that go on in other organizations that could result in you quitting. What they are looking for is someone who is going to be honest and upfront with them about why they are no longer at the previous job. If you lie to them, chances are they are going to find out the real reason – meaning, you establish a level of distrust.

No positive relationship should ever start in that fashion and we feel by being honest, your potential new employer will respect you much more because of it.

11. Remain Positive

Out of all the tips I have given you, this is the most important. It is also the most difficult to stay true to. Remaining positive requires constant effort. It is easy to let things that happen to us control us in a negative manner. We know it takes less effort to be a debbie-downer than it does to remain positive.

Remaining positive in the midst of what might be a negative situation seems “fake” in a sense. How can someone remain so positive when they are constantly being dealt a bad hand? The answer is, we have no choice but to. If we don’t remain positive, this will impact you, your persona and chances of achieving the new working goal you’ve set yourself.

In summary, being without a job can be scary. Being in the moment, not knowing the outcome can cause your body and mind to be consumed by anxiety. However, fear not – as you can see there are many avenues for you to take once you are ready to get back on the horse! Even though you are not punching a clock full-time, it doesn’t mean you don’t have things that can be achieved each day. Get up, keep a smile on your face, and move on to the next. You are going to do great things!

If at any time you need some inspiration during this journey, refer back to this article. There are some great tips here to assist you in surviving losing your job. Just because it is the end of your current employment, does not mean it is going to be the end of the career you choose. Opportunities will present themselves to you, as long as you are looking for them and putting in the work.

If you enjoyed this post, consider checking out this job-related posts we recently published too;



Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, but this is at no additional cost to you. Please read our disclosure and privacy statement for more info.

Daniel Smith

Managing a global sales team I've experienced the challenges of working at all hours of the day and night. Being a shift worker I know how tough it can be balancing everyday life when you feel like you haven't slept in weeks! Providing advice and tips on how to manage your schedule, whilst still staying healthy is where I can help.

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