For anyone who has enjoyed full employment throughout their adult lives, the shock of suddenly losing a job can be devastating. For many people, their job is more than just a paycheck; it can be their entire identity. Unemployment can be that much more unnerving if it arrives unexpectedly. Suddenly the world as you knew it has been turned completely on its side.
While there is no easy answer to surviving an unemployment crisis, there are coping strategies to see you through it. Jobs can be hard to come by and, if your particular talents indicate a more specialized field of employment, they can be nearly impossible to find.
When the verdict of unemployment is handed down, the first thing to do is keep your head. It is shocking and challenging, but it doesn't have to be the end of the world. Sit down calmly with your employer to gain an understanding of what sort of severance package you may be entitled to receive and well as details on how to apply for unemployment insurance. Ask if your employer is offering any sort of help with job leads or recommendations. Keep in mind, there are resources available to help you through this time. You will not automatically go bankrupt or lose your home.
You need to start feeling good about yourself and your prospects as soon as possible. Take time to polish your resume. You're going to need it when you get back out there to look for a new job. Check with friends, family and former co-workers to see if they have any potential leads you can follow. Consider working with an employment agency to find a job that fits your qualifications.
As important as it is to find a new job, you must realize that it may not be easy and it may not be fast. Don't spend every waking minute dwelling on your situation. Take time to improve your skills and to learn new ones. The employment world is changing rapidly and the more you can demonstrate your willingness and ability to change with it, the greater your chances for future employment will be.
Don't be afraid to take a step down. It might be hard to find a job with the benefits and salary of the one you lost. That's not the end of the world. Be open to new possibilities. Unemployment can be the start of a whole new phase of your life if you let it. You may feel you're taking a few steps backward at first by taking a job with lower pay. Eventually you may be able to look back on this time in your life and realize it represented one of the best opportunities in your life for change.