With all that is happening in our economy lately, we all have to realize that we could fall victim to ‘downsizing’ or ‘organizational restructuring.’ Just as with any loss, you are likely to face many emotions.
Anger is understandable. Chances are your previous employer hurt you, and you’ll no doubt want to get even, but instead of daydreaming about ways to get them back, try to work toward the one goal that will give you lasting revenge: Find a better job.
Depression likely will seem all-consuming at times. In addition to the rejection you might be feeling, there is also a certain loss of identity or self-worth. Our jobs are often a great source of satisfaction and pride; in fact they are often a central part of who we are.
Fear is a near-universal feeling when we suddenly lose a job. There is, of course, the very real fear that comes from uncertain finances. But additionally, there is the fear of change. It is hard enough to deal with change when it is planned, but it is even more difficult when the choice is made for you.
No matter now long it takes to find a new job, you will most likely have days filled with anger, sadness and fear. Realize that these feelings are normal, but by the same token, make a real effort to avoid self-pity.
First things first: Take care of your finances.
“Don’t ignore it. Don’t think it will go away,” said David Jones, president of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. “You don’t need to panic, but you do need to address it right away.”
Apply for unemployment as soon as you are eligible. The process takes time, and you should plan to be out of work for a year (and be happy when you find work sooner). Remember though, that unemployment benefits usually cover no more than 35 percent of lost wages (the average benefit is $300 a week).
Adjust your budget immediately. Cut out all unnecessary items such as cable TV, eating out, and cleaning or gardening services. Depending on what income remains in your household, you may have to start eating bologna, ramen noodles and PB&J sandwiches for a while.