How To Get Back On Your Feet Fast After Losing Your Job

"I'm devastated. What do I do now?"

"I just lost my job. I don't know what to do first."

"I'm outta work. Help!"

"I just got blindsided. I have no idea what I am going to do now."

You've lost your job.

You are feeling angry, tense, nervous, stressed, depressed or confused right about now.

However, there are specific actions you can take to cope with this challenge and land back on your feet.

Keep in mind that, while it's certainly distressing to lose your job, it has the potential to bring you an exciting new beginning.

The RIGHT ATTITUDE can help you immensely in seeing this hardship through. Your attitude will be the most important factor in determining how you come out of this situation. A positive mindset and motivation to use this as an OPPORTUNITY can't be understated.

If you tell yourself "I'll never find anything good out there" then you won't. But, if you tell yourself "This is an unexpected opportunity to choose a better, more inspirational path forward" then you will.

With that said, you still have short-term problems to deal with.

Here are some things you can do to minimize the damage and come out on top while you determine your path forward.

Budget your money.

Take a serious look at some of the things you can live without for a while until you get back on your feet. Go through all of your bills and expenses and cut out the things that aren't necessities. Be honest with yourself - just because you think you can't live without your cable or cell phone, doesn't mean it's true. Some of the first places to look include:

  • Television
  • Phones - both cell and land line
  • Cell texting or other data communications
  • Transportation
  • Eating out
  • Power usage
  • Air conditioning and heating

How can you reduce your monthly expenses?


Plan meals.

You can save over $100 (based on a family of 4 with bi-monthly pay periods) on each trip to the grocery store simply by planning meals ahead, using coupons and shopping your grocer's weekly sales flyers.

  • Not only will you reduce how much you spend on food, but you'll probably reduce some weight around your waistline as well. Who couldn't use that added benefit?

What's your meal plan?


Involve your partner or spouse.

Since this affects both of you, be sure to make plans together and agree on implementing changes in your spending habits to lessen the impact.

  • Evaluate where you stand financially. Determine how much savings you can rely on and what bills are coming due around the corner.
  • Draw up a short-term financial plan to follow while you figure things out.

What do they think?


Include your kids.

Your children should know that times are a little tougher and that you need to cut back on spending. Reassure them that things will be okay and use age-appropriate information so as not to stress or scare them.

What are their thoughts?


Understand the details.

Even though your job has ended, the final details are important to your financial future.

  • Be sure you understand your insurance options, such as COBRA, so that you and your family can remain covered without any lapses during your search for a new job.
  • Ask if you can receive a severance package. If one is available, find out every detail, such as beginning and ending dates for each of the benefits. Account for every dollar closely.

What info do you need to know?


Apply for unemployment benefits.

Most states offer online applications to help expedite the process and get you enrolled quickly. Unemployment benefits can bring in some much-needed income while you're job hunting.

What do you qualify for?


It's resume time.

Pull out your resume, dust it off and add your most recent information. Consider posting your resume online on job sites and Craigslist and print plenty of copies to drop off or mail.

  • Start your job search by looking online at job boards, forums, and classified ads, as well as applying directly to companies via their websites. The internet allows you to search the entire world right from the comfort of your own home, and can open doors of opportunity that were previously unavailable to you!

How can you make your resume look freshly updated and stand out from the pack?


Further assistance required.

If you're in dire straits and need assistance right now, there are many local agencies you can turn to for aid. The United Way and Salvation Army are located in most areas and offer a variety of programs that may be able to help you.

  • Your area may have different agencies, so check online or in the phone book for the ones in your community.

What community agencies are in your area that you can turn to?


Even more assistance.

Besides the unemployment agency, most areas have a Department of Human Resources, Social Services, or Health Department that can help or guide you to assistance.

What other government agencies can help you?


Money is short.

Wait tables. One of the fastest ways to earn some quick cash is to wait tables. This may not be glamorous, but it can bring in some immediate cash, and many restaurants beef up staff for the summer months.

How will you make quick money?


Sell some stuff.

Try eBay. Take a good look around your home, shed, or garage. How many boxes do you have lying around filled with stuff you never use? You'll be surprised at what people will pay for what you consider junk!

Have a yard sale. You can make a nice chunk of change by selling off furniture, clothing, and other household items you don't use anymore.

Got anything to sell?


Set up your own online or offline shop.

If you can make arts and crafts, sell your items on eBay, Etsy or at local craft fairs.

What are your creative talents?


Consider all your options.

Many times in life, what initially appears to be negative ends up being a blessing in disguise, and losing your job is no exception.

  • Perhaps you weren't completely happy with your job, but were hesitant to leave it. Now that the decision has been made for you, you finally have the opportunity to try out a new profession or company.
  • The possibilities are endless. You can even use a layoff as an opportunity to explore a new area of the country, travel the world for a new job, or work online.

What have you brainstormed and come up with?


Develop an unflagging optimism about this opportunity you've been given.

Offer positive, affirming thoughts to yourself and your family to keep everyone's spirit high.

  • Positive thinking can make a huge difference on how quickly you find the right job. Enthusiasm will impress prospective employers much more than if you sink into a negative outlook and carry it with you unintentionally during interviews.

How's your spirit and attitude holding up?


You can find success in the face of adversity. This tough financial time doesn't have to be devastating.

With some communication, research, and creativity, you can take advantage of your time off to find a new path forward. Use these tips to take advantage of the resources available to you to reduce the negative impact on your life.

As long as you think positively and work hard, don't be surprised if you come out of this entire experience better off than you were before.

You may even look back on this time as the lucky stroke that pushed you toward success in your new career.

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