- Clarify goals – Although you may have an urge to get your resume out right away, take a little time to process your job loss and decide what you really want for your next steps.
- Wait before networking – You may also feel an urgency to ask everyone you know if they know of any jobs. If you take a little time to absorb the loss and clarify your goals, your contact will be better able to help you and you will come across clearer and more positive.
- Tell a trusted few first – Don’t keep this from important people in your life. Procrastinating on sharing the news will only be harder on you. Plus you could use the support right now! You also don’t want to indiscriminately tell everyone you see since your feelings may be too raw or you may not have a comfortable way of explaining the job loss figured out yet.
- Apply for Unemployment Compensation – You have been contributing to this system, and this is what it is there for. Apply on the first day after your last day of working.
- Apply for COBRA or other health insurance – Be sure to take care of yourself and your family if you have one.
- Review finances – This might include reviewing your retirement plan or making a budget once you know your severance package and unemployment compensation. It might be anxiety-producing to deal with the topic of money at this point, but it is better to know where you stand than not know. You may even be able to plan for taking some time off for retraining, healing, or figuring out career goals.
- Organize a personal office space – Create a space in your home for your career transition paperwork and activities. You may want to reorganize the existing desk space, set up filing bins or purchase a computer.
- Keep a calendar – Although you will have a huge change in routine, you will still be having activities to keep track of. Initially it may be more personal, but eventually you will be keeping track of networking appointments and interviews or setting goals on your calendar.
- Stay connected with friends and colleagues – Eventually you will want to tell most friends, family and colleagues so you can get support and perhaps networking contacts. Be sure not to isolate yourself.
Don’t wait too long – Taking a few days or weeks off after termination can be a reasonable choice if your circumstances allow for it, but waiting too long can increase
© 2008-2020, Karen Litzinger, Pittsburgh PA. Section from outplacement services Career Transition Workbook. All rights reserved. Permission given to reprint or share only in its entirety with this complete by-line and contact information: Litzinger Career Consulting, www.KarensCareerCoaching.com, karen@KarensCareerCoaching.com, 412-977-4029. For alternative use permission, please contact the author.