What to Do After Losing Your Job - 6 Tips for Getting Back on Your Feet

Mental Health

Businessman walking out of the office with a box of belongings after losing his job.

Losing your job can be one of the most stressful life events you’ll experience. For some workers, their job loss grief can cause depression or anxiety. Whether you knew your job loss was coming or it was sudden, being unemployed can come as a shock. There can be many emotions that follow and often hard times before you fully recover.

Follow these tips for getting back on your feet after losing a job and finding your next career opportunity.

#1 Take Time to Consider What You Want

Many employees who have lost their job take the opportunity of using their new-found free time to think about how they want their future to look. Some will reflect on what they have and haven’t enjoyed about their previous roles and look for a new role or opportunity that makes them happy. Use this time to think about what you want for your future. Rather than rushing into the first job opportunity that arises, you might be glad that you took some time to make sure that your next move is the right one.

#2 Don’t Blame Yourself

The vast majority of workers who lose their job do so through no fault of their own. Redundancy has become a standard part of financial management in companies today. Keep reminding yourself that the decision to make you redundant was financial and not personal. Your position was made redundant, not you.

Don’t be embarrassed to tell friends and family that you’ve lost your job. Be open and don’t feel as though you need to keep it hidden, even if you’re feeling shame. The majority of your network will be supportive and not judge you.

#3 Get in Touch With Your Network

Many people find their next role from their network rather than applying for an advertised job. Think about who you know from your previous job/s and write a list. Make contact with them and let them know what kind of role you’re looking for and ask them to make contact if they hear of anything that might be suitable for you. Alternatively, take a look at these professional networking tips to get going.

Even if you don’t get any leads or job offers, making contact with your network is proactive and starts conversations.

#4 Make Use of Help in Your Job Search

If you have access to a job placement company, make use of the service. You might think you don’t need it at the time you lose your job, but you may want to use it later on in your job search journey. Even if your employer hasn’t offered you an outplacement service, it may be worth investing in if you need help with the following:

  • Career advice

  • Assistance with preparing your resume and cover letters

  • Help with your LinkedIn profile

  • Transferable skills analysis and identifying possible job opportunities

  • Job search techniques

  • Interview coaching 

  • Job search support

If a friend or family member offers to help with drafting or editing your cover letter or resume, accept their offer. Don’t be shy in asking a contact for help either. Some people don’t offer because they think you won’t want to share something as personal as your CV, but they’ll likely be more than happy to help if you ask.

#5 Think About Upskilling and Retraining

Some people use this time in their work life to make a change and try a new career. For others, they need to make a change because there are few opportunities available in their current industry or they feel that they’re no longer suited to that line of work. Whatever the reason for the career change, you may need to learn a new skill or retrain to gain a job in your new chosen industry.

There are plenty of organisations that offer courses and training. Start your search at your local TAFE, universities and Course Finder for a listing of online courses. Each state and territory in Australia has an Education and Training government sector that may have details of courses and any subsidised training you may be eligible for.

If you’re on a budget, there are free and low-cost online courses you can do to improve your skills and your confidence to apply for different roles. Do a Google search to see what’s available in your chosen area of study.

#6 Seek Help for Your Mental Health

You might be feeling a range of emotions about your job loss that can feel overwhelming. It’s normal to feel depressed or anxious after losing your job. If you still have access to your former employer’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), make an appointment and speak to a psychologist, speak to your GP or contact PeopleSense by Altius Group on 1800 258 487 or get in contact online.

Category: Mental Health