Losing a job at any age can be a trying period. This is especially true during midlife, when you likely have many financial obligations to meet. It can also be very difficult to leave a job that you held for a number of years. You have not only developed a level of expertise, but also must sever long-held relationships.
Following are five tips for bouncing back after midlife job loss. Follow them, and you can begin a new career search with a more positive outlook.
No. 1 - Allow time to grieve. It is natural to go through some period of grieving, but don’t extend it too long. If your career has defined you, it is particularly difficult to be without a job. It can lead to a loss of self-worth and self-confidence. However, keep in mind that job loss is not personal, in most cases. It often arises from a company’s financial difficulties, due either to restructuring or lost revenue. While you will certainly grieve the loss of your job, you also must accept your situation. Keep at the forefront of your mind all the benefits that you will bring to a new employer in terms of skills, abilities and knowledge. This will improve your outlook and enable you jump start the job search process.
No. 2 - Get your finances in order. You will need to review your financial circumstances, including how much savings you have, as well as what you can expect from your employer in terms of severance pay and outplacement services. You can also research how much you may be eligible to receive through your local unemployment office. Unemployment benefits typically last for a six-month period. You also want to be sure you have continued health insurance through a COBRA program, which allows you to purchase health insurance at reduced costs at a group rate. If necessary, you can always take a temporary job while performing a search for new employment.
No. 3 - Use credit cards with caution. Daniela Baker, at CreditDonkey, says you usually don’t want to rack up huge credit card debt during periods of unemployment, or submit new credit applications. You can get trapped with an inability to pay them back, and, too many inquiries can lower your overall credit score. Remember, depending on your next position, your future employer might request a credit report. This may increase your stress level. Indeed, after losing a job, you may want to contact all of your creditors to let them know of your financial situation. Most creditors will arrange a payment plan, as missed payments hurt them as well.
No. 4 - Organize your time. Begin the search for new employment by laying out the steps needed to land a new job. Create a calendar of activities and devote 30 to 40 hours per week to job search. The more time you put in, the less time it should take to obtain an offer. Create a set of daily goals, such as the number of calls you will make or resumes you will submit.
No. 5 - Take a proactive stance. Don’t feel like a victim. You are now in a position to take full control of your career. Think about the wealth of experience and accomplishments you bring to the table, and use these strengths as the building blocks for your career search. Taking a proactive and positive approach will help you land a new job. You will bring energy and enthusiasm to the search, which will be readily apparent to those employers you meet. You will be creating a perception of yourself in the mind of employers, just as companies create a perception of their products or services in the mind of consumers. In effect, through your job search efforts, you will be creating a “brand” new you!
About the Author
Daniela Baker is part of the management team at CreditDonkey.com, a credit card comparison site. They publish credit card reviews, deals, and tips to help consumers and small business owners make informed credit decisions.
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