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I Lost My Job, Now What?

Did you just lose your job and aren’t certain what to do? People lose jobs at some point in their lives, often due to reasons such as corporate restructuring or workforce reduction/downsizing. Whatever the case, losing a job whether you saw it coming or were blind-sided and surprised in the end can be tough.

You can easily find yourself spiraling into self-pity for a bit but you shouldn’t let that define you. The quicker you can stop with the wallowing and get back to the grind, the better it will be for your career and future. Here is how.

1. Acknowledge Your Emotions, and Get Moving

Once you’ve been laid off or fired, it’s normal to experience a range of emotions characterized by panic, anger, rage, sadness and in some cases exhilaration. Acknowledge these emotions and grieve your loss without allowing yourself to be too caught up. Just because it happened, it doesn’t mean you aren’t valuable.

Take some time to yourself and do some reflecting and soul searching to determine what it is you love doing and what’s most important to you at this point in your life. There is no need to waste time dwelling on the past when you can focus on the things you can control.

2. Reach Out to Your Network

You’ll only be able to get help when people know that you are available for new opportunities. Instead of just saying that you lost your job, let your acquaintances know specifically what you’re looking for and ask them to keep their ears open for you. Talk about your skills and focus on what you want to do next, rather than telling tales of what happened.

3. Get Your Finances in Check and Create a Budget

It can be scary to not have an idea when your next paycheck will come, but don’t let that deter you. First, you’ll want to figure out what financial options are available to keep you going for the next couple of months. Do you have savings, an emergency fund or a severance package or compensation for unused vacation time you can use?

Having some cash coming in is important so make sure you apply for unemployment benefits if you’re eligible. More importantly, work out some personal budget and look for ways to adjust your spending while you’re looking for your next job.

4. Expand Your Network

Be intentional when it comes to expanding your network as it’s not only crucial in helping you cope with the stress of job loss and unemployment but can as well get you a new job. You can meet new people with common interests by joining a club, an association, volunteering, attending events and any other opportunity that lets you network. 

Networking is the easiest way to find a new job. Target decision makers and high level executives. The higher you reach, the better. Senior executives often  consider personnel changes or upgrades in their organization without informing human resources. If a job has not been formally approved and announced to HR, there is no job posting and this eliminates competition. 

5. Update Your Resume

Now is a good time to create a competitive resume that highlights the skills and achievements you have accumulated so far. By being specific, you’ll clearly show your potential employer that you’re bringing a results-driven work ethic to the table. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated as well and ask for LinkedIn recommendations from your colleagues, supervisors or clients who think you’re fantastic.

Besides your resume, take time to review all your public social media profiles and make sure all is okay, as hiring managers tend to take a look at that as well.

6. Spruce Up Your Job Skills and Industry Knowledge

During your job search, find out which skills are most valuable to employers in your field and invest in some personal development. You can sign up for a few classes, certifications or online tutorials that can make you more marketable and ready for new opportunities. Also, stay on top of your industry’s latest developments, technology, certifications or mergers and make a list of organizations that might have opportunities that fit your skillset.

7. Find the Job You Want

Give yourself the best chance at finding a new job by also looking for executive search firms and employment agencies that place professional people in new positions. It makes the entire process easier as you won’t be alone in your job search.

To avoid missing out on new opportunities and prolonging the job search, check out on-line job listings and have a look at the available vacant positions. While you may not always land on the dream job, you may find something that keeps you going as you continue with the search.

Whether you choose to do some or all, these ideas will make it easier for you to gain control of your job search. With the right attitude, you can use this as a stepping stone to a new direction that gives you greater fulfillment. Get started on your job search by visiting us at and browse through our blog for more career advice.

By Fernando Ortiz-Barbachano

By Fernando Ortiz-Barbachano

President and CEO of Barbachano International (BIP),

The Human Capital Solutions leader in Mexico, Latin America, and the USA, offering high-impact executive search, executive coaching, and outplacement.

About Barbachano International

Barbachano International (BIP) is the premier executive search and leadership advisory firm in the Americas (USA, Mexico, Latin America, & Canada) with a focus on diversity and multicultural target markets.  Outplacement and Executive Coaching services are provided by our sister allied company Challenger Gray & Christmas. Since 1992, BIP and its affiliates have impacted the profitability of over 50% of Fortune 500 Companies.  BIP has been recognized by Forbes as Americas’ Best Executive Search Firms and currently ranks #12 and #3 on the West Coast.  Headquartered in San Diego, California with satellite offices in Florida and Mexico.  As member-owners of NPAworldwide Recruitment Network, we are supported by partner offices in over 50 countries.


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