Here 10 things to do after you have lost your job. As important as family support is to your life, you have a lot to sort through and may want to seek advice from independent professionals.
Contact a career coach. Have you met with one? Most will give you the first meeting at no cost or obligation and you can brainstorm. Even this one meeting might give you some great ideas. Before you sign on with one, make sure you have shopped around to find one you like.
Network in unlikely places. Examine who you know, and who knows the most people. Tell them your story and see what comes back to you. For me, it was always my hairdresser. Seriously. He or she knew so many people. Second to this is your financial planner. Seriously II. As a financial planner I am incredibly connected to generations of clients and their families with all sorts of skill levels. As a self employed person for almost 20 years, I can also give you insight into this life style.
Evaluate your financial planner. If you look in the mirror and see your financial planner, fire yourself, and reach out to the financial planning community in your area. Just like career coaches, most planners will meet with you initially to see how they can help you and potentially work together and there is no charge for this first meeting. Look for Certified Financial Planners here. They have passed a strenuous series of 6 exams followed by a 2 day 10 hour comprehensive exam with a 55% pass ratios. CFPs dedicate themselves to this regimen.
Sharpen your saw. This aspect is one of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. If it has been a while since you read these 7 Habits, take another look. These are amazing and simple truths. Find people and situations to make you a better prospect and potential employee the next time around.
Join Toastmasters. I would have put this first, but then you may have quit reading. It has been said they many people would pick death over making a speech in public. Perhaps you can already think on your feet. If you have never given an improvised speech, ask someone you love to give you a topic to talk about for 5 minutes and have them time you. If it is something you know about, that will help. If not, then your speech may be more about your curiosity about the topic. For example: Talk for 5 minutes about a Day in the Life of a Firefighter. But I digress ... my major in college was Communications and I love to give speeches. You don’t have to love to speak in public. But you must be able to speak extemporaneously in a job interview, and you can practice this in your own living room.
Keep current with your health insurance. Even though money may be tight, there are ways to keep you and your family insured. Before you decline COBRA or if you’re nearing the end of this coverage, contact your financial planner or insurance agent and price out the ranges of coverage. If your spouse has access to health insurance, you may be eligible for guaranteed issue when your health insurance runs out. Avoid temporary insurance as it will not cover nor extend coverage for pre-existing conditions.
See a psychologist. If your employer has an Employee Assistance Program, all the better. Find a professional to talk about your situation. I did this and it was the best thing I did to validate my assessment of my new reality. This was originally my #1 item on the list. I moved it for the same reason noted under #6.
Get out of the house and look ready to be hired. Each morning have a plan, and dress like you are going to work. You never know who you might run into filling the car with gas, at the library, getting groceries. In Columbus, Ohio where I live, there are two main job networking groups. In addition, there are many more free networking groups. Get dressed up, go, and keep coming back until you find the people you need. We are lucky to live with the Resource of The Ohio State University in our city. Once a month, our Fisher School of Business holds a free breakfast featuring one of their professors in an outreach program educating attendees about this professor’s view of the world of business, finance, marketing, etc. (My previously blog on “going green” was inspired by one of these lectures).
Exercise. When you were working you may have said you didn’t have time to exercise. Now you do. It will improve your body and your mind. Right or wrong, an employer may be more impressed with your image as an amateur athlete than a couch potato.
Web sites to visit: Self assessment tests may help you to find strengths and give you the courage to reinvent your self.
• http://www.doleta.gov/jobseekers/ Employment and Training Administration (ETA) programs, resources and online tools help workers in all stages of the job and career development.
• http://www.careeronestop.org/ This portal site provides a suite of tools for people to use at any stage in their career. They also have a tool to compare skills/education/salary to current occupational opportunities here.