There’s never a good time to be fired or laid off from your job, but it’s especially painful during the holidays. Not only does losing your job put a damper on an otherwise festive season — it also means you lose income just when you might need it the most.
After absorbing the initial shock of being fired, your first move should be to take a step back and put everything in perspective. As a blog on the Talent Solutions website put it, losing a job before the holidays might seem like the end of the world, but it’s not. Maintain a positive attitude, surround yourself with a support group of friends and family and work on what you can control instead of what you can’t.
Here are six positive steps you can take if you’ve lost your job ahead of the holidays.
Talk to the Employer That Fired You
Your initial reaction to being fired might be anger or bitterness, but do your best to contain those emotions so you get more information. JVS Career & Employment suggests calmly listening to the reasons you were laid off or fired to gain more context and turn it into a learning experience. If your employer offers outplacement services, take advantage of those as well.
“If you are too emotional, request a slight delay to collect your thoughts,” the blog advised. “You’ll want to be clear-headed and an active listener so you can take notes and ask any clarifying questions to help you understand all of the details around the layoff.”
Update Your Resume and Begin Networking
Even though it might be tempting to kick back until the holidays are over, the better move is to begin taking positive steps toward your next job. Talent Solutions advises adding your most recent job and skills to your resume and sending it out to potential employers. Also, share it with your professional network and take it to networking events in your area.
Search for Seasonal Jobs
Since it might be difficult to find a new career position immediately, the holidays are a good time to look for temporary seasonal positions. As Ramsey Solutions reported, U.S. retailers typically add hundreds of thousands of new jobs during the holidays. Some of these jobs could turn into permanent positions. You might also find holiday work at restaurants and delivery companies.
Learn New Skills
One advantage of not working full-time is that you have more time to develop your professional skills through online learning, reading books or latching on with organizations that might need volunteers or unpaid interns. Focus on marketable skills that can enhance your chances of being hired.
Make an Employer List (and Check It Twice)
JVS Career & Employment recommends creating a list of companies you might want to work for, regardless of whether they have any current job openings. Research their mission, company culture, business model, customer base and growth strategy. Once you have built up enough expertise, find connections at the companies through LinkedIn and other professional resources to make your pitch in person rather than just sending a resume.
Reduce Your Spending
Yes, it’s the holidays — but now is not the time to splurge on gifts or travel with money you can’t afford to part with. Likewise, avoid running up your credit card balances or dipping into retirement savings. Find areas you can cut back on so you can pay expenses with emergency savings or your severance package, if applicable.
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