If you've been "let go" try and see it as an opportunity and you won’t feel so powerless. So set the alarm and spend a working day planning your new life. Here are some ideas.

 

Follow the money

  • Claim redundancy pay if you were employed for over 2 years, insurance (on PPI policies, mortgages and credit cards), notice and holiday pay. Apply for relevant benefits and use any redundancy money to pay off debts. Then cut expenses to the bone—do you really need Sky?

Search for jobs

  • Polish your CV and hone interview skills while scouring websites, agencies and vacancies. Don’t dismiss lesser jobs, or you may never work again. Government career-development loans are available if you need to update your skills, but beware of paying for courses that go nowhere.

Network 

  • A third of people who lose their jobs find another through personal contacts, so ask friends, ex-colleagues and LinkedIn buddies for leads. Job clubs can also give useful tips.

Volunteer 

  • Find something you enjoy and feel valued in. It’ll get you out of the house, provide contacts and even kick-start a new career.

Live your dream 

  • You can set up on your own at any age, in fact the over-50s are more likely to succeed than younger people. If you want to run a cake shop or joinery business, start by selling at local fairs to see if there’s a demand. Decide on your objectives and strategy, drive it by effort not loans, and never put your home up as security. Even if you only make £10, you’ll feel empowered.

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