Losing your job can be unnerving, but here are 7 ways to minimise the strain.

1. Start thinking about it while you’re still working

It’s important to have a financial cushion for when money is short, so try to make sure you have one. Begin by making a budget—you need to be honest about all incomings and outgoings—and then think about where you can make savings. Getting your debts under control and thinking about insurance are also best done while working.

2. Remain positive

Think about the skills you’ve acquired, the contacts you’ve made, and anything that will help you get your next job.

3. Know your rights

You may want to escape as soon as possible, but do check that your redundancy package is in order. There’s a tool on the government website (www.gov.uk) that enables you to calculate the amount you should get, so go there first, and type the word “redundancy” into the site’s search box.

Most employers will have their own redundancy arrangements—often more generous than the legal minimum—so it’s well worth checking what they are. The good news is that you don’t pay income tax on a statutory redundancy payment, unless it’s over £30,000. The bad news is that you may have to on payouts from your employer.

4. Network

It really pays to get out there and let everyone know that you’re available for work. Your local Chamber of Commerce will have networking events and there are lots of networking groups in every sector, so look on the net for any that are nearby.

Network online too, particularly on LinkedIn, which has specific sections for getting work and finding job opportunities. Your connections there can recommend you for posts and let you know about jobs coming up.

5. Rework your CV

Take the opportunity to show all the skills and experience you’ve gained. Ideally you should tailor your CV to suit every job you go for, so that your skills are perfectly matched to the employer’s specifications. It’s also a good idea to send your CV as a pdf (you can use a free online service such as Doc2pdf to convert it from Word).

6. Consider consultancy

If you have significant experience in your profession, why not hire out your knowledge and skills? From gardening to tax advice, PR to publishing—in theory you can become a consultant in anything. For some great tips on how to do it, see www.entrepreneur.com.

7. It’s never too late to learn

If you don’t want the responsibility of running your own business, another option might be to consider starting on a whole new career path. There are courses available online, often for free, from institutions such as Harvard and Oxford. Even adult evening classes can give you the skills to move in a new direction.

Read more articles by Jasmine Birtles here

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