Master of Money Management

9 things to help you cope with a job loss

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A job loss is never pleasant but it does not have to be a total catastrophe. Here are 10 things you can do to recover quickly.

  1. Prevention is better than cure, a job loss is not usually a sudden thing. The writing is generally on the wall for a few months before it happens. Don’t wait for the axe to fall to start making contingency plans. Get your CV sorted and into the market.
  2. Check you have received your full benefits. Ask your company’s human resources department to explain what is due to you. If you feel that you have been unfairly let go, you can contact the CCMA or Labour department for assistance. Apply immediately to the unemployment fund (UIF) as it can take three months for the first payment to come through.
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  4. Review your budget. If you are unable to fulfil financial commitments, such as mortgage or credit card payments, you may have to negotiate new terms with your creditors. It is better to be up front than fall behind with your payments. Stop spending and cancel any luxury services or subscriptions.
  5. Do not rush into any major financial decisions and do not use all of your payout to pay off your mortgage – you will have to live off that money for an indefinite period of time until you find another job. Any decision regarding paying off your mortgage and debts should be balanced against your future work prospects and the amount of the package you received.
  6. Seek professional help talking to a financial planner or accountant may help to clarify your situation. If possible try not to spend any pension pay-out that you get, it should be reinvested.
  7. Think positive. Long-term employment is increasingly rare in these days of ‘restructuring’ ‘downsizing’ and ‘centralising’. Try to think of losing your job as a positive event, an opportunity to rethink your future and, potentially, change your career. Your new job is to find another job, this is not the time to kick back and have an extended holiday. You need to work from 9 to 5 to secure the position you want.
  8. Update your résumé, get some professional help to ensure that you are giving recruiters what they need.
  9. Network while job-hunting. Search newspapers and the internet for suitable jobs and send out your résumé; at the same time, spread the word to ex-colleagues, friends and family that you are looking for work.
  10. Look for other ways of earning money. If your job search is unsuccessful, you may have to find alternate sources of income to tide you over. If you have to, accept a job with a lower salary, you can always keep looking for the right position. Some money is better than nothing,

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