Job Hunting Tips: How To Deal With Losing Your Job

by Jacques Sprenger on February 9, 2009

How do you deal with losing your job? If you are facing a layoff, here are a few job hunting tips to help you cope in a positive way.

Many people have received a pink slip with their last paycheck. Our current unemployment rate is above 7% on average, but reaches as high as 10% in some parts of the country. These are real people, not just raw abstract numbers, and if we include affected family members, the actual number of persons who are suffering right now is around four times higher (considering a family of four).

job hunting tips, losing your job
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10 Job Hunting Tips: How To Deal With Losing Your Job

If you’ve lost your job, you may be wondering what you should be doing right now. The following suggestions may be helpful:

1. Gather the family and start explaining what happened. Kids are incredibly supportive if we take the time to talk to them as if they are adults. They will gladly accept necessary sacrifices during difficult times.

2. Get in touch with the extended family: cousins, aunts, uncles, no matter where they are located. They may know somebody or some company which is actually hiring.

3. Talk to all your acquaintances, including old college buddies with whom you haven’t chatted up in years. Again, one of them may have the solution to your present problems.

4. Do not be afraid to move to a different part of the country (or the world). Think about moving to a new city. If needed, the bread earner may want to pursue the job search alone until such time that the whole family can be reunited. Think of all the soldiers who are called to duty for long stretches at a time. If you are comfortable with manual labor, look for work in remote locations, such as oil rigs. They haven’t stopped pumping oil and need all the help they can get.

5. Check out the job market and the cost of living at places where you’re job hunting. Before moving from a small town to a large urban area (or vice-versa), it’s a good idea to check out the local job market and evaluate salaries where you’re planning to work. This salary comparison tool can help you evaluate job and relocation opportunities:

For example, the cost of living in Brownsville, TX is 18.0% lower than in Houston, TX. Therefore, you’ll need to earn a salary of $40,992 to maintain your current standard of living (compared to $50,000 you would need in Houston). I live in Brownsville and I can testify to the accuracy of this tool. This means that if you are offered a lower paying job, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are losing money.

6. Be creative. You probably saw the media report of a jobless manager in New York who launched a creative job hunt by walking around with a “sandwich” board hanging from his shoulders. He got national attention and a new job. Why not stick flyers on lampposts or announce your plight on one of those social networks on the Internet? You have nothing to lose!

7. Branch out. This may be your great opportunity to find your dream job. Maybe you’d like to seek a job in a totally different area, and get into something you’ve always wanted to do. Maybe you’d like to start a home business, or become a park ranger, teacher or someone who works with troubled kids in some capacity. You may want to learn to be a chef, write speeches or the book you’ve always dreamed about. Identify your strengths, your best skills, and match them to your ideal job.

8. Go online. There are many websites and services on the Internet where you can view job openings. There are many resources out there that can help you with your job search or alternative plans. Some of the most popular include:

  • a great resource for local jobs, career advice and other services to help you manage your career and job.
  • Executive Search Online: a leading nationwide job matching service for more experienced executives. Pay levels for these executive jobs are typically higher.
  • an extensive career network that’s set up as a community of niche sites in various industries.
  • EssayEdge: an essay editing resource for those who need a little help with their college, graduate or other academic admission essays. They help out students seeking to gain admission to the colleges and universities of their choice.
  • ResumeEdge: a resume editing resource for those who need a little help writing a high quality resume and / or cover letter. They are the leading provider of resume writing services online and the chosen resume partner of well-known job sites such as Yahoo! Hot Jobs, CareerJournal and
  • Resume Rabbit: a resume distribution service that submits resumes to top online job sites such as Career Builder, HotJobs, Monster, Dice, etc, as well as job search engines.
  • Snag A Job: an online tool to help you find hourly jobs. This service provides you with access to part-time and full-time hourly jobs.
  • Yahoo Hot Jobs: a popular online job board.
  • GoFreelance: a premier online community for freelance professionals and companies looking to hire skilled freelance experts. They house thousands of freelance and work-at-home jobs in the US and worldwide.

In addition, there are many “headhunter” agencies on the Internet.

9. Write a solid resume. Don’t forget that human resources managers dedicate only 30 seconds to each resume when they begin the screening process. So make sure to check out these resume writing tips and recommendations on preparing a “knock-out” CV.

10. Don’t freak out. Getting fired (I can attest to it) or getting laid off causes a maelstrom of negative emotions. Guilt, rage, impotence, low self-esteem and despair are common reactions. If you torture yourself with this, the results can only be catastrophic, so stop the vicious emotional circle and focus on the positive. Crisis also means opportunity!

Start your search for a new job. You’d be surprised at how many opportunities are waiting to hear from you.

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