Losing a job – a lot of us have been there and know the horrible sinking feeling that accompanies your last paycheque.
But eventually, when you decide on your next career move, it might feel like an exciting opportunity to do something new. And if you can keep a cool head, then getting to that stage doesn’t necessarily need to be a challenge.
Here are a few things that could help make your transition period a little easier.
Get what you’re owed
Your company can’t simply turn you out onto the street without warning! They have to give you notice as laid out in your contract, including reasonable time off as needed for interviews and job-hunting. If you’ve worked at the company for more than two years, then it’s likely that you’ll also be owed redundancy pay.
In most companies, you’ll receive these things automatically – and you can use them to ensure that you have a little time to find your feet. However, if you think that your employer is acting illegally, be sure to speak up.
Try not to burn through your savings …
If you’re taking an extended break from work – whether through choice or otherwise – then it may be tempting to start using your savings to pay for bills and essentials. If you don’t have any other means of paying then this is fine, but it should also be avoided where possible.
Instead, look for part time/temporary employment that can tide you over while you look for something more permanent, or call in favours from friends and families.
… although it may be preferable to running up debt
If there’s one thing worse than spending all your savings, though, it’s racking up credit card debt without any plan for making repayments. If you know that you’ll be starting a new job in the foreseeable future and just need to put a couple of things on credit while you wait for the first paycheque to come in, then that should be fine.
But if you keep reaching for the card to pay for your essentials while barely making the minimum repayments then you’re setting yourself up for long-term trouble.
Instead, see if you can make any changes to your living arrangements that will allow you to reduce your expenses and live within humbler means. It may mean giving yourself a reality check – but even a significant change, such as downsizing, is preferable to long-term debt issues.