There are always uncertainties and changes happening in life. Sometimes, one of these changes may cause you to lose your job when you least expect it. These are a few steps that may come in useful to handle a situation like this, and may even help you look at this as an opportunity to land that dream career that you’ve always been dreaming about.

1. Give yourself some space to think about your next step

Many people will feel the need to get straight back to applying for their next job. If this is important to you financially, then that’s probably a good idea. However, if you have time and money to give yourself some space to rethink your next job, this is an opportunity to reassess your career as a whole.

Perhaps there is a different career out there for you where you will love and enjoy more than your current one? Not many people have the opportunity to hit that reset button and being allowed to try something new.

If possible, consider what other career paths are possible for you with your current skill sets, and may excite you.

2. Understand why you lost your job

As painful as it is, people need to pause and think about the reasons why they no longer have their job, and do this in an unemotional way. There are situations where this is mostly due to the company’s own circumstances, but often these are also situations where the employee can learn and be honest with themselves as to why they have been let go.

Understanding if there was anything you could have done better, will help you in the next step of your career.

3. Evaluate your strengths

Think about what makes you come alive, what excites you to get out of bed in the morning. Ask your family and friends to tell what they think your strengths are. Consider what values you have as a person, are you an entrepreneur, do you like creating new things, or do you like helping others? Then ask yourself if there is a job or career out there that fits your strengths, and that you could still get onto with your current skill sets.

If you can afford it, you may even consider taking a lower salary than your previous job, if it means you can do something you truly love, and then work to gain experience in that field.

4. Prepare to get asked why you lost your job

During your next interview, your potential employer would want to know why you lost your job. Therefore it’s really important to know clearly how you would want to answer this question. The best advice we can give you is to not have a negative or defensive answer. Do not blame your previous employer in an unhappy or bitter way. When you do this, your next employer will have concerns about bringing a negative person on board, someone who may disrupt their team dynamics, and also someone who potentially does not own up to any responsibilities they need to take themselves.

The best answers are kind, positive and also realistic. Tell them where you feel you fell short, how you realised this, and what you learned from the experience. Take ownership of the situation, but also how that you are reacting in a positive way, and in a manner that have made you a better employee for your next job.

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Posted by Shakira Kavanagh

Passionate about making a positive impact in the world, one way or another. A total coffee junkie with an undying love for animals, her ultimate dream is to completely eradicate the global stray animal problem once and for all. For now, she makes a positive impact by helping people find the job of their dreams.