What to do when you lose your job

Finding out that you have lost your job is tough – faced with the worry that your earnings will stop, but the bills won’t. Use our checklist below to help manage your money and your job hunt until you find work again.

Review your finances – Take a good look at your finances to plan how you will cope with a lower income. Check how much money you will receive from your employer. You could be entitled to redundancy pay, or holiday pay. It’s a good idea to check the balance in your savings accounts too. If you have money set aside for emergencies you may need it now. Set a budget for all your expenses such as accommodation, food and utility bills, and check if you could switch suppliers to cut costs. Review any non-essential spending, such as gym membership or magazine subscriptions, and work out what you could cancel or cut down. You really don’t want to be spending too much money on liabilities.

Claim benefits – While you’re unemployed, you should be able to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance, so contact your local Jobcentre Plus or Jobs and Benefits Office to start the process. Depending on your circumstances, you may also be entitled to tax credits, Council Tax Benefit and Housing Benefit. Always inform yourself about claiming benefits.

Update your CV – Edit your CV so that it includes your most recent experience and presents your work history in the best possible way. Your CV is a tool to persuade employers to give you a job, so make sure it is relevant, truthful, clear and concise. Also check whether your employer has arranged to help you with writing your CV, by giving you access to a career advice service. We have a CV writing and optimisation service, so click here to find out more about that.

Polish up your skills – If you want to stand out from the competition, consider applying for courses to improve or add relevant skills. Remember that learning new skills doesn’t cost a lot of time or money. Check out the options online, and read more about the financial support available for retraining and career progression.

Get applying – Applying for work can be a job in itself. Look out for job ads in local and national newspapers, check for vacancies on the websites of relevant businesses and organisations. Don’t forget to ask around your family, friends, former colleagues and work contacts as you may hear about opportunities that are never actually advertised.

Click here to get more tips on how to plan a job search, with our career advice coaching service.

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