Now That I Have Been Downsized, What's Next?

There are many words for downsizing (e.g., restructuring, rightsizing, or destaffing, to name a few), but the end result remains the same: you are unemployed! No matter the circumstance, it is difficult to cope with the idea that, having been invested in your job, you are simply no longer needed. The emotional process is similar to other types of grieving associated with loss and may include denial, anger, or sadness. You are, after all, losing something that has been a significant part of your life.

Before moving forward, it is important to regain a positive perspective. You may find a friend or counselor serves as a good sounding board; the sooner you are able to accept (and process) the situation, the sooner you will be ready for a new start!

Assess and establish a foundation

If you haven't already done so, develop a new budget to ensure you can remain solvent while you search for the best opportunity. Establish priorities, eliminate extra expenses, and work with your family members to find new ways to save. This will help minimize the stress of being unemployed. While few enjoy living on a tighter budget, reducing financial stress will be far more beneficial than having a few added comforts or luxuries.

If you have been provided with severance pay or are receiving unemployment benefits, determine how long the severance or benefits will last. It is important to get an early start on your job search as this, along with a clear idea of how long your financial resources will last, will provide flexibility in identifying the best opportunity. Accepting a position out of desperation may become necessary, but this is not a long-term solution and best to avoid whenever possible.

If you do not have benefits or cannot (even after rebudgeting) afford to live without current employment, consider temporary work during your transition. Even a part-time position can help financially, and many job seekers benefit emotionally by feeling productive and working with others.

Where to go from here

With a clear idea of your financial needs, you can now focus on developing a plan for long-term employment. In doing so, you may need to consider transferring your skills to a new career or industry. While this can seem daunting, planning a career change it is not as hard as it might seem. Also, you will need to write your resume to focus on your specific goals and, if you have several goals, you should consider having a resume for each job type you are targeting. Lastly, as you enter your job search armed with a well-crafted resume, be prepared to use all methods of searching and networking available today.

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