When You Lose a Job

This guest post is written by Nikki, the founder of UK based job interview coaching and cv writing company My CV and Me. Nikki discusses a specific job loss situation in the UK known as redundancy (see note at end of post). Read on to learn about the employment world of our UK colleagues and for great tips for anyone facing a job loss.

Here are some of our top tips on what to do when you lose to job - both to keep your spirits up and to get back to work.

Know your rights

Your employers have to follow stringent guidelines when making any redundancies. They need to give you a written explanation of why you are losing your job. They are also required to prove that the decision was taken objectively and not because of factors like age or gender. They should also try to find you another position in the company if possible. You will only receive redundancy pay if you have worked at the company for more than two years. Your employer needs to provide you with a written explanation of how the final amount was calculated. If you have been employed for less than two years then you are entitled to payment of your notice period.

Plan your finances

If you do receive a redundancy payment or have some savings, think carefully about how you want to use them. You might want to pay off your credit cards or other personal loans. For advice on managing your debt, go to www.moneyfacts.co.uk. You should also check whether any of your loans come with payment protection insurance to cover the repayments while you search for your new job.


Regardless of the type of job you are looking for, the more people you get to know, the more likely you are to meet someone who knows about a job opportunity that may be right for you. For you, networking may mean going to business conferences, career fairs or making new contacts on social networking sites. Spread the word that you are looking for a job among your friends, family, former co-workers and join online networking groups like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Pick up new skills

While there is nothing you could have done to avoid losing your job, there is plenty you can do to help you get a new one. Retraining or improving your skill set it one of them and this is one of the best ways to spend your free time as you search for a new job. You could work on your Spanish, do some online tutorials or learn to use a new computer programme.

Keep a regular schedule

It may be hard to get out of bed when you have nowhere to go, but you’ll be more likely to be productive if you maintain your normal sleep patterns and schedule. Make sure you get out of the house for a while every day, even if it’s just to go for a walk. Set up a goal-a-day system. This is a plan where you do something every single day that gets you closer to finding a new job.

Look for jobs

Make sure you spend at least 30% of every day trying to find a job. That means working on your CV, getting your cover letter finished, sending out CVs, searching the web for jobs and networking. Be proactive! Just putting your CV on a few sites is not a proper job hunt, make some calls too. Temporary work is a good way of getting back into the job market. It gives you an income and also ensures CV continuity.

Hire a Career Coach

A career coach is dedicated to giving you the tools you need for career success and will challenge you to do your best, will work with you through the tough times and will empower you to reach your goals. After coaching you should have clearer career and job search goals and increased self awareness and direction.

Revamp your CV

Highlight your specific achievements that are relevant to a specific job. Add a personal profile summing up your career background, areas of expertise, key skills and motivations. Be concise and keep your CV to two pages. As well as writing your CV, practise writing cover letters. These are what first get you noticed by an employer and making your cover letter stand out from others will give you an advantage.

Re-evaluate your life

When you lose your job, getting a new job is obviously important but is it the most important thing in your life? What about your health, family, friendships and relationships? Each of these may be important to you so try not to neglect them. Try to work out what is important for you and what is important in life. Put them in order, along with gaining a job and then allocate your time into maintaining each.

See it as an opportunity

It is important that you think of redundancy as an opportunity. You may not have liked your job anyway but lacked the confidence to make the change you always wanted. Now that the decision has been forced upon you, you can potentially do anything you want. Start your own business, work abroad or go back to university.

*To be made redundant means to be laid off from work due to the permanent termination of employment e.g. certain positions are no longer necessary for business reasons. Being redundant relates to your job, not you as an individual. It means your job is now not needed within the company. The company can not take someone else on to do your job because the job position no longer exists....it isn't an exercise in simply removing you personally to get someone else in.