The loss of a job is a major life event and one that can lead to significant stress. People cope with job loss in a variety of ways.
Some people dive into the job-search process, while others take time to heal before jumping into search mode. Still others keep themselves distracted working part time, which, in turn, helps them to pay for financial obligations or to learn a new skill which they might later leverage to make a career change.
Strategies for coping with job loss
Below are a couple of strategies to help you cope with job loss and land on your feet again.
If you decide to seek employment in the same industry, you might consider the following:
- Contacting your former employer’s competitors regarding job opportunities,
- Exploring opportunities in an organization that serves your industry or is an ancillary to it, or
- Identifying job opportunities in smaller companies or start-ups.
If financial obligations are a pressing concern, you might consider the following:
- Securing freelance or contract work, or
- Obtaining part-time work.
While additional work helps you financially, it also provides an opportunity for you to maintain your skills or to learn new ones as well as to network with professionals.
Explaining your job loss on a résumé or in an interview
You might be wondering how to explain a job loss to a potential employer. To some extent, your response will depend on the particulars of your situation, e.g. downsizing, company relocation which did not appeal to you, or perhaps termination due to poor performance. Obviously, the latter is much more difficult to explain.
If you find yourself in a job-loss situation, you might want to consider including your freelance work on your résumé (particularly if it’s related to your profession), but omitting the part-time job you secured to help pay the bills. When an employer asks about the gap in employment history, you can simply state that you worked part time to meet your financial obligations while pursuing full-time work. By and large, employers will respect your honesty.