What happens when you lose your job and you aren't prepared?

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If you don't have a plan, losing your job is a bad time. How will you pay for your rent, car, and new weekend grillz?

A man smiling showing gold and diamond grillz on his teeth.

As someone who experienced this first-hand, unfortunately more than once, I found being released by your employer can have more results than just forcing you to live with your parents.

George Constanza says,

Unemployment can lead you to positive opportunities for personal and professional growth.

1. Learn to Adapt

Walking away from financial security can be a mental and emotional rollercoaster, but you're not alone, as more than 6 million people lose or quit their jobs every month. One thing you'll learn is how capable you are at bouncing back.

Homer Simpson riding a roller coaster to nowhere.

I lost my fair share of jobs and I can tell you it's a severe blow to your wallet and your ego.

One year, just three days after the New Year, a well-known online retailer pulled a contracting group of +30 of us into a meeting and basically said, "Thanks for your help. Get your stuff and leave now, please." No reason and no tears. Ouch, right?

Bill Murray screaming the words,

It made me wonder what I did wrong and what I could have done differently. But sometimes there isn't an answer. You have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep on truckin'.

Here are some things you can do to help you stay mentally solid and get through this job loss:

  • Try to stay positive and realize that this isn't the end, but the beginning of a new adventure.

  • Rely on your family, friends, and colleagues for an emotional support group.

  • Spend more time on hobbies or doing fun things to keep yourself from dwelling on the negative.

An animated jello creature deflects balls that bounce off of it. The text reads,

2. Learn to Set Goals

Losing a job provides an opportunity for self-reflection.

A business man stands on a arrow trending upward. The text explains that goals can

Young people can take the time to assess their skills, interests, and career goals.

Think about what you truly want in your career and make necessary adjustments.

This might require a little work on your part. After all, looking for a job is a full-time job.

Dust off that resume, update your LinkedIn, and start researching what you want to do next with your life.

If you don't have experience in resume writing, LinkedIn is a great place to start. I've found many professionals there which will review your resume for free. You might also try job search sites such as:

And don't underestimate the power of AI tools like ChatGPT. I've used it several times to tailor resumes to job descriptions.

I've also found that local libraries and unemployment offices sometimes offer free meet-ups on job hunting, resume editing, and cover letter writing.

You can also search YouTubeand find a treasure trove of step-by-step career advice videos if you put your 90-Day Fiancé recap on hold for a few minutes.

Big Ed from 90 Day Fiancee crying.

Setting new goals, reevaluating your career path, and considering alternative options can be valuable outcomes of a job loss. No one is going to plan your career for you.

The future is up to you. If you can imagine it and prepare yourself for a dream job, you can do it!

Sponge Bob waving his hands in the air and producing a rainbow. The text reads,

3. Learn to Network

Okay, enough of the motivational speak. Leaving behind your work friends and colleagues can be a real bummer, but job loss can give you the chance to expand your network.

Icon of a person connecting to other people icons via dotted lines.

Take advantage of your current connections.

Friends, family, organizations, school alumni, hobby groups, and social media communities are all a gold mine of potential resources.

Even that celebrity gossip YouTube community you visit once a week could lead you to your next opportunity.

 A dog sends an email. The text reads,

Make sure as well to connect with anyone you currently work with so you can share resources and support if you all get canned.

Staying connected also expands your possibilities. Due to my connections, I once landed a part-time job at an arena as an usher and, while it's not a dream job, I was able to attend concerts, festivals, and sporting events for free while earning a paycheck.

This also allowed me to connect with an entirely new group of people I would have never met had I stayed in one industry.

A young woman making funny faces while she dances at a music concert.

Don't be afraid to ask others for help if you are struggling to find work. It's part of the human condition and everyone has experienced unemployment at some point in their life.

Even if you have to take a job you don't really want in order to pay the bills, this will keep you afloat until you can move forward to a position that suits you.


Mary was just let go from her job as a remote proofreader. She's been unmotivated and depressed that she won't find a new job fast enough to pay her rent. Which groups might lead her to a new opportunity? Select all that apply:

Take Action

In addition to these key lessons, a job loss can teach financial responsibility, time management skills, and the importance of having a backup plan or emergency fund.

A graphic that explains that 47% of Americans have rainy day funds to cover emergencies for 3 months.

While losing a job can suck, the lessons I learned from this experience led to personal and professional growth. In my experience,networking is the best option you can take towards moving onwards.

Remember, this is another part of your story and there is always something better ahead. You don't need to live with your parents forever!

A woman saying,


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