Four words we all hope to avoid ever saying: “I just got fired.” There’s no sugarcoating it: being fired or laid-off causes serious upheaval in your life. Even when you hate your job, losing it is not a fun alternative. Not only is it hard on your wallet, it’s hard on your self-confidence.
In Brokenomics: 50 Ways to Live the Dream on a Dime , Dina Gachman’s comical guidebook to smart money management, the author discusses her own experience getting fired, which she realized can make you “a little upside down and crazy in the head.” Like Gachman, you may find yourself doing strange things, like reading A Shore Thing by Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi or debating if it’s worth brushing your teeth in the morning. (The answer is yes, always yes.) Whether you lost your job because of your own gaffe or the economy knocked you down, all hope is not lost, no matter how much it may feel that way. It’ll take some time — and probably comfort food — to stomach the news, but eventually you’ll be cashing paychecks again.
Along with the other useful lessons that can be gleaned from Brokenomics, Gachman shows readers how to recover after a job loss.
Here are five steps to getting off the couch and into a job you want, based on Gachman’s wisdom:
Take a Breather
It’s important to get back on the horse, but Gachman says it can be healthy to “just… be.” If you need to throw yourself a limited-duration pity party or want to catch up on The Bachelor, that’s OK. Gachman recommends keeping this period to “a week or so,” though. At some point, you’ve got to get yourself back out there.
Change Your Perspective
If there’s a silver lining to being suddenly jobless, it’s that it forces you to stop and reevaluate your job path. “A layoff is the perfect time to reassess your goals and priorities,” writes Gachman. Take advantage of the opportunity, even if it means you’re back to babysitting for the first time since college to keep the hunger pangs away. Kids are cute, right?
Lay Out a Plan
Once you know what your goal is, come up with your game plan. “If you have a grander plan than babysitting, then take steps to move toward making that happen every single day — while you’re babysitting,” advises Gachman.
Keep Calm And Carry On
When you’re looking for a new job, don’t let panic rule you. Make decisions that will be good for you in the long-term. Sure, you have to eat, but figure out what options are out there before you immediately start selling your eggs (something Gachman recommends thinking very, very seriously about). If, like Gachman, a cult tries to hire you and sends you home from your interview with unidentified pills, it’s best to evaluate the pros and cons. Remember this: Avoiding jail time is always a pro.
Put In The Hard Work
Sorry to disappoint, but Gachman reveals that there aren’t shortcuts. Her philosophy is this: “Just because you think you deserve something does not mean you deserve it. You deserve things when you work your ass off.” Moving forward means working hard. You can do it.