Getting fired is one of the most difficult things that can happen to you. It places your financial security in jeopardy and it calls into question your worth as a productive member to society. Emotionally, termination ranks up there with death of a close family member in regard to the stress level that it causes. This is true whether the firing is due to something that you did or a downsize or folding of the company. So if you are fired, what do you do?
The first thing to do is to take stock of your resources. What kind of savings do you have, what kind of bills? What kind of money is still coming in? What bills will you continue to need to pay, and where can you tighten your belt. One great way to do this is to create a table with money in and money out. Sort the money out into categories-- incidental, survival, and debt payoff is one set that works well. From there, try and figure out which bills you can cut out, which ones you can trim, and which will continue no matter what. Using this, you can estimate how long you can be unemployed before your savings run out. This gives you a timeline to work with regarding how long before you need to take more drastic measures.
Evaluate Future Employment
The next step is to look at finding a new job. For some, it's a no brainer to look for something in the same field. For others, however, this might be an opportunity to consider a career change. If you hate your job or have been putting off doing something you really wanted to do (especially if you have decent savings to give it a shot), this might be the time to go for it. Or, it might be time to go back to school and train to do something that you are more likely to love. Much of this, of course, depends on your finances. However, if you are truly ready for a lifestyle change you might also consider a job that supports you while you do online or night college, or a night job and school during the day.
Once you have made your plan, take action. Start looking for employment in the field you have chosen. Put out feelers to colleagues, online, and at the unemployment agency. Tighten your belt financially, making a plan to cut more when and if you need to. If necessary, consider calling your creditors and asking for smaller payments during your unemployment stage. Many of them are happy to help you out during short periods of stress. Then make your plan your new job, 8 hours per day, until you find yourself employed once more.