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10 Things Nigerians Must Do To Cope With Job Loss

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By Ossai Philip

Losing your job especially with this economic crisis currently facing Nigeria can be very devastating. Many companies have begun laying-off thousands of staff so as to cope with this economic down-turn. Experts always advise to have six to eight months of salary as an emergency fund in order to avoid being in a bad situation such as a job loss. Nigeriana hereby bring you 10 ideas to survive job loss.

(1)   First thing to do, don’t panic at all.  It’s natural and normal to experience a period of grieving after losing a job. But don’t let yourself dwell on one worst-case scenario after another. Instead, recognize that you’re going to survive this, and focus your mind on productive solutions. Take a deep breath. You’ll get through this, though it may appear pretty gloomy at the moment. In fact, losing a job may actually turn out to be an opportunity to land a better job or a new career.

  • Start the morning well. Get up early and keep a daily schedule. Have breakfast with the family and create a “to do” list for the day. Include contacts to meet, areas to research and time to dream about your future.
  • Do series of exercise. Use this opportunity to get in better shape and blow off some steam. Plan on at least 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Walk, basketball or yoga, it doesn’t really matter, mix it up even. It will help your attitude.
  • Keep your sense of humor. Remember that all sorts of workers lose their jobs all the time for all sorts of reasons and many of those reasons are utterly beyond their control. If you did make some mistakes in your last job, go ahead and learn from them but don’t stay stuck in the past, and don’t beat yourself up unnecessarily. Instead, build yourself up by focusing on your many strengths and past successes. Your time out of a job is also a fantastic opportunity to begin exercising a step that will benefit your frame of mind tremendously. Always put a smile on your face and laugh as well. Protect yourself from doom and gloom.
  • Slash luxury spending and Live within your means.Make a note of all your expenses and avoid discretionary expenses. Cut your cake according to your size. Be careful not to spend money you don’t have on things you don’t truly need. Now is the time to focus on food, shelter and your job search. Monitor your expenses for a few weeks or a month so you can see where you can realistically cut back. Don’t eliminate all forms of recreation from your life during this period, though; you need such outlets to maintain perspective and a positive outlook. View it as a challenge to find fun things to do for little dough, such as low-priced matinee movies, great happy-hour or early-bird specials, or free walks, hikes and bike rides in places you love. Don’t make any hasty financial decisions. In times of such stress, it’s easy to make hasty financial decisions that turn out poorly. So in the immediate wake of your job loss, don’t cash in your retirement plan, sell off long-term investments or move until you’ve worked out a realistic plan for dealing with your reduced income.
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(6)   Put a plan into place: Now is the time to be more serious. Early key moves and decisions can make the difference between surviving financially until you’re successfully employed again perhaps even surviving comfortably and making financial mistakes that could jeopardize your financial well- being for years to come.

(7)   Don’t hide you job loss – communicate: Talking is critical. This is not the time to be shy or embarrassed about your job loss. You need to talk to your friends and family about how you feel and share your successes and failures. You need their support and encouragement to get through. Talking breaks the feelings of isolation that can come with job loss.

(8)   Look for part-time work: If you were fired from a reputable company that pays you well with a good and attractive remuneration package, don’t try to feel big to seek a part-time job. Any additional income source can be of great help. It cannot only help stretch your emergency fund, but also help you in learning new skills which can also help boost your chances of getting a good new full-time job.

  • Reassess your career: This may be a good opportunity to reassess your career. However, before launching into a new career during a time of unemployment or at the time of you doing a part-time job, answer honestly the following questions.
  • Is it realistic to make a change? It can be costly to abandon a career in which you have years of experience in order to tackle a career for which you may have little or no experience.
  • Are you qualified for this new career?
  • Are your job skills and education up-to-date?
  • Can you afford to invest the time and money to upgrade or learn new skills?
  • Look for new sources of generating income: If you are no more interested in working for anyone and you wish to stand on your own, then this aspect might just be good for you. You know those people who tell you that it’s easy to find a new job if you wouldn’t be such a snob? Ignore them. The job market of today is not the job market of a decade ago. Jobs are few and far between, and good jobs are difficult to find. You may need to look at creating your own sources of income like:
  • You can create an online business
  • Using your expertise from your former job to work as a consultant
  • You can create a home-based business with a low start-up cost
  • You can use creative skills to make things to sell
  • You can provide a service.  If you know how to cook, sew, repair things, or build things, don’t hesitate to embark on it. Lots of people can’t and will be willing to pay someone who can provide these services.

Coping with job loss can be hard and is certainly not something we would choose to do. Use this stressful time to remain upbeat, take care, and reinvent yourself. Survival may be for the fittest, but thriving is accomplished by the smartest, those who face their fears, grow in the present, and plan wisely and thoughtfully for the future. You will definitely survive!


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