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What to Do When You Lose Your Job

Being dismissed from a job is a nightmare for most people, particularly for those who have already experienced it or feel that it might happen in the near future. Though job loss and the process of finding a new job makes for an unpleasant and psychologically demanding situation, it certainly doesn’t spell the end of your career. In fact, just the opposite is true.

As we can see from the thousands of the people who have successfully found a new and often better job, losing your job can be taken as a new opportunity to take your career in a new direction, field or region.

At any rate, one must bear in mind that the loss of a job is not unusual; it is a natural part of career development and is something that happens to the majority of people. Skim through the CVs of successful managers and you will see that almost every one of them has been out of work at some point of his/her career; many of them repeatedly.

Here you will find a concise guide on how to deal with job loss and how to search for a new job successfully.

The first step to getting a new job is to identify of your current situation and creating an inventory of everything you have to offer a new employer. Interesting offers never appear out of thin air. You have to search them out thoroughly, fight for them fiercely and using every possible advantage at your disposal.

The inventory of your strengths and positive qualities is as important to landing a new job as having a solid, effective CV and thoroughly preparing for a job interview. It becomes a tool to bolster your confidence. Your inventory can include the following:

  • A long and successful career.
  • A completed education.
  • Knowledge, experience, skills and qualifications. 
  • Excellent evaluations from former employees. 
  • Contacts you can use during the search for new opportunities.

Another asset to include in this list may be the compensation package given to you from your last employer, which will enable you, for a certain period of time, to look for the new job with relative peace of mind, without worrying about daily survival.

Conditions of Leaving

Because labour laws are pretty complex, you must be very well informed about all the obligations your current employer has towards you and about all of the options you have when leaving. If you are not sure, ask an experienced lawyer or advisor. Make sure you know the how your job loss will influence your income, tax, health and social insurance, etc. A wrong decision can create an unpleasant surprise later on.

Do not be complacent in negotiating the best possible conditions when leaving your job.

Areas for negotiation include:

  • Retaining a company mobile phone, car or notebook for an extended period of time or having the option of buying them
  • Retaining some benefits temporarily (i.e. health, life or injury insurance).
  • The size of the compensation package or bonus given upon leaving the job.
  • The possibility of completing ongoing educational and/or career development programs.
  • Help in searching for a new job within a given profession (i.e. paid outplacement).
  • The option of using an employer’s office equipment (i.e. copy machine, notebook, etc.) while searching for a new job.

Don’t think you’re asking for something unusual. Such demands are a common subject of negotiations and in many cases companies voluntarily offer these terms to employees or accept their requests.

Administration After Leaving Your Job

When leaving your job, you will have to collect some important documents from your employer. These papers will need to be shown to relevant authorities or to your next employer.

  • Confirmation of employment. This includes the date and reason for termination, vacation days taken during the calendar year and the number of days remaining as well as possible salary deductions. The employer should give you this document automatically. You will need to submit it to your new employer on your first day at your new job or to the job office. 
  • Confirmation of your average net salary. You will need to submit this document to the job office in order to calculate the sum of unemployment insurance.
  • Your personal file relating to pension insurance. This document is needed to calculate your pension contributions. Upon terminating your contract, your employer is obliged to send your personal file to the appropriate social security office. It is useful to ensure that this has been done.
  • Evaluation of your work (reference). Upon your request, your employer is obliged to prepare this evaluation within 15 days of terminating your contract. If you do not agree with the evaluation, you can contest it within 3 months of obtaining it.
  • Confirmation of taxable income from dependent activities (Potvrzení o zdanitelných příjmech ze závislé činnosti) This document can also be prepared by your employer upon your request. You will need it to calculate your annual tax deposit at your new job or if you want to submit a tax declaration personally. Check to ensure that payments were made automatically by your employer and were sent to the relevant authorities, in order to avoid further payments after terminating your job.

Family

Your family is another invaluable source of support after a job loss.

Here are some questions to think about:

  • Will your job loss change your life-style or affect your family’s standard of living? 
  • How will members of your family accept the eventual changes? 
  • Will you be able to support your dependants? 
  • Are other family members able to contribute to the family budget? 
  • What family expenses can you avoid, reduce or postpone?

Do not hide your problems from your family members. Let them know as soon as possible. Seek their support and get them involved in resolving the situation.

Financial Situation

Accept the eventual loss of income as quickly as possible. Make a list of expenses and take note of the most important ones, namely:

  • Payments for rent and related services (electricity, gas, water, etc.).
  • Necessary family living expenses (food, clothes, car, etc.).
  • Mortgage payments, lease payments, loan instalments. 
  • Compulsory insurance.
  • Other unavoidable expenses.

An accurate table showing your income and assets and expenses and liabilities will also help you develop a plan. Among your income and assets include cash, savings, properties, vehicles, jewellery, antiques and other property.

Your liabilities and expenses should include regular payments, mortgage, collectables and tax and household expenses. You can increase your cash by selling your assets. It is important to determine what you would sell first if needed. Fortunately, with good planning it is possible to avoid making this difficult choice. Balancing your monthly income and expenses also helps.

Our Recommendations

Find help at your bank and properly understand the conditions of your contracts. You may be insured against the loss of the job. These institutions, moreover, require information about changes in your financial situation. Do not try to pay off the mortgage or a lease immediately. If you, based on your agreement with your employer, get a lump sum of money upon your leaving, invest it wisely until you have developed clear plan for the future. Do visit the job office and find out what benefits you are entitled to.

A Final Word

Losing a job is definitely not a welcome situation. But if it happens, take it as a challenge and a chance. You may have already asked yourself if you are living life the way you always intended to. Perhaps you have already considered making a change but were afraid to take that step on your own. Now’s your chance. Make the best of this opportunity.