Job loss, even if you saw it coming, is a blow. You will feel emotional, there's no two ways about it. Here are some tips for what to expect and how to handle it.
Job loss, even if you saw it coming, is a blow. You will feel emotional, there’s no two ways about it. Here are some tips for what to expect and how to handle it.
**Don’t be ashamed.** If there’s one thing the Great Recession taught us, it’s that losing your job is nothing to be ashamed of. It can happen to anyone, at any time.
**Don’t burn your bridges.** Feel like shooting off an angry email to your former boss/co-workers? It will feel good only for a moment — and then it will haunt you forever. Same goes for Facebook and Twitter pity parties. Be a mensch; take the high road.
**Don’t splurge.** Those new shoes or that flat-screen TV may comfort you — even thrill you — but, like the angry rant, the good feeling wears off fast. And then a little of your cushion is gone.
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**Don’t tap into your retirement savings.** Make every effort to resist dipping into your nest egg. If you do, it should be your last resort. Your first resort: Cut expenses. Second resort: Find a temp job. Third resort: Move to a cheaper place or get a roommate.
**Don’t try to go it alone.** Getting through a job loss, like other life challenges, takes a village. Join a support group, take a class, get together regularly with people in similar circumstances.
**Don’t make life-changing decisions.** Now is not a good time to move to a new state, leave your spouse, buy a house or shave your head.
**Don’t let yourself get lazy.** You’re unemployed, so you should get to sleep till noon, right? Um, wrong. Take steps toward finding work that very first day.
**Don’t feel bad about filing for unemployment.** It exists for a reason.
**Don’t drop your health insurance.** Yes, it is expensive. But some things you just can’t skimp on.
**Don’t neglect your body.** You may not feel like exercising. Potato chips for breakfast may seem like a good idea, but keeping fit will make you feel and look better.
**Don’t despair.** (Hey, that’s 11! But this one is important.) Most lives involve multiple setbacks. People get over them and move on — and you can, too.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.