Upset woman using laptop in kitchen Resources

Whether you’re laid off or fired, unexpectedly losing your job stinks. There’s no other way to put it. The feelings of shock and despair can be overwhelming — and that’s before you even start thinking about putting yourself back out there and launching a search for something new.

But there are ways to get through these types of difficult situations. In a helpful Black Enterprise post titled “3 Tips for Surviving a Job Loss,” writer Courtney Connley draws on advice from Matt Durfee, an HR expert who serves as CEO of Navigator Executive Advisors, Inc. Durfee is also the author of The Job Search Navigator: An Expert’s Guide to Getting Hired, Surviving Layoffs, and based on his years of experience, he says the key is to “stay focused, positive, and to avoid falling into the grasp of despair.”

How do you do it? Step one, Durfee says, is to “set goals” for the job search you’ve suddenly been forced to undertake. Figure out how much time you’ll spend each week researching companies, looking at job boards, and networking with friends, colleagues, and others in your professional orbit. You want your goals to be clear, specific, and attainable — so that you don’t get discouraged.

Second, Durfee says, you must leave time for “stress-relieving activities.” It can’t be all job search all the time. Whether you’re a daily exerciser or an avid reader, make sure you take a step back every now and then and get some peace of mind. It’ll serve you well in the long run.

Finally, Durfee says, you should do what you can to ensure “financial survival.” Losing a job will likely mean less income for a while, and with that in mind, it’s a good idea to list all of your expenses and figure out what cuts you might be able to make in the interim. And since some aspects of looking for work are tax-deductible, Durfee suggests you hang on to receipts for things like resume-writing services and travel.

And again, stay positive. As Connley points out, Durfee has been laid off nine times himself. It’s possible to bounce back better than ever — and he’s proof.

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