The First 8 Things to Do When You Lose Your Finance or Accounting Job

It’s not the perfect day when you wake up to discover that you’ve lost your job, however, it’s not the end of the world either. Over a million people have been laid off in the past two years, and the majority of them were from the financial services sector. Yes, it is difficult to imagine being without a job and a regular salary when you’ve been sitting pretty all these years, when your six-figure salary meant you could afford the lifestyle of your choice. However, you must stay positive and take remedial measures to cope with a situation that could easily go downhill if you let it affect you adversely. If you’ve been laid off from your finance or accounting job, here are the first 8 things you need to do:

1.      Ensure that you’re not being fired because of misconduct (perceived or real) such as misappropriation of company funds or running Ponzi and other schemes that are illegal or which border on the legal. If your moral character is why you’re being let go, then your problems run deeper than you can see.

2.      If not, ask about compensation due to you – if you’ve worked at the firm for many years, the company may owe you money if they fire you without giving you adequate notice or for no reason at all. Check your employment contract and do some research to get your facts right.

3.      Take stock of your financial situation – if you’re free of debts and have a nest egg saved up, you’re in safe territory; you can use this money to tide you over as you look for a new job and consider the options available. However, if you’ve been living it up and spending like there was no tomorrow, you’re going to find the going very tough unless you can find another job that pays as much. Pay off your essential bills with the money you have, and ask your other creditors for a grace period to repay your debts. Now is the time to become extremely frugal and conscious of every penny you spend.

4.      Tone down your lifestyle – it will be difficult to start leading a simple life again, but even if you have money saved up, it’s wise to be thrifty because you don’t know how long you may have to live without a steady job.

5.      Look for a new position – update your resume (if you’re smart, your resume is already up to date because you’re the kind who plans ahead for any eventuality), send it out to prospective employers, talk to people you know, strengthen your network of contacts, and use the Internet to help you find a job.

6.      Think of setting up shop on your own – there are people who have managed the transition from employed to self-employed quite successfully by becoming consultants and working out of their homes until they make enough money to rent office space. With the Internet at your beck and call, it’s easier to find clients today than it was in previous decades. A simple website, some contact forms, a little advertising, and you’re all set to go. So arm yourself with positive thoughts, and offer your services to clients as a freelancer or consultant. People do need accountants and financial consultants, so if your rates are reasonable, you should be able to make a success of your venture.

7.      Rope in your family to help – this is easier if you are a close-knit family and decide to stick it out through thick and thin. However, if your spouse and kids are not used to a frugal or simple lifestyle, there could be more problems at home than you bargained for. If they are amenable, cajole your spouse into finding a job (if they are not already working) and talk your kids into taking up part-time work to help with household and personal expenses.

8.       And finally, stay positive – you may have lost your job, but that’s no reason to let your spirit die. Everything happens for a reason, so if you’re not at fault, wait out the period before you taste success again. Remember however that you must tighten your belt and change your lifestyle if you want to avoid the spidery web of debt.