5 things to do when you lose your job

5 things to do when you lose your job

If you have recently been made redundant, visit our guide on how to start your job search. We've partnered with the Money Advice Service to offer you some helpful tips on how to get back on your feet.

Finding out that you have lost your job is tough - faced with the worrying prospect that your earnings will stop, but the bills won’t.

Use our checklist to help manage your money and your job hunt until you find work again.

1. Review your finances
Start by taking a good hard look at your finances to identify how you can cope with a lower income. Confirm how much money you will receive from your employer. You could be entitled to redundancy pay, pay in lieu of notice and/or holiday pay. It’s a good idea to check the balance in your savings accounts too.

If you have money set aside for emergencies or a rainy day, you may need it now. Draw up a budget based on all your essential bills; such as accommodation, food and utility bills, and check if you could switch suppliers or otherwise cut costs.

Review any non-essential spending, such as gym membership or magazine subscriptions, and work out what you could cancel or cut down. The Money Advice Service Budget Planner helps to work out how much money you have coming and what you’re spending it on.

2. Claim benefits
While you are out of work, you should be able to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance, so contact your local Jobcentre Plus or Jobs and Benefits Office to start the process. Depending on your circumstances, you may also be entitled to tax credits, Council Tax Benefit and Housing Benefit or Support for Mortgage Interest.

Alternatively, depending on where you live, you may be eligible for the new Universal Credit which merges several existing credits and benefits into a single payment once a month.

Further details about benefits and tax credits when you have lost your job.

3. Update your CV
Brush up your CV so that it includes your most recent experience and presents your work history in the best possible light. Your CV is a tool to persuade employers to give you a job, so make sure it is relevant, truthful, clear and concise. If you are being made redundant, check whether your employer has arranged for help with writing your CV through access to a career advice service.

Find out how to revamp your CV.

4. Polish up your skills
Research the skills you need for the jobs you would like, starting with sources like Monster’s Career Snapshots.

If you want to stand out from the competition, consider applying for courses to improve or add relevant skills.

Remember that learning new skills needn’t cost a lot of time or money. Check out the options online, and read more about the financial support available for retraining or changing your career following redundancy.

5. Get applying
Applying for work can be a job in itself. As well as looking online browse the job ads in local and national newspapers, check for vacancies on the websites of relevant businesses and trade organisations. Don’t forget to ask around your family, friends, former colleagues and work contacts - you may hear about opportunities that are never actually advertised.

Get more tips on how to plan a job search.


All information accurate at time of publication.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.