7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting Your Job Search After a Job Loss

You already know the usual advice for people who have just lost their job:

“Start your job search as soon as possible. Don’t delay. Update your resume, start networking, and keep looking.”

This is the conventional wisdom and most people follow it. On the face, there is nothing wrong with it. It’s what everyone does. Usually it works. You will find a job. You had one before, right? There is another great advantage of immediately looking for the next job; it offers you a mental safety net. You are following the convention; You don’t have to explain yourself. However, there are some problems with blindly following common rules and expectations. Both the personal and financial circumstances surrounding you may indicate that there might be a “better way” that better suits your overall situation.

In fact, there are 7 questions you might want to ask yourself if it would be better to delay your job search and use your time differently for a while:

1. What is the economic status of the industry and the city in which it is located?

Looking at an industry going downhill in your city, how much good would it do you to start looking for a job there? What company if everyone stopped hiring? Isn’t it better to spend your time visiting a different place to work and live?

2. What is your personal financial situation?

Does it make any difference if you are 50 vs. 30; if you have compensation vs. without severity; not having money in the bank vs. a large savings account? Doesn’t money give you more freedom and time to enjoy life a little? Or does it make you lazy and too relaxed to look for a new job later?

3. What is your personal family situation?

Does it make any difference if you are single or have a spouse? Can you take more risks as a single person? Or does a family provide more emotional stability and potentially the security of a second salary, making it easier for you to delay your job search than any other partner?

4. What are your individual personal and professional needs?

What if you are unsure of what to do next professionally? What is your level of “brain damage” from an intense run? Is it time to take the “once-in-a-lifetime vacation”? Should you take a little time to think about changing careers? How long would it take before diving back in?

5. Could you have a better career with additional education?

How about investing in some education and increasing your chances of finding a better job later? How much would education help you find a job? How much time would it “buy” you in the job market?

6. Is there a risk of taking on the next available job?

In good times, it’s easy to find a new job at the same salary or more. What happens in recessions with falling wages? If you take a 20% cut on the first job offered to you, will you ever return to your previous salary level? Couldn’t there be a better strategy…just wait and re-enter the job market once conditions have improved?

7. How much is time worth to you?

Since the total years of work can add up to 30-40, why the rush? Thirty to forty years of work equals 360-480 months. Can it really be that bad to take three months off and enjoy life, think and adjust your priorities? Shouldn’t working 99% of your working life be enough? Shouldn’t that be enough to pay for living expenses and retirement savings? All of these questions can lead you to the conclusion that applying for the next job right away might not be the best course of action for you. Using your time in other activities for a few months before starting your job search may be the right strategy.

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