Despite all the promises your new employer makes, it is safe to say that no job is guaranteed. If you've learned anything from this experience, it is that getting through a career transition is hard work, whether it is imposed on you or self-initiated. The better prepared you are, the easier it will be to overcome unexpected obstacles that can suddenly arise and prevent you from taking action and achieving your goals. Here are several things you should do once you settle into your next job.
- In addition to depleting your emergency reserves, you may have significantly eroded some or all of your financial resources: your retirement savings or your children's college education funds. You may even have incurred significant debt during your transition. Reduce any non-mortgage consumer debt you incurred. Consider paying off high-interest rate credit cards first. Pay back any outstanding retirement plan loans and home equity lines of credit.
- Once you've addressed your debt concerns, accumulate your emergency reserve fund. This is generally three to six months' worth of basic living expenses; However, since income varies from one person to another, you should evaluate your personal situation to determine the appropriate amount. The fund should be saved in a cash account, such as a money market fund.
- Avoid the urge to revert to your old spending habits.
- Identify and prioritize your financial short- and long-term goals and develop a realistic financial plan.
- Contact those people who offered their support or help. Let them know you are working again. Thank them for their effort and concern. These people were part of your social support system; they acted as your safety net. Don't forget that you may need to call on them again, or they may need to call on you.
- One of the best ways to stay on top of current changes, or identify hiring trends in the workplace, is to keep aware of new job opportunities. Look at the job ads every now and then to see what occupations are being recruited. Just because you've got a steady paycheck doesn't mean your job is a sure thing.
- Never forget, the workplace is constantly changing. Polishing your existing skills and acquiring new skills will help you position yourself as a valuable workplace resource. Make sure your employer is aware of all of your accomplishments.
- Your job search may have left you and your family emotionally drained. Continue to treat yourself well mentally and physically.