It’s easy to panic after you lose your job, and you may also feel like a victim if it happens through no fault of your own. If you’re fortunate enough to have family support or enough savings to still manage your expenses for the month, it’s just upsetting; but if you’ve been living from paycheck to paycheck, it can be downright scary.

After the shock abates, you’ll begin to worry about how you’ll buy groceries, cover your phone bill, and pay your rent. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to get back on your feet as soon as possible.

Here are three suggestions on steps you can take after you lose your job:

  1. See if you’re eligible for unemployment benefits.

Each state administers unemployment benefits under the aegis of the US Department of Labor. Some of the taxes paid by employers go to fund unemployment insurance and it’s compulsory for all employers to carry coverage.

Unemployment eligibility depends on certain circumstances. You can collect benefits if you lost your job through no fault of your own; for instance, you may have lost your job because your company was downsizing or you may have lost it because the company was going out of business. But you will not be eligible if you were fired for violating company policy or if you lost your temper and quit your job.

  1. Consider job hunting your next job.

The best way to approach job hunting is to act it as if it were a job. In other words, put in at least 6 to 8 hours a day and spend at least five days a week on your job search; also, be as meticulous as if you were being supervised at a job.

This type of attitude is necessary to stay focused on your job search because looking for a job is often emotionally painful. As you review numerous jobs, you’ll only find few that you consider suitable for your experience and skill sets. Then, when you stumble upon those that would be perfect, you’re often baffled by rejection. Moreover, it’s rarely clear why you didn’t get the job because you may have written an excellent resume, complete with good references; and, if you were invited for an interview, it may have gone very well.

Here are two tips on how to go about job hunting:

  1. Traditional job hunting

  • Write a professional cover letter and resume. If you’re not a good writer or don’t understand how to format these critical documents, then hire a professional resume writer to do the work for you.
  • Practice interviewing. Find sample interview questions, either online or in a book, and then practice with family or friends. After each interview review the entire experience with the person helping you polish up your interview skills.
  • Learn how to dress for success. Besides making you feel more confident when you walk into an interview, dressing well will also make a favorable impression on the interviewer before you’ve even said a word.
  1. Get help from your state funded program. Every state offers free assistance with job hunting, training, and placement. You will be able to get hundreds of good job leads and you’ll also be informed about any job recruiting fairs in your city or town.
  2. Control your spending.

Now is not the time for comfort foods or tension-relieving entertainment. You must manage your money as frugally as possible.

Here are three steps to take to manage your money better:

  • Create a budget and trim any unnecessary expenses.
  • Buy generic brands when you go to the supermarket. When possible, use coupons or try to only buy things that are on sale. Remember, this is only temporary!
  • Negotiate with your creditors to see if they are able to give you any hardship discounts on your bills.

It’s Only Temporary

When you’re unemployed and living on limited funds, it’s easy to feel deeply discouraged. But you have to remember that your situation is only temporary; as you persist in your job hunting, you’ll find a job.