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Preparing for your next job

Once the shock has subsided and the novelty of couch time in your pj's has worn off, it's time to get practical and deal with reality. Give yourself short-term, simple goals to achieve - writing that blog, taking that course and reconnecting with loved ones. And while it can feel challenging and uncertain - endless CV re-writes and applications and coffee meetings with recruiters - they all contribute to your positivity of doing something and a door will eventually open. This is your time. Make the most of it - it's the first step to a positive new journey.

Supporting your future wellness

While it can be tempting to have a lie-in and catch up on movies (and it is OK to do that for a day or two), it's important to keep yourself in a routine - find that reason to get up in the morning. Get exercising, arrange morning coffee meet-ups, offer to walk the neighbour's dog, look for volunteer work or use your ‘work hours' for networking. And give yourself some downtime to process your emotions - you're allowed to grieve. Walk in the fresh air. Reach out to friends and family, and look out for mindfulness apps and services such as Beyond Blue for advice if you're struggling. Take time to relax and do the things you love, as hopefully it won't be long before you're back ‘in the grind' in a job you love.

Transitioning to a new career

You now have the time to really network and look for jobs that you're passionate about. Reflect on your transferable skills, what you liked and disliked about your recent role, and what your aspirations are. Check out industry bodies who often run seminars and short courses - let them know you've lost your job as they may have specific services and discounts or may even waive fees. Make appointments with recruiters and capitalise on services your employer may offer, such as outplacement and careers counselling - use these to your advantage and access tools to help accelerate this transition. Use LinkedIn - plenty of people and recruiters share opportunities that way, so let people know you're available. And look for contracts - they are often a foot in the door to something more permanent, or consider positioning yourself as a freelancer or consultant - with redundancies, companies are often seeking support this way.

Protecting your financial future

When the regular pay check stops, it's a time of worry, but we're here to help. Review your budget and living expenses - mortgage, credit cards, direct debits, insurance, utilities and weekly activities. Are there any expenses that can be reduced? Do you have income protection insurance you can access? Talk to all your providers - there may be more suitable products or assistance and support to help you through this period. At Westpac, our Customer Care team are available to talk and help you prioritise your expenditure and discuss support that may be available to you to help you manage your mortgage repayments and other debts. We can also help you make the most of your redundancy package. This is actually a great time to take a financial health check to set you up for when you return to the workforce.