How to move forward after losing your job


Our job security has been hampered by the pandemic, with our Financial Resilience Index showing an increase in concerns about job security between March and August. If you were lucky enough to keep your job in 2020, you likely know a friend or family member who was made redundant, took a pay cut or had their business affected by the pandemic.  

However, while redundancy is immensely difficult – not just for the person who has lost their job, but for their loved ones – it is possible to move forward from it and emerge better off than before.  

Infographic about moving forward after job loss

To find out more about how to move forward after losing your job, keep reading.

Look after yourself 

We often attach so much importance to our jobs – after all, we do spend a large part of our lives working. But being made redundant, particularly in the midst of a pandemic, has nothing to do with how good you are at your job. Be kind to yourself and remind yourself that you are not your job.  

Lean on support from friends and family, spend time engaging in mindfulness and self compassion activities, engage in hobbies and get plenty of fresh air and sleep. These simple things are often the most effective.  

Find out what support is available 

Keep an eye on the support available to you from the NZ Government. The Work and Income website has resources on where to go and how to apply for assistance. Subsidies and start-up payments are available to eligible Kiwis who are looking to start their own business, so check out Work and Income’s Start your own business page for more info. 

Applying for jobs under financial pressure can be stressful, so use as much help as you can on this front as well. SEEK’s Career Advice page and the website both have good resources for job hunters, along with free CV and cover letter templates.  

Know that you’re not alone 

Some of the best support can come in the form of friendship and community. It may feel as though you’re the only one going through a tough time, but there are so many others out there experiencing a similar situation. Sharing your experiences can help you put things into perspective and feel less alone. 

Try to keep in contact with family, friends and former colleagues and have regular interactions with them to keep your spirits up.  

Be proactive in looking for work 

Social interaction could also benefit your job search. Casual conversations might lead to something more. A friend’s workplace might be looking for someone to fill a new role, and word of mouth recommendations are a great way to get into a new organisation. There’s no shame in asking people you know to keep an eye out for you if any new positions pop up.  

Social media is also your friend when it comes to looking for work. LinkedIn users are declaring themselves #OpenToWork, reaching out to their network to discover opportunities that might be out there. You never know who might see it and be looking for someone with exactly your skills and experience, so bite the bullet and get on the bandwagon or ask a friend to post on your behalf if you’d feel more comfortable that way.  

You can also pick up the phone, send a message via Instagram or email someone you used to work with – you never know where an opportunity might lie.  

Tip: Give yourself a break once in a while. Job hunting can be exhausting, and you’ll need to give yourself a rest to focus on other things every once in a while. 

Adjust your expectations 

In times of crisis, we sometimes have to adjust our priorities and adapt to a changing situation. You might be after a full time, permanent position, but a contract or part time role could be better than nothing (and could even lead to something more). Try not to discount jobs purely on the basis that they don’t match every single thing you’re looking for. 

You could also consider applying for roles outside of your industry or looking at jobs you wouldn’t have normally considered as a short-term solution so you don’t have to worry about your finances. Jump at the opportunities that are there, unless you can afford to hold out for that job. 

Reevaluate your priorities 

Sometimes one job ending can be the catalyst for positive change. You might finally have the time to think about what you really want to do for a career. A chance to take time out and really think about what you want could lead to a decision to go down a different path, go back to study, or push yourself to aim higher. So instead of focusing on the negatives, consider your job loss as an opportunity to do something new. 

Get yourself a side hustle 

From cake-making to Airbnb listings and everything in between, 2020 was the year of the side hustle for many Kiwis. Already, 15-20% of Kiwis earn income outside of a permanent job, and fintech service Hnry reported a large influx of customers as a result of Covid-19. It looks like more New Zealanders are turning to self-employment. 

There’s a reason for this. Whether it’s to make ends meet while you’re looking for full time work, or simply a way of complementing the income you’re already getting, side hustles can be a great way to tap into your skills and passions, offer flexibility and provide another stream of income. It may not be much at first, but you may find it provides a little added security should your existing job be impacted by unexpected events.  

Here are some tips on how to start a side hustle: 

  • Make a list of all the things you’re good at and love to do, no matter how trivial they may sound! Ask friends and family if you get stuck. 

  • Ask your current employer if you’re able to contract yourself out to other clients. A lot of workplaces allow this if you ask, provided you won’t be working for competitors. 

  • Don’t know your Instagram from your Tik Tok? Get the kids (or a teenage family friend) to help you out in starting a social media page to display your work. 

  • Post about your side hustle on the Chooice Facebook group. Started at the beginning of the pandemic, it’s since grown to a community of 544,000+ members.  

  • Take an online course or sign up to an adult learning centre and hone a new skill that could help your employment prospects. 

Before going out on your own, check with your current employer that you’re able to undertake freelance or contract work. Do some research into what’s involved in becoming self-employed on the admin, tax and Intellectual Property (IP) front – the sole trader resources at are a helpful starting point.  


Disclaimer: This information is general information only. It is not intended to constitute financial advice and does not take your individual circumstances and financial situation into account. We encourage you to seek assistance from a trusted financial adviser or other professional advice. The links that are provided are additional resources that you access at your own risk and the FSC takes no responsibility for any third party content. The FSC and its employees make no express or implied representations or give any warranties regarding this information and we accept no responsibility for any loss, damage, cost, or expense (whether direct or indirect) incurred by you as a result of any error, omission, or misrepresentation in this information. 16 Dec 2020. 



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