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You've Lost Your Job. What's Next?

Take stock of your assets, regroup and focus on finding employment

A stack of books against an orange background.

Define your work and financial goals: Pick up Great Jobs for Everyone 50+ today!

Like this couple, if you know the layoff is coming, do your best to prepare in advance. Update your résumé now. Think about future work opportunities within and outside your current field. What's the growing industry in your area – do you have related skills or can you develop them? What about networking?

Don't wait until you're laid off to connect with potential links to your next job, and make sure to investigate the myriad approaches to job searches.

Also examine your bills and spending habits. Find ways to cut back and pay off as many debts as possible. If your children are grown and gone, consider downsizing and spending less on rent or mortgage. This may free up money to help with current expenses or future needs.

There's no "easy" button or guaranteed formula for recovering from job loss. Dealing with job loss, or planning for the possibility, calls for staying calm and focused while maintaining true grit and determination. These are critical factors for weathering the current tide of unemployment. AARP is here to help with several resources for older workers. Life Reimagined for Work connects jobseekers with employers who are hiring. These employers have signed a pledge to treat older job seekers fairly, in the recruitment process You can also join the Life Reimagined for Work discussion group to get questions answered about your job search. 

Jon Dauphiné is a senior vice president at AARP.

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