Losing a job because of a natural process like menopause can be a hard hit on your confidence. But don’t worry, there are some steps that you can take to make the best of that situation and prepare for the next job.
Here’s what you can do if menopause caused job loss:
- Look through your severance agreement carefully
- Be nice about it
- Don’t sign a resignation letter unless they are paying you to leave
- Make a copy of every document
- Remember to file for unemployment
- Get your credit checked before the next job
- Look for proof of the breach of Equality Act of 2010
If you do get fired because of menopause, it’s important to stay calm and see what your options are, but also prepare for the next chapter in your life. Read on to learn more and get some useful tips on preparing for the future.
What To Do When You Get Fired
After you get fired, there are some practical steps you can take to ensure your financial security, general safety against fraudulent actions, or even prove that your job loss was illegal. Here are some tips.
Look Through Your Severance Agreement
You should be extra careful when reviewing documents that you sign in general, but especially so with your severance agreement. Severance is the amount of money employers pay to prevent you from suing them. While this may be worth it to you, you should take some time to review it.
Some severance agreements contain clauses that could be harmful to your career, like preventing you from working with the competition. Some clauses may give them a release that means that you can’t sue them for age discrimination. Check whether your benefits are still in place like your 401k, stock options, or anything similar. Some employers deny you these benefits in exchange for severance.
Be Nice About It
While you may be hurt by the fact that you were fired — as many people are, no matter the cause — you should take the high road. Don’t yell, scream or protest since this can make you look bad in the eyes of the court if you opt to sue later, or it can create more issues for you, such as losing your severance.
Once you’re told to leave the premises, you should breathe and calm yourself down. Take a few moments away from everyone and decide to take a positive attitude. You can consider your options later, but it’s important to stay calm and collected during that initial surprise.
Furthermore, you may need a reference for your future job, so if you’re nice, they will be more likely to give it to you.
Don’t Sign a Resignation Letter
Some employers will try to give you a resignation letter to sign so that they don’t have to pay for your severance. They will usually do this when you’re distressed and don’t really feel like reading through documents. But, making this mistake can leave you financially unstable — and you’ll need financial support while you look for another job.
As with the previous tip, try to stay calm and read through every document they give you. Don’t sign anything that you don’t want to sign — they have no leverage against you since they have already fired you.
The only way you would sign a resignation letter is if it says that they are giving you a payout or they have already confirmed that they will pay you. Naturally, make sure that this amount of money satisfies you and that it’s not just a small amount of money.
Make a Copy Of Every Document
To ensure your safety against any fraudulent activity, make a copy of every document that your former employers give you. This way, you could take it to an attorney and get some legal advice on what to do, especially if things don’t work out well.
You should be very vigilant during this time, as your former employers may try to decrease the amount of money they have to pay you or cut their responsibilities in any way. Make sure that this doesn’t happen.
Remember To File for Unemployment
Once you get fired, you may be able to collect unemployment. Many people, however, reject this out of embarrassment, but you shouldn’t be too proud. Consider that you’ll need some money to make ends meet while you look for another job.
There’s no shame in accepting help, and you should file for unemployment as soon as you find out that you don’t have a job anymore.
Get Your Credit
Checking your credit is an important step as some employers check credit reports before hiring someone. In order to improve your chances of getting a job in the future, check all aspects of your credit report, and see if there’s anything that you can fix.
So, before your potential employer sees something you don’t want them to see in your credit report, or a mistake that could be easily fixed, take a good look at your credit report and make sure it’s as you want it to be. You can also take it to a financial advisor or any similar professional that can help you improve it.
Look for Proof
If you believe that you were fired because of your age or your health condition — namely, menopause — you can sue your former employers. Of course, you have to find the proof. In that aspect, you should consult someone from the legal field and try to get as much evidence as you can.
How To Prepare For The Next Job
Aside from staying vigilant before handing over your employee ID, you should also prepare for the next job that comes around. And in order to be successful in that area, here are some tips you can follow.
Improve Your Resume
Your resume is the first thing your new employer will see when it comes to you. So, you need to ensure that it’s impressive. There’s a general recommendation that you should make your resume ageless — remove all markers of age from your resume. This helps employees see beyond your years and like you because of your skills.
For one, modernize your resume. Replace “Curriculum Vitae” with your name, use a nice, clean sans serif font and add a splash of color. You don’t have to add your picture if you don’t want to since most employers won’t require it. If it is required, it will be specifically mentioned.
You are also not required to put your birth date, the dates related to your employment history, etc. Your resume should only be two pages long, or less if possible. At the same time, you can make your experience section shorter by only adding your most recent experiences.
You should also tailor your resume to each new job to increase your chances of getting one.
If you want more actionable tips to improve your CV, read our other article about the topic here.
Look For Part-Time Jobs
Part-time jobs are an excellent option that people often forget. They can give you an opportunity to do what you love while still earning a decent income, especially if you take up two of them. As a bonus, employers are happy to hire people over 50 for these jobs.
You can make an excellent combination of jobs, finding one that’s rewarding and well-paid, as well as one that you are passionate about. Later, you can transition to full time with either of these careers.
At the very least, taking on a part-time job can give you enough time and financial support to find a full-time job.
Freelancing is a great way to do a job that you love while having flexible hours and being your own boss. It can be a bit hard to get used to at first, but it’s a rewarding job that will help you earn a decent income.
You can find freelancing opportunities for most jobs. Your resume can work as your portfolio, and you can start a website to showcase what you can do. Furthermore, you can find jobs on job boards or email potential clients.
Share your knowledge through your own blog or through guest posting, be active in social media, and through Facebook groups dedicated to your industry.
Start Your Own Business
You can also consider using your skills and starting your own business. While this can be a risky investment if not thought through well enough, it’s worth it if you do it the right way. First, think thoroughly about what kind of business you want to start — you may not want to do the same thing you’ve always done. Perhaps you’d like to start your own inn or gardening business.
Put some thought into this, and if you lack some skills, you can take a course or two to make up for it. Also, take a look at industries that are growing at the moment or research which gaps exist in the market that you could fill.
Then, form a business plan with advice from someone more experienced and figure out the funding aspect. In general, be careful with every step you take and pace yourself through this process.
Learn a New Skill
If you’re tired of your old job and it’s not something that you want to do in the future, why not explore some other areas? Maybe your future is in some other field, like programming, graphic design, writing, marketing, etc. The world is full of wonder, and you should use the time that you have to find your passion if you’re not already sure of what you want to do.
Of course, learning a new skill can take a while, maybe a year or so, but with a part-time job and enough will, you should be able to do it. You can either take a course at a community college or university or take a course online. Some jobs don’t require formal certification, just knowledge, so those jobs might be good for you too. And fortunately, there are plenty of free learning materials online these days.
Think About What You Want to Do
Before moving on to a different job, consider what you want to do with your life. Do you want to keep doing the same thing, or do you want to change careers? Many people over 50 take this chance to do something they are passionate about or that they always wanted to do. For example, even though you’re a marketing expert, you may want to make artisanal soaps in the future.
You’ll have some time to think before your next job, so try to come up with something that works for you. Maybe it will just be a twist on your current career, but if it makes you happy and more excited to go to work, it’s worth it.
Take Some Time To Rest
Whether your job is stressful or not, physically straining or not, you could probably use some rest from it. This is the best time for it. While you should be active with your job search to some degree — perhaps dedicate an hour or two every day to it — you will also benefit from getting that much-needed rest.
Even if it’s just a week or two, it will help you gain perspective. This resting period might even inspire you to change something about your life — it may be just a new hairstyle or an hour dedicated to working out — but this is another thing that will prove worthy of your time later on.
The rest can help you gain confidence, spend some time with your family and friends, and enjoy the things you love doing. This way, you’ll be fresh and ready for the next opportunity when it comes along.
It’s important that you don’t relax too much either. Spending all day in pajamas is perfectly fine for a day or two after you stop working, but you should make an effort to stick to a daily routine, no matter what it may be.
Connect With People
Networking is one of the best ways to get a job. You can connect with your former coworkers, friends, college, or high school friends and acquaintances and just engage in casual conversations with them. At some point, mention that you are looking for a new job, and some of them may remember something that could help. Perhaps there’ll be an opening at their company, or they will know someone looking for a new employee.
You can also go to various events dedicated to your industry and meet people there. This is one of the reasons why it’s a good idea to remain friendly with your old bosses, managers, and coworkers — don’t burn any bridges. You should also stay in touch with any clients since they may be able to hire you or help you with finding a job.
Connect with people through LinkedIn or Facebook groups. Remain active and connected with people, and an opportunity will come up.
Create an Online Presence
Another valuable aspect of your job search will be your online presence. If you already have social media accounts, you should review them from the point of view of a potential employer. If there are any posts that seem like a liability, delete them. Any rude jokes, anything too political, any mention of substance abuse (including alcohol) should be removed right off the bat.
Furthermore, try to limit the number of personal posts — and if you do have them, keep them tasteful. Remove any old status updates that you are embarrassed about now, and delete any that you will be embarrassed about in the future.
You should also consider sharing more professional, relevant posts related to your industry or the industry that you want to work in. Freshen up or create your own LinkedIn page and make sure that your profile pictures are professional.
If you can, create your own website or blog where you would share industry-related blog posts. Stay active online and be kind to other users.
Research Opportunities With Local Hiring Agencies
Most communities have programs for people going into second careers of looking for a job over 50. You should research what they have to offer. Maybe it will just be resources to help you find a job with ease, but you might also be able to find a good job.
You should go to these agencies as soon as you get fired. They may be able to help you in more ways than one and also connect you with other people searching for a job.
Getting fired, especially over something you can’t control, is distressing. But, if you stay calm, tread carefully, and consult someone from the legal profession, you can get the satisfaction that you need. Whether you opt to do something about getting fired, you should also prepare to move on, and these tips can help.
Stay positive and active in your job search, and soon enough, you’ll have a great job that you’ll enjoy.
- Department of Labor: Severance Pay
- SHRM: Tread Carefully Across the Severance Minefield
- Business Insider: 14 things to say when you get fired that you won’t regret
- CBS News: Forced to resign: What are your options?
- Department of Labor: How Do I File for Unemployment Insurance?
- Balance Careers: What Is Included in an Employment Credit Check
- Harvard University: Resumes, CVs, Cover Letters
- DCU: The over 50s, the new work generation
- Telegraph: Rise of the silver self-employed
- Score: How Entrepreneurs Over 50 Are Making Their Mark
- AARP: How Older Workers Can Learn New Job Skills
- Association for Psychological Science: Learning New Skills Keeps an Aging Mind Sharp
- Northeastern University: 7 TIPS FOR BUILDING YOUR PROFESSIONAL NETWORK
- Harvard Business Review: Your Future Employer Is Watching You Online. You Should Be, Too.
- Department of Labor: Seniors