What to do after losing your job in Germany: 4 important steps & Benefits
Being laid off is never a nice prospect, but by proactively planning your next moves, it can become a much less daunting one. Irene Yu, founder of Female Entrepreneur & Me Coaching, explains what you should do.
The tech industry is going through a tricky time right now, downsizing and laying off employees. As an expat, the prospect of losing your job and having to face all the German bureaucracy involved with registering as a jobseeker probably seems daunting and overwhelming. However, this article will help you to figure out your next steps.
1. Take a deep breath and reflect on your previous roles
Losing your job is hard. Very often it puts you in firefighter mode, with your brain focusing on how to solve the most urgent problem - figuring out your next career move. However, instead of simply leaning into the problem, it’s important to use this chance to reflect on your previous positions and consider what you’ve gained and learned from them.
You can also take some time to reflect on some future questions, for instance: what kind of working environment do you thrive in? What are your non-negotiables for a new role? What will help you identify whether a certain role or team is right for you? What are your expectations and priorities?
2. Give yourself time to grieve
Loss of a career or a position is also a loss. I see many clients who want to jump through this stage, wanting to immediately start drafting their new CV, looking for jobs, and starting to prepare for interviews.
But, please, treat the loss of your job like losing anything that is dear to you. Give yourself some time to grieve. Only afterwards can you figure out how to move forward. Otherwise, the loss will always come back to haunt you, even if you are able to land a new position right away.
3. Update your CV, cover letter, and LinkedIn AGAIN
When people are in long-term positions, they often forget to update their LinkedIn and CV. However, whether you are in a comfortable position or not, it is always best to keep updating your CV every few months, especially during times of economic crisis.
When I used to work at tech startups, I updated my CV almost every month. Why? Because working at a startup is always risky. I also wanted to keep myself out there on the job market. So, after you’ve given yourself some time to grieve (and only when you feel ready), it’s time to start updating your CV, cover letter and LinkedIn to reflect your recent experience.
4. Get help from the unemployment agency
Once your CV is spruced up, you might feel ready to get out there and start applying for jobs. Or, you might notice some gaps in your skillset. Did you know that the unemployment agency in Germany actually provides support to people who are looking to upskill? Lots of expats are unaware that there are two types of career services that are offered to all unemployed people and job seekers in Germany.
Applying for financial support to complete a coaching or a training programme not only gives you the opportunity to develop your skills, but also gives you more time to plan your career progression.
There are two types of vouchers you can apply for:
- AVGS (Aktivierungs- und Vermittlungsgutschein) - For career coaching
- Bildungsgutschein - For gaining new skills
The AVGS covers the cost of coaching for jobseekers. The coaching is not only restricted to helping you look for your next job - it can also help you figure out why you struggled in previous positions, for example, if you found communication difficult, or lacked the self confidence to lead a team. With coaching, you can develop your own career development plan. Whether you’re looking for a higher position, or want to transition into another industry, coaching can help you plan your move and work out if you need any additional training.
The Bildungsgutschein (education voucher) is all about upskilling yourself. Once you’ve decided what skills you need for your next career move, you can apply for this voucher to take courses to help future-proof yourself - whether you want to learn coding, design, or something else.
If you are not sure what is the right course for you to take, think about what kind of skills you'll need for your next role. What do you want your career prospects to be like after the training?
If you're still not sure, it's a good idea to use AVGS for career coaching first, rather than jumping into a course feet first without any clear direction.
Want some career guidance or just some advice on how to apply for AVGS and other vouchers? FEM Coaching can support you through the application process and has a 90-percent success rate at securing vouchers for its clients. Book a free 20-minute coaching call to start your application!