A guide to managing job loss

Job loss can be filled with mixed emotions; it can be an opportunity for change or the beginning of an uncertain path. Either way, losing a job is more common than you might think, and it doesn’t define you. We’re here to help.

Understanding unemployment

Redundancy can occur when an employer becomes bankrupt, or no longer needs the specific role the employee fills. It can often be part of cost cutting measures and restructures in a business.

Redundancy notice periods may begin at one week, for those who have been working at a company for a year or less, and stretch to four weeks, for those who’ve been employed longer than five years. You may also be entitled to redundancy pay. Check out the NZ Govt fair works site or contact NZ Community Law to understand your rights in this situation.

Financial security

While you’re in the process of finding a new job, your finances might be impacted. To help you during this difficult time, try setting up your budget and examine your living expenses - mortgage, credit cards, direct debits, insurance, utilities and weekly activities. Are there any expenses that can be reduced?

Our budget calculator can give you good insights into creating a personal budget or reviewing your outgoings.

We can also help build money management skills through our free Managing Your Money workshops and webinars.

You may prefer to speak to an independent financial adviser:

  • FinCap provide budgeting services with all the resources needed to help clients safely and confidentially.
  • Money Talks Helpline gives free independent budgeting advice to individuals, family and whānau. They can also organise your debt and plan. They can also put you in touch with a local budgeting service and help you with issues you're having with lenders. Call on 0800 345 123, SMS 4029 or email help@moneytalks.co.nz

Can I get a benefit from the Government?

If you’re wondering how to get help from Work and Income the easiest way to do this is online. Use their 'Check what you might get' tool to find out what type of help you may qualify for. They’ll ask some questions, and at the end, tell you the payments they think you might be able to get.

Preparing for your future job

Looking for a new job can feel daunting. Below are some tips and resources that can help you be more prepared.

Things to do:

  • Review your skills and achievements.
  • Look for online courses and seminars to upskill or retrain.
  • Update your CV and profiles on LinkedIn, Seek, TradeMe Jobs etc.
  • Network online with people in your industry.
  • Set online appointments to meet recruiters.

Other helpful resources:

  • Explore job opportunities on the New Zealand’s job search site, Seek or even LinkedIn.
  • Think about volunteering. To find out how you can volunteer, visit Volunteering NZ.

Tips on how to write a good CV and cover letter

The way to stand out when applying for any role, is with your CV and cover letter. Your CV (sometimes known as a resume) lists your skills and experience.

  • In your cover letter, give specific examples of your skills within your previous roles.
  • Use keywords in both your cover letter and CV that are mentioned in the job description and are relevant to the industry.
  • Spend a good amount of time tweaking your CV and writing a personalised cover letter.
  • You want to tell the employer that you know what they want, and you have the skills that they are looking for.
  • Don’t overdo it. Your CV and cover letter should not exceed more than a couple of pages. Keep it brief and focused.

How to nail the interview

How would you describe yourself in 2 minutes? How would you describe your skills to an employer in a job interview and show examples of them at work? While talking about your experience, give examples of how your contributions made a difference to your company’s or client’s work. Practice speaking at home and don’t forget about maintaining good body language. Eye contact, posture and tone of voice are extremely important during a job interview.

While previous skills and experience are at the forefront of your job hunt, you need to let your personality shine. In an interview setting, employers are most likely going to ask about you, hobbies and your work/life balance. Think about how these traits relate to the role? How would they make you a productive and fun member of their team?

Other helpful resources

  • Career megatrends of the next decade: Will your job be automated?


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  • Careers without degrees: Climbing the corporate ladder without university.

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  • Tips to make your CV standout from an expert.


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