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So Your Position Lost Funding | What Now?

Lakshmi Hutchinson

woman writing on whiteboard

What if you only recently started a job, and the contract or grant that it is reliant on suddenly falls through? Recovering from that sudden loss and repositioning yourself in a short time can be challenging, but is not impossible. Reaching out to your network, being upfront with potential employers, and presenting the positive in your cover letter and interviews are key.

Don’t panic


A job loss is difficult to deal with no matter what the cause, but when your position is eliminated due to a lack of funds, it can come as a complete surprise. You may not have been as prepared to leave as you might have been with more notice. So, first things first, make sure that you have the basics covered:

  • Line up your references before you leave. They can vouch for your work and the circumstances of your leaving, even if you were only there for a short time.
  • Speak with HR to find out about any compensation and benefits that you may be owed.
  • Look into your eligibility to collect unemployment insurance, and plan out your budget for the next few months. 

Reach out for support


It might feel strange to announce a job loss soon after you shared your excitement about the position on social media. But it can be beneficial to let your friends and professional network know what happened:

  • Being open about your job loss can not only prevent future confusion, it can also ensure that you get any support needed during the transition. 
  • It also allows you to let people in your network know of your availability so they can keep an eye out for any potential openings.
  • As you update your resume, send drafts to a few professional contacts who can give you honest feedback. You may be inspired to redesign it or rewrite it to sound more compelling.

Focus on the positive


It’s natural to feel disappointed or even resentful towards the organization or people that let you go. However, rather than dwelling on the negative, consider these positives to help you move forward:

  • Remember, you have a perfectly valid explanation to give potential employers. If you’re honest and upfront about why your role was eliminated, it should not reflect poorly on you. 
  • Think about how you want to address the job loss in your cover letters. If you’re called for an interview, make it clear that your job loss was not related to your performance. You could say something like: “Continued funding for my position was reliant on a grant that didn’t come through. I’m using this opportunity to explore other organizations that I’m excited about.”
  • Stay active and set up a daily routine that keeps you stress-free. While you will want to devote a good amount of time to the job search, be sure to also allow yourself time to socialize and stay healthy. 

Lakshmi Hutchinson

Lakshmi Hutchinson is a freelance writer with experience in the nonprofit, education, and HR fields. She is particularly interested in issues of educational and workplace equity, and in empowering women to reach their professional goals. She lives in Glendale, California with her husband, twin girls, and tuxedo cat.

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