The holiday season is supposed to be a festive time of year; however, companies sometimes must make difficult decisions to cut jobs due to financial/other reasons. If you or someone you know has been affected by a job loss this holiday season, then read on to find out how to set yourself up for positive future outcomes.

When you receive the news of a job loss, it may be a shock and you may be emotional. Try to listen to the reasons for the job cut, and the details around the severance package, if one is being offered. If you need a few minutes to gather yourself, ask for that time so you can have a clear head to listen actively to the specifics, ask questions and take notes.

Go home and review the information and discuss everything with your family and close friends. After you have a few days to digest the news, you will want to develop a job search plan. You will need to demonstrate composure and confidence to employers as you begin your job search. Part of that plan should be to stay organized and focused; you can do that by planning out your days and scheduling your time. Be sure to keep yourself busy with your job search, classes/webinars/seminars related to your industry or future job, and with exercise, hobbies, home projects, volunteer work, etc. Keeping structure in your life and a consistent schedule will help you prepare and commit to looking for a new job.

Be sure to update your resume and LinkedIn profile with any newly acquired skills and knowledge. Actively engaging in social media can help advance your online presence and make others aware that you are in the job market.

Next, you should create a list of companies you want to work for, whether or not they have any current job openings. Let’s face it, the next job you find is most likely going to be through someone you know. Start by leveraging your network, using LinkedIn, in-person contacts and networking events to get your resume to the top of the pile!

Lastly, focus on the positive and what you can control. It’s ok to experience feelings of loss, anger and sadness (seeking professional help might be an option) but try not to dwell on the negative. Instead, exercise, meditate, get involved in something positive, volunteer, take classes, focus on what you love to do. Find something that is meaningful and enjoyable to you; it will help put your challenges into perspective and energize your job search.