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Getting Laid Off from Work - Survival Tips
Help! I just got laid off.
First and foremost: I am sorry for your loss.
Yes you have identified with your job for the last umpteen years and how you are laid off. You are realizing you are not any better than that poor shlub you have been pitying this last few years, (the guy who can't afford your fancy lunches or new clothes) no, now you are not just like him, you are worse than he is at this moment. He at least has had a moment (or a few months, years) to accept his fate, he is jobless (hopefully not homeless). But no, you my friend, you are recently jobless, even just today, you have no job. You are newly jobless. You just now lost your job. Sorry to rub it in so bad, but yes, we have to break you down to build you up. Go grab your childhood blankie while we explain.
There are many stages to losing a job and accepting it, but this will become a way to revitalize yourself, rise as a powerful phoenix from the ashes of your former professional career and revamp to take over the word Ninja-style...but hold on, we got ahead of ourselves again didn't we? Slow down chief, we just got laid off, the shock has not even hit. Okay, the shock is now hitting and what do you do now? As in, "exactly" what to do right now?
Okay, here goes, get a pen or broken pencil and grab a scrap off of paper off that pile of bills, sure, you will have lots of that type of paper soon. Take notes, these are the directions to getting it all back together again after a lay off. Read on for the 10 Steps to finding a new job after a layoff.
First Step - Play sad music.
Do not raid the fridge and do not eat ice cream now, your waistline cannot handle it. Seriously, you will need to get into those old business suits for interviews later, why waste this time, you should be working out. Take out your aggression on a nice tight abs workout to get those same results. Do pushups every time you think of "how it all went down." It is okay, pretend you are incarcerated, run for a cause, whatever you need to do, feel sad then let it sink in you need to move on. And fast you will need to move on. Those bills are not going to wait for you to wallow in self pity right now. So, play the old songs, feel sorry for yourself, grab a kettleball, (or go buy some other weights of choice), and start moving, literally.
Second Step - Thank your old boss for the opportunity.
I know you think we are crazy, lost it, nuts or uninformed, but you are going to have to send a THANK YOU email to your old boss. This actually serves many functions, all of which you will thank us for later. Whether you feel you need a reference or not, one will follow you, trust us. One that you may or may not have deserved, so send a polite "thank you for the opportunity" letter to the ex-boss and you will stay off their immediate hit list. Next, you also may need to put them on your resume, even if you don't want to do so. When asked at the job interview or when filling out the applications for a new job, people will ask where you have been for the last few years - and don't say "self-employed" unless you have appropriate tax forms to prove this! Finally, don't you want to be seen as the bigger person? Yes, you do, you want to be seen as the bigger person than that some-of-a-you-know-what, so be bigger, not bitter. Below is a letter you can cut and paste (it does not matter if you mean it or not, be bigger):
Dear _____________(fill in the ex-boss' full name and title)
I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you for the opportunity to have worked at ____________(fill in company name) these last few years. I have enjoyed learning about the industry and will take this newfound knowledge with me to my new position as I pursue new opportunities at other organizations.
Your Full Name, (followed by any earned college degrees)
There see, that did not hurt a bit. It is inconsequential if you mean this right now or not, send the letter or email as soon as you can stomach doing it. In a few years, you will be the bigger person for sure if you ever talk to, see, text, email or hear about anyone from this company again. No one can deny you will be a class act for mustering the courage to do this, no one will put you down if you can get this done, so do it today. Also, and more importantly, you would be positively shocked at how many people get called back to work after a layoff, so this could be you if you recover gracefully and show no hard feelings.
Third Step - Start looking for new employment.
Look online, local newspapers online, local job boards online, newspapers, ask around, walk the beat, look for "help wanted, inquire within" signs on businesses locally or when driving around look for anyone who seems to need more employees on site (depending on what industry you work in, this is actually effective). Start looking and make it your NEW full time job, looking for a new job. It will be exhausting and tedious. REdo your resume, update it, add to it, put in the duties you did over the last few years. Take heart, you need to send out 50 to get one reply in some cases, you may need to send out more to get an interview. No matter, just do it!
Do not keep rejection letters, just toss them. Ask for honest feedback if you are not being considered for an interview for a position you think you are qualified for and find out why you were passed over. The feedback may help you for the next one so take it kindly as it is offered. Try not to be bitter and please change your music choices to upbeat music at this time.
Fourth Step - Volunteer.
It may seem silly, you are busy looking for a job, but you will be surprised how many people get hired where they are volunteering so give it a try. Go anywhere anyone will take you, do the background check and allow yourself to help someone else less fortunate - yes because now you will have counted a blessing or two and be on the road to a new position very soon so help someone else.
Fifth Step - Consider changing industries, you need to switch your professional skills if necessary.
Sometimes skills from one industry can apply nicely to another one. For example, if you are a teacher, consider applying for a job as a corporate trainer or as someone who is a mentor to youth at an alternative facility for troubled students - or even teach at different grades than you are used to teaching. The same goes for sales reps, you can sell anything, go online and learn about another industry and apply the same sales models.
Sixth Step - Rearrange furniture in your home and "spring clean."
Get out the cobwebs and you will find you have a new and energized feeling for life.
Seventh Step - Pay on bills as you can, call all creditors and explain you are looking after a layoff for a new job.
Please call them sooner than later, many will work with you until you are back on your feet.
Eighth Step - At interviews be careful to talk negatively about your old boss.
Obvious reasons - don't gossip about the old boss.
Ninth Step - Once you get the new job, don't talk about the old job.
It is just like getting into a new relationship and discussing the old one and why it did not work. You will jinx yourself so do not feel compelled to explain what went wrong at the old job, start fresh in every way.
Tenth Step - Take anything, but keep looking for a better position in your preferred pay scale.
Take whatever you can get until you can do better, but don't feel too "good" to work at a job that will pay the bills for now.
So that is it, ten steps to getting over being laid off. Leave comments and feedback on your personal story and happy job hunting for us all.