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How I reacted and what I have done since being Laid Off

Updated on September 6, 2011
The Gold Watch I didn't get
The Gold Watch I didn't get


Very briefly, I started my job in 1997 and survived quite a number of layoff rounds due to acquisitions and restructuring but then finally it was my turn.

The day it happened - Develop a positive mantra

On Thursday, August 4th I got the news, packed up my desk quickly and headed home. I was in a state of shock for the first hour after I found out, but saying a mantra in my head over and over again helped 'I will find work soon, I will find work soon, I will find work soon'. Find your own mantra that will help restore your faith and make you feel positive and you'll get over the shock too.

Fortunately I had been at the company for 14 years, and so I had a generous severance package which did not mean I was in a panic or a rush to find work immediately.

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Career Transition Advice

My company paid for a career transition course that I took and that I found invaluable as it had been so long since I was on the job market. The course went into great detail about how to do the job hunt, what are the different avenues to follow to find work and what are the networking methods most effective. It also went into how to prepare for and perform during an interview and then later on, how to negotiate the terms of employment once an offer is made.

One advice they recommend that I'd like to share is to list off the things you really want to have in your new job so that if you get an offer that has too many things that are not what you want, you can know that you shouldn't accept it. For example, what I wanted was:

  • A salary equal to or higher than what I was earning
  • A reasonably easy commute
  • A gym onsite, or a gym subsidy
  • Flexibility to be able to take my kids to appointments periodically by making up time at night or on weekends

If ever you are laid off and this type of course is offered to you, I highly recommend you take it.

Looking for work

I figured the sooner I could get back to work, more of the severance package could be used for things other than 'living expenses'. So soon after the course I completed my resumé and was creating profiles on all of the major job search sites. Another reason for looking for work quickly is that August - September is a time of year that companies are often looking for people.

Here are the things I have done to look for work that I would recommend you do:

  • Create your profile and upload your resumé to the main job search sites - I used monster, workopolis and jobboom.
  • Make a list of companies that you would like to work for based on their location (for easy commute), their benefits, what the company does and any other factors you would consider. For each of those companies, go to their website's career sections and see if there is a way for you to upload your resumé and create a profile. If there are any jobs that match your skill set, apply right away.
  • Get the word out to all of the people you know that you are in the hunt, this kind of personal networking is quite often the way that people are hired.

By following these steps I have already had three interviews and one job offer, all after having been laid off only a month ago.


If you get laid off, stay positive, get your resumé up to date and get the search started as soon as possible to avoid being laid off for many months.


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    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Uban, thanks for the votes and good luck - I hope you find something quickly.

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 6 years ago from Lagos

      Thank you so much phil, you re a genius. I will soon be in the labor market looking for jobs and this is what i need. A very big thank you. Voted useful, awesome, beautiful and interesting. Be blessed Sir

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      FBR, ouch - that must have been just as hard for your dad as it was for you, if not more so. I hope you've managed to work something else out.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      I was laid off in December when my father became semi-retired and didn't need me as a full time bookeeper anymore.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Thanks Ms!

    • Ms._Info profile image

      Ms._Info 6 years ago from New Jersey

      Congrats on landing the new job!

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Brett, there are a few things missing from this new job that I would have liked, but other things that make up for it, so I'd say yes, it's pretty close to being the job I'm after.

      Hennie, thanks - I don't usually stress about very much, and I wasn't stressing about being laid off. I could have gone until March next year with the large severance I had, so there wasn't any pressure for me to find work soon.

      EB, I hope to keep this new job for quite a long time; the idea of being unemployed so frequently is not particularly appealing.

      f, thanks, in this new position I am a little bit underemployed, but I'm okay with that as it seems there are some good opportunities for growth there.

    • profile image

      6 years ago

      You guys have my sympathies, anyway. Some ppl are unemployed; others are what is described as under-employed.

    • Ebower profile image

      Erin Bower 6 years ago from Georgia

      I enjoyed reading your personal experience. I could relate well being that I have been unemployed three different times since 2010. I voted this up and useful. I'm glad to hear that you are on the right track!

    • HennieN profile image

      HennieN 6 years ago from South Africa

      I know what you are talking about. I have been laid off 3 time over the last 7 years.

      The positives is that you become a stronger person during the process and you appreciate your job more when you have one.

      I know this may sound funny, but don't stress about a job. Don't feel like you are under pressure to get one. Enjoy the search process and have fun. The job will come and find you. (based on experience on my side)

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 6 years ago from Thailand

      Hey Phil,

      Pleased to hear you landed something. Is it what you wanted?

      I once made the mistake of quitting a job for another position I had lined up ... which turned out to be impractical when they got to the end of the visa process. This left me unemployed for 6 months and with no benefits system. My only income was from freelance writing/editing. I was sooooooo happy when I finally landed a decent contract! It's a great feeling eh.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Alpha, I think things are better here in Montreal, and in Canada, then they are in most places in the US. I agree 6 weeks is a reasonably short time, so I consider myself fortunate.

    • alphagirl profile image

      alphagirl 6 years ago from USA

      I think 6 weeks is a very short time, when many have been out for a year. I think it is great you were able to land something. I am astounded by job ads that tell you not calls, apply online etc. Many companies do not call you or tell you anything. Only the most professional companies will call you with a yes or no. I have been searching now for 6 months and from my own experience, it is a tough market. I wish you well. Can't wait to see what you negotiate.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      LF, yikes, that's a long time to be out, I really hope something turns up for you soon.

    • LadyFae profile image

      LadyFae 6 years ago from Under the Stars

      Indeed, good luck Phil. And believe me, being unemployed for only 5 to 6 weeks isn't bad at all. I was laid off in the beginning of 2010 and so far have not been able to get back in the race. Comforting thought is that I'm not alone lol.

      Love and hugs

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Thanks. Indeed painless as I have managed to do some house chores that have been long overdue.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Good luck to you, Phil. It's always a blow, no matter how well prepared you are, to be laid off. You managed very well, and I think your period of unemployment was relatively painless.