Written by Angel Candelario
Life is the art of drawing without an eraser. Those words are meaningless until a great event impact our lives. This is especially true when we experienced a layoff. Being layoff is definitely a very traumatic event that may lead us to emotional consequences, like depression due to our financial responsibilities and the uncertainty that we have for not knowing for how long we will be unemployed. In any case I have news for you; it’s not your fault you were layoff and it never has been. When a company is struggling financially its employees could face a layoff. You are not alone; anyone can go through this experience.
All the advice you may find in the internet related on how to overcome a layoff says to stay positive. I know what you may think right now; when your income and part of your identity are ripped away it’s not an easy task. Well, let me tell you something, in order to overcome layoff, you need good emotional management.
Maintain your professional image – A layoff is not an excuse for a dramatic exit that worth to post on You Tube. This is a tough time for your coworkers, even if they didn’t lose their jobs. Don’t contribute any additional negativity.
Clear your mind – You will need time to clear your head. Avoid questions and thoughts like; how will I pay my mortgage? Where will I work next? Do I even want to continue with my career? What will happen to my lifestyle? Action is the best option.
Collect everything to which you’re entitled – This may include unemployment compensation, health insurance coverage through COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act), vacations compensation, etc. This will help you to minimize the negative impact.
Reduce luxuries – This might be a time to reduce expenses like cable TV or daily lattes but be careful, some expenses such as an Internet connection or mobile phone remain invaluable job search tools and should not be cut.
Look for a new job
In the initial stage of creating a strategy to obtain employment, you must choose between returning to the private (or public) sector or start your own business either as a consultant, etc. This will take some time, so I recommend that you check this with friends, family and private or government entities available.
Where I want to work? – This is a very important question that you should ask yourself. Do not waste time searching frantically work through job seekers engines. I’m not saying to not use these services, but try several strategies. Start by making a list of employers to which you would like to work. Enter directly to their websites to seek job opportunities. Usually they published in their pages employment opportunities long before they are posted on general job seekers engines. Please consider your former employer’s main competitor to be one of your first calls/options in your job search. Don’t get discourage if you find yourself with a pile of rejections. Remember; you just need one job, keep looking.
Update your resume – “Let every word stand in such a place and connection, as that its meaning shall be in no danger of being mistaken” Joseph Priestley. Emphasize your transferable skills on your resume. By showing that your overall business experiences are strong, hiring manager will take you on consideration.
Networking – The key to surviving and thriving during this time is to fall back on your network. Be prepared to explain to your network and prospective employers what happened. A brief story it’s enough, you may tell them that your department was restructured, or your role was split between two more junior hires, etc. For those in the technical communication industry, The Society for Technical Communication (STC) is a great resource for networking. http://www.stc.org/
Also, Ladders.com is a very helpful site for professionals in general. You will find information on how to improve your resume, interviewing tips, and inspirational articles. https://www.theladders.com
Another recommendation it’s to visit the web site http://www.glassdoor.com Here you will find company reviews, feedback from current and former employees related to interviews where they worked, among other tips.
Companies like Manpower, Adecco, TeKSystems might help you to obtain a temporary job or contract work that you can do.
Please remember, being lay off is tough enough, don’t take it the wrong way and say goodbye to the guilt. You are a valuable human being, with much to contribute to our society.