Sunday, February 1, 2009

Layoff Resources

I got laid off, so I started this blog

I've been meaning for some time now to start a blog, but have just not found the time. I often think of random topics to write about that I would like to record for my own reference, and for the reference of others via the Internet. Well, I still never found the time but the time has found me.

I was laid off 3 days ago. It is the first time my professional career that I am experiencing a lapse in employment. Given the current state of the economy (100,000 laid off this week alone nationwide), and the fact that I went through 1 round of layoffs a month earlier already - it was not a total surprise but there was still that initial shock. It is important, if this happens to you, to let that initial shock subside quickly. Mourn over your loss for an evening or a day, and then get moving - because there's a lot of WORK to do!

Keeping in touch with your recent colleagues is important. They serve as additions to your network, and also as a support group. I remember in the past leaving jobs, and scrambling around for people's personal phone numbers and email addresses. Over the past 2 years though, may people (me included) have become more involved in social networks. With almost everyone in my (past) company on either Facebook, Linked In, or Twitter (follow me: cgiven) - I did not need to worry about losing touch with anyone. In fact, we used these websites as a way to communicate in mass immediately following the layoff. What was a novelty one day, turned out to be crucial to my ability to communicate the next.

Linked In is a good professional contact website. There are just some people who want to keep it strictly professional. Facebook can serve as both professional and personal. My Space is too low-brow, I don't recommend it. Twitter, for me, tied it all together. There are some people in life you want to keep in touch with (ie: former work colleague) but who you do not talk to everyday. One day you may want to contact them, and if it has been months or years - it could be awkward. Why are you calling them, only because you want something? If you have been following this person on Twitter and they following you, it breaks down that barrier. If you are not using social networks, consider this as an argument in favor of starting to.

One of my co-workers posted helpful hints that we collected as a group, via email and via social networks, on her blog (Craisin's Blog) - to preserve it for future reference. In summary, these are the important things to consider:
  1. Apply for unemployment immediately (it takes time to process)
  2. Find health insurance immediately (a lapse in coverage is not good)
  3. If you've been offered a severance package, read it carefully. Signing it means giving up many rights (thus you should be compensated nicely). By law you have 21 days to consider it before signing, and 7 days to re-consider after signing.
  4. Change your spending (cut out the unnecessary and/or cut back)
  5. Communicate with people. Chances are you will find a job via networking vs sending out resumes blindly.
  6. Make a plan for your days, everyday. Include time to search for jobs. Finding a job, is a job in itself.
  7. Consider volunteer work in your community until you find another job. It's good for society, good for your state of mind, and good for your resume.
If you find yourself in this situation good luck - and don't panic! I hope these resources help.

1 comment:

  1. w00t!

    I'm 100% glad that we've been able to help each other out so much, Craig!