Dealing With Being Laid Off: One Man’s Story
The decade of me lasted 17 ½ days.
At the end of 2009, I made a pledge to myself that 2010 to 2019 was to be “my decade.” I was entering my prime earning years and made the decision to rededicate myself to my profession. For the first 17 days of 2010 I was doing great. Then at 2:00 on Monday, January 18th, 2010 I got a tap on the shoulder from a woman in HR.
There had been a series of layoffs where I worked and once we walked past her office, I knew I was about to become one of them.
What followed was a dizzying avalanche of information about severance packages, COBRA options, papers to sign, “Here is my card if you have any questions”, and this guy “will escort you out.”
Dealing with being laid off is one of life’s great Catch-22 situations. When you’re working, you often want nothing more than time off to travel, spend time with your family, fix up the house, or just decompress. When you lose your job you have nothing but time but may not be able to justify traveling or fixing up the house because you have limited income and decompressing can be difficult due to the stress you’re under.
I’m not a career counselor or a head-hunter. I’m just a guy who got laid off. What follows is my story and tips I learned while searching for a job.
Reaching Out To Friends
My immediate response was to send out a mass email to anyone and everyone I knew letting them know about my situation and ask them to let me know if anything comes up. For the next few hours my job search consisted of checking my inbox. I quickly realized that while many people were sympathetic to me dealing with being laid off, they didn’t have a database of unfilled jobs at their disposal.
Online Job Applications
Times have changed and finding a job has changed too. It’s very difficult to hand your resume to an actual human being now. Many businesses use applicant tracking systems to streamline the applicant review process. This can sometimes result in companies sorting through hundreds or perhaps thousands of applications. Ensuring you highlight your skills near the top of your resume can increase your chance of an interview.
Asking The Right Questions
Set up meetings with as many people as you can to let them know exactly what you’re looking for. Tell people the kind of position you’re seeking and, if possible, someone you would like to meet. Telling someone you’re “looking for just about anything” may not produce the quality lead you are looking for. It can be a lot more effective for someone to keep their eyes and ears open for a Director of Operations position than “anything.”
Dealing with being laid off can be an extremely traumatic experience, but fortunately there are plenty of resources available to people dealing with unemployment.
We have produced an interactive guide that provides a starting point for handling your finances, insurance, telling family and friends and more.