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Bouncing back from a layoff: More advice for job seekers

October 30, 2009


I talked (online and offline) earlier this week with professionals in Birmingham worried about their jobs. I discussed some strategies before in “Five ways to jump-start your job search with social networking.”

But as a veteran of two layoffs, I have more sage advice:

1. If finances allow, take a month off to recover. We tend to do this anyway nesting, resting, hiding or going to a zillion coffees and lunches. Losing a job can put you through the emotional wringer.

2. Apply for unemployment benefits. I’ve heard some people talk about guilt or shame. Nonsense: We pay into the system. It’s not a handout, it’s an insurance plan for this situation. If $5,000 to $10,000 is just sitting on a table, do you leave it there? That money could tide you and your family over till paying work comes along. It could even finance your next venture.

3. If the company offers free career counseling through a vendor, take advantage of it. Working with a professional counselor can help you with the basics (interviewing, resumes) and the big picture (career options, entrepreneurial ventures, networking). You’ll get a lot of good and bad advice, but why not take free good advice from an expert?

4. Network with others, within and outside of your company, industry or field. Don’t limit yourself to people within your industry — you need to be out there. With business cards.

5. Take comfort in the knowledge that smart, talented people will always find rewarding work. This I truly believe.

What would you tell someone who’s facing a layoff and job hunt? Tell us in the comments.

Photo by timmenzies / CC BY-SA 2.0

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 30, 2009 12:37 pm

    Having just lost my job and fresh from the news (received yesterday afternoon) I agree with all you suggest here and would share it plus one other piece of advice (er, I’ll have to let you know how well this works since today is my first day applying it :-). Get up each day and follow a similar routine as a work day would dictate. Get up, get dressed and get busy. If finances allow, take that breather doing things you enjoy but after a reasonable rest make seeking a new career your full time work. If you’re starting a business this can work wonders since the discipline of staying busy and focused is crucial to success. Why not give yourself the same effort you give an employer? A coworker of mine released earlier this year took this path and was only unemployed a total of 3 weeks!

    • October 30, 2009 4:21 pm

      That’s a great tip. Regular routine can lead to normalcy, a sense of calm and a lot accomplished each day.

  2. Susan Anderson permalink
    November 1, 2009 5:16 pm

    My advice is somewhat related to Lisa’s, though with a twist. After my layoff late last year, I continued my routine of getting up at 4:45 a.m. to work out. The exercise calmed my nerves, kept me sane, and allowed me to see my workout friends (who helped me in their own ways). And I was up and showered and ready to face the day by 7. There’s something about being clean and clothed (even if it’s sweatpants) when you sit down to face the job hunt. I must say, it took me a heck of a lot longer than 3 weeks to find my job despite sticking to my routine, so it’s no guarantee of anything except a regular release of endorphins.

    • November 1, 2009 9:04 pm

      That’s great advice, Susan. Those who are laid off still need to take care of themselves.

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