Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How to Survive a Layoff

No job is 100 percent secure or guaranteed, and anyone is susceptible to a layoff. Although the circumstances may vary, there are many survival strategies and behaviors for anyone who has become a victim of downsizing. Whether it’s a single young worker who has the option to continue his or her education and find a part-time position to fulfill basic needs, or a laid-off parent who must continue to provide for family, both are without a steady paycheck and will need assistance and encouragement. Here are a few suggestions on how to conduct yourself.

Saying goodbye to managers and coworkers: On the day of your layoff, if possible, cordially greet everyone you have either worked for or worked with. Exchange contact information so you can keep in touch for personal and employment updates. Staying in contact with former employers can be a useful networking tool for future employment.

Informing family: A layoff affects everyone within your household, either emotionally or financially. Your family members are the backbone of your support, but self-discipline and determination to endure this setback is your responsibility. When informing your loved ones of your job loss, be very honest with them by explaining the company’s decision to downsize, and advise them that the family will have to cut back on some expenses. When you need a shoulder to lean on, turn to a loved one.

It is all right to be emotional: When the reality of it all sets in and your emotions appear, welcome them with self-control and managed composure. After facing the reality of being unemployed and having had time to collect your thoughts, your time to begin addressing the issue will soon follow. Although it may be very difficult to do, try to accept your layoff professionally and not take it personally.

Try not to become frustrated because there are no employers calling you: With our decelerated economy, even the search for an average-paying position may become difficult. There are college students who cannot obtain a job at a grocery store or fast food restaurant because middle-aged parents are now being considered for these positions. Looking for a new job can be challenging and frustrating, but do not give up.

Do not neglect yourself: Continue to care for your appearance and health, because when that employer does call you in for an interview, you want to appear pristine and flawless, as though it was your first day on the job. Keep active by attending employment seminars, performing research at your local public library, staying in touch with other coworkers who were also laid off, and visiting your unemployment office to explore available job openings.

Keep your résumé current: Your résumé is your bibliography, and when a potential employer examines it, you want it to tell them who you are, what you know, and where you would like to go. Your résumé is your introduction to a potential employer, and the first meeting should be a memorable one.