(NOTE: I did not just get laid off, I am fine, read entire article carefully, this was a dream/flashback)
I am sitting in my office when my boss comes in and says we need to talk. I make a joke, but he doesn’t smile. He informs me that I am being laid off. I can hardly breathe as the shock sits in and I am overwhelmed with a sense of panic. “Why?” I ask. “We have to make cut backs.” I persist “I got the highest rating possible during my last review, did I do something wrong?” He looks away from me “No, I am recommending you for rehire if and when we can. Im sorry.”
I have the mortgage to pay. I have no job prospects, my resume isn’t up to date, and the job market is terrible. What am I going to do? Now what?
This is the nightmare I had last night and it hit hard…because it actually happened to me. This was exactly what happened to me when I worked at HP. The difference is that now I have a fiance and son to worry about and that was the first thing that popped into my mind. Oh my God, what about my family? The difference between being single and being laid off and having a family and being laid off is astronomical.
Sadly, many people are living this. I have had so many google hits on ‘Got Laid Off” and ‘Got Laid Off what now” it is scary. I am sorry to all of you who are in this position, and I am going to help. To those of you who are not, read on as well, you never know when it could happen. Just friday an old friend of mine from HP got laid off after 10 years and she thought she had complete job security.
1) Update your resume right now.
Seriously, stop reading if you must and update your resume. If you are having trouble with your resume, send me an email and I will try to help.
2) Get some exercise.
I know this sounds weird, but it is going to help in a lot of ways. It is going to help release some frustration. It is going to make you feel better about yourself. It is going to allow you better clarity and focus, which will be necessary.
3) Start Searching now.
Monster.com, newspapers, friends, strangers. I have read a ton of career sites that say “take time, don’t rush into finding another job.” BS, you have a family, you have bills, you don’t want to take time to reflect.
4) Get health insurance immediately.
Even if it is disaster protection (3k deductible or so). I did not do this because I was young and healthy and I paid a big price. I never had a major accident in my life until I didn’t have health insurance. This is how life works. I am still paying credit cards that were used for medical bills (4 years later).
5) Be aggressive
When you get into contact with companies and get interviews make sure you stay on top of them. Employers will never fault you for inquiring on your status, but they might forget you if you let them.
Don’t panic and don’t give up. There are plenty of jobs out there and remember, America is a place where wealth is created not stolen or reallocated. Show your value to a company and you can get a job in any economy.
Got laid off what now? Now time to move onto your next success.