Layoff Survival 101
How to navigate the layoff waters.
Getting laid off can be a very traumatic experience, especially for the first time. If you find yourself in these circumstances here are some tips to help you successfully navigate through this time in your life. It’s very important to let it sink in once you are notified. Give yourself a day or two (at the most) to let the reality set in and then begin to take control of the situation.
Step One: Use Your Health Benefits
Most companies are at least kind enough to do this on the first day of the month, giving you at least 30 days to make as many medical appointments as you can during that time. It is important to take full advantage of this time. Make that appointment, even if it’s just for a physical. Get your prescriptions filled, especially your maintenance drugs if you can. Buy the glasses, get the teeth cleaned, do any and everything you can in those 30 days before you have to get benefits on your own should you still be unemployed after the 30 days are over.
Step Two: Secure Your Finances
Apply for unemployment benefits immediately. If your HR department is worth a penny they will provide you with everything you need to expedite the process but you can do everything online. Decide what you want to do about your 401K. You should receive paperwork from HR on how to move it, cash it out or keep it so explore the options and do what’s best for you. Now that you have time, this is a good opportunity to make sure all of your personal filing and accounting is in order.
Step Three: Exercise Your Mind
Use this time to take a class. You will be so happy that you used the time productively and it’s an opportunity to add more skills to your tool belt. If you can’t afford to pay for one there are resources available that you can take advantage of for free. Whether it’s in a class, online or in a book, the point is to stay sharp and be productive!
Step Four: Exercise Your Body
Now you have absolutely no excuse. None. Get up and get out. Take a run or a walk but do something to get you moving. Besides making you feel better it will be a good habit you can carry into your new routine once you find a new job.
Step Five: Apply for Jobs
Obviously but the key is to be strategic. Limit yourself to five applications per day and here’s why. Most applications that aren’t quick apply take a good 30-45 minutes to fill out completely and that is exactly what you should do: fill them out completely. This will also prevent you from getting burned out, which can lead to frustration and depression so make sure you pace yourself and fill out each application fully and to the best of your ability.
Make sure you find things to fill your day. You can make a list of things the night before of the things you want to accomplish and even set calendar appointments to make sure you are getting everything done that you need. The most important thing is to give yourself something to do besides look for work. It can be incredibly frustrating because finding a job does take time, and if that is all you are focused on it will begin to grind on you. By pacing yourself you are putting your best effort into the job applications and that is extremely important.