Surviving one or more job losses
I’ve been reading a lot about job losses here on reddit and as someone who’s survived multiple layoffs, I have 10 suggestions and ideas.
1)Always be updating resume and submitting resumes. I’m not saying every week, but every so often send out resumes for jobs you are interested in. I became too comfortable in my 10+ year job and didn’t plan well for the future.
2)Don’t sign anything from HR until you read over it. Even if you suspect you will get laid off it’s a shock and processing the information from HR about benefits and pay can be difficult. I took notes of everything said and asked if I could send in the paperwork the next day. But understand any severance and health insurance benefits before leaving.
3)Don’t get mad at boss. Usually, the notice comes from up high and your boss probably feels awful. It’s never easy to tell someone they’re fired. Don’t yell at them or send a nasty email to all your co-workers about him. I’ve gotten two jobs based on my former bosses recommendations.
4)Go home and blow off some steam.Take a hike, see a movie, do something that you enjoy. Tomorrow you sit down and decide your future.
5)Make a budget the day after you leave. If you get severance, don’t think it will sustain you. Enquiry about unemployment, make a list of your essential needs(housing/food/insurance) and those you don’t need(cable/entertainment). I called my auto insurance and was able to negotiate a lower monthly rate. For internet, I ordered the barebones internet and 12 channel plan and with Netflix I changed to only streaming. For food, I shop and Aldi’s and Trader Joes and cooked meals not prepared foods. I also only buy alcohol on special occasions saving $11 each week. No more Starbucks-I make my own Mochas now and only free entertainment venues.
6)Don’t hide your unemployment. I did that the first time because I felt ashamed. Now I’m open because it happens and you never know what another person can help you with. I have lost friends who couldn’t cope with me talking about job loss as it hit too close to home. Stick with those who encourage you. Also, avoid social media, like Facebook. It was maddening seeing all the people I know vacationing in Europe and eating fine dining and I finally had to take a break to remind myself that not everyone has that life.
7)Understand it will be hard for your family. My parents have been pretty good but I’ve had to set boundaries as they’ve given outdated advice. Sending every job ad my way, even if I’m unqualified, asking me if I’ve applied everywhere, etc. It’s easy to get angry with them but I just answer that yes, I’m applying and here is my plan. They have also been my biggest strength-inviting me over for dinner and taking me out every so often.
8)Don’t worry about taking a step back. I had to take a job that was below my last job in pay and benefits but I was almost out of savings and had be jobless for a year and a half. I was able to build up savings and pay my bills. You do what you have to do.
9)Volunteer or take online course. While jobless, I volunteered for community projects and brushed up on my Spanish online. It got me out of the house and improved my outlook. While your job search should be a 9 to 5 activity-make room for some self-improvement.
10)Finally, remember this too shall pass. John Lennon said that life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. I’ve amazed myself about how strong I can be in a crisis and not fall apart. Yes, there have been nights that I’ve cried myself to sleep and said prayers to a God I don’t believe in. Life may be different but you will get through this. Let other people in to encourage you and support you.