Submissions     Contact     Advertise     Donate     BlogRoll     Subscribe                         

Thursday, March 5, 2009

SHTF: Surviving job loss and layoffs

Here's the news last week..

Boeing may cut 10,000 jobs, IBM cut 2800 jobs, Pfizer cut 8000 jobs,

Target stores another 600 jobs, Caterpillar a whopping 20,000 jobs cut

and on and on..

Saturday I met with a friend who works with a big telecom company. He

was laid off a month ago.

Other friends I have spoken with since December; all 6 have changed or

lost jobs. Everyone has taken a pay or promotion cut.

The job cuts are across the board and not limited to any single

industry or dicipline. The hard times, similar to the Great Depression

may be soon upon us.

I have been through three big layoffs in the past ten years. One left

me unemployed for eight long months. I went from a very comfortable six

figure salary managing a team of people in two states to being willing

to work overnights for less than I made my first year out of college.

In the end, I survived every single layoff and job loss thrown my way.

In the end, I learned some hard and expenisive lessons about job loss,

searching for work, adapting to new challenges and managing fear of


If you have been affected by the downturn in the economy and have lost

your job OR see the writing on the wall at your place of work and know

you have to find a new job soon OR you just want to find a better place

to work or line of work, this post may be for you.

Here are some of things I have learned and tell anyone who will listen

when they lose their job.

- Your old job is not coming back. The HR person who released you may

throw you some hope that "when things get better, we may call some

people back" or something similar.

Don't believe it.

Bringing back a laid off employee opens some employers to lawsuits.

Also, former employees cost more than new employees who are willing to

work for less.

Former employees are a pain because they systemically want things they

way they "used to be" before they were laid off.

Forget about your old job it is not coming back. So stop waiting by the

phone for HR or your supervisor to call you in. It is not going to

happen so move on.

- STS - Save that severance!

Use your severance package for maintaining bills and mortgage.

Use it to pay down or make minimum payments on car and credit card bills.

Use it to purchse a new suit, get a haircut or for travel to a job interview.

Do not use a severance package for a vacation in order to "find yourself".

Do not use a severance package for "training, coaching, interview skills, resume services, recruiters, headhunters" or anything else.

Most of those services are free and no paid person knows you as well as you do.

Do not use severance for toys, "wants", indulgences, or gifts. That can wait for when you are employed again.

You cannot live off a servarance package indefinately. It is merely a way to survive until the next paying job.

- Get a job, get back to work, doing anything.

Start working any job as soon as you are laid off or terminated.

Deliver pizzas, mow yards, throw newspapers, work for a friend or relative. Anything to get your mind off your old job.

When we get laid off, we brood and play mind games with ourselves.

We imagine ourselves back in the supervisors office telling him off when he announces our termination.

We imagine how we could have fixed things years before so we were not laid off and that other guy got the pink slip.

We waste time with the past rather than thinking about the urgent future.

A job, no matter how menial, occupies our mind and hands and makes us productive.

While working, we think about what we want to do, where we want to be and how to get there.

This leads to action which leads to finding the next real job.

Not working means sitting at home staring at a TV or computer screen, eating and sleeping. That leads no where.

- Stop spending hours in front of the computer.

Clicking, typing, pointing and browsing is an activity.

Sitting in front of a computer is not interviewing and talking with prospective employers.

Spending hours wading through Monster or other online job search engines is what two million other job seekers are doing right now. You are not alone!

Hooking up with old friends on Facebook ("they might have something for me!" - yeah right) is a waste of time.

Instead, pick up the phone and starting calling companies and the people you may know who work there. Nothing can replace personal contact.


- Swallow your pride and start letting everyone you know that you are out of work and searching for a job.

This means friends, family, church, old employers, old coworkers, friends from school, parents of your kid's friends, anyone and everyone.

The best job right now is going to the person who knows someone. Not to the person who submitted an anonymous resume to an HR person (or computer!) at some company.

Your personal network is huge. Put it to work right now.

In closing, you will find a job. It will be different than your last job. You are a survivor because you adapt and change and meet challenges. You will suceed and you will live to see another day. That is why you are here now.

Good luck, pray and persevere.


No comments:

Post a Comment