On Being Laid Off

Getting in the paper recently about my success at finding a new job got me thinking about my overall experience. While the majority of what I talked about with the reporter didn’t end up in the article, I think that at least some of it would be useful for those who may potentially be facing a layoff or are already laid off.

One of the most important things that I found is that you must NOT allow your layoff to affect your self-respect and self-esteem.  Keeping these things in mind may help avoid getting depressed about the layoff:

  • Layoffs are about numbers, not people; being laid off doesn’t reflect on your skills, abilities, or your worth as a person
  • Companies who jump to layoffs as an early cost-cutting measure damage their long-term worth, but yours is still very much intact
  • There ARE jobs out there

It’s important to keep busy when unemployed.  If you’ve got projects that have only been lacking the time necessary to devote to them, get started and make sure to let people know what you’re working on via blogging/Twitter/Facebook/MySpace/What Have You*.  If you don’t have projects, find an organization or two that you feel could benefit from your efforts and volunteer with them.  Besides keeping you busy, it helps the community, and when you’re looking for a job a little good karma doesn’t hurt.

Finally, tell EVERYONE that you’re looking for work!!  This is a big one, and something that I think a lot of people have trouble with.  There’s still a stigma in some people’s minds with regards to being laid off, but the reality is that we’ve all been there or know someone who has, and know it’s not a reflection on the person.  Another point to consider: The more people that know you’re looking for a job, the more likely it is that someone will know of a position or will know a valuable contact that can help you find a new job.  Don’t be afraid to appeal to people’s egos – if they help you find a job, they’ll feel good about themselves for helping you, and there’s nothing wrong with that!

Ultimately, this all boils down to one thing: stay positive!  Sometimes it can be tough – I found it difficult during stretches of time where my resumes were going out, but few responses were coming in – but if you can present yourself as a positive person even in the adversity of being laid off, it will make you a much more appealing candidate for a new job.

*Not an actual website

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