Surviving a Layoff



I decided to devote a separate page to this topic because surviving a layoff is a little different than permanent job loss.

A couple questions to ask yourself: Is your layoff temporary or permanent? And do you even know for sure? Employers don't always tell you the truth and the answer may determine how to handle the situation. I have found that it is always best to be prepared for either case - keep in touch with your boss, but also think about looking for work if the layoff goes beyond the time stated.

You will probably experience a lot of the same emotions that we have been talking about. After all, it's still a job loss! But if you know it's temporary than you can relax a little.

My best advice for handling a temporary layoff? Use your time wisely! You are in the best situation for a possible career change - you now have the time to explore new careers and do some soul searching. You will want to find a balance when it comes to how you spend your time. Certainly take some time doing the things you enjoy. But also be productive and research other careers, if that is your goal.

And here's the best news - you can combine the two! Whatever it is that you enjoy doing the most can give you clues to finding your dream job, or true calling. Not only will you be surviving a layoff but coming out ahead and knowing a little more about yourself.

If you are laid off from a job that really don't like, now is the time to break out of that rut. Think of it as now or never! Do whatever it takes to find that motivation. You might not get another chance to have this much time to devote to your goals. Make a list of things you enjoy doing. Take a career assessment test online. Research careers that interest you - find out what training or education you will need. Maybe even do some volunteer work in the field you are considering. Be creative!

I have used all these methods mentioned above for surviving a layoff. In between writing this website, I take breaks and do things I enjoy - going for walks, working in the yard, reading a magazine on my sun porch. And I include time in my day for household chores. I figure if I'm productive 80% of the time I can goof off the other 20! And some days it's more like 60/40 - just depends on the day.

Keep your job skills current, especially if you are laid off more than 3 months. If you are planning on going back to your most recent job, or a job that requires similar skills, it is important to retain your expertise. Surviving a layoff requires you to be pro-active. Some prospective employers will shy away from candidates that have been unemployed for an extended period of time. They may be concerned about the gap in employment because your experience is not recent enough. So do whatever it takes to be able to show that you were productive during your layoff - take classes, volunteer, sign up for temp work or try some freelance work.

Were you happy with your last employer and hope to go back to your job? Keep in touch with your boss and ask if you could come in for a day or two to help out. Even if they are not able to bring you back full time, they might consider this. They might appreciate the offer and you could even earn a few points! Tell them that you want to make sure you don't forget your job or lose your skills during your layoff, and that you hope to come back soon.

What if you're not sure if your current unemployment is temporary or permanent? Then all the more reason to get moving and decide what to do next!

Please don't leave this website without checking out some of the other pages - especially the section for Career Exploration. Be sure and read the entire page and click on all the links within the page, for a wealth of information and resources pertaining to surviving a layoff.


"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."-- George Bernard Shaw


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