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Layoff Survival 101

Following these steps can help you to retain a sense of power over your situation, the optimism of hope, and sound structure in planning your future career decisions.

Losing your job is stressful, even traumatic. If you suspect an impending layoff and can stay one step ahead of the game, you are less likely to panic when the time comes. Even still, the first few weeks may feel like culture shock. The structure of your daily life has changed and may have left you feeling helpless in despair. The following will assist you in renewing your spirit and beginning an effective job search.

1. As soon as possible, request letters of recommendation from your supervisor and any other individuals in the company who will look good on paper. Also, find out who will be willing to give you a good reference, so you can gather a list of references available to employers upon request. Also, gather performance reviews, awards, and special achievements for inclusion in a portfolio to bring with you to interviews.

2. File for unemployment benefits. Even though you may not plan to need unemployment benefits, you’ve got it in the workings in case you do need it. Many people decide not to pursue unemployment benefits, because they believe it is part of the welfare system from which they do not want money. Unemployment insurance is paid by your employer and placed in a trust fund in the event that the company must lay off employees. Even if you are receiving severance pay, it is a good idea to go ahead and file now since claims processing takes about a month.

3. Deal with your anger or resentment about being laid off or let go involuntarily. If you carry those negative feelings with you into your job search, your attitude will show it. Employers are looking for positive attitudes. Attitude can make you or break you. If you need assistance in dealing with your emotions about the hurdle in your career, confide in a friend or seek professional counseling if necessary.

4. Layout all your expenses in front of you and make note of where you can trim excess from your budget. Early financial planning for the change in income could make the difference in whether you lose your home later on. Don’t underestimate the poor economy. Hopefully, you will not be employed long enough for this to matter, but it is better to be prepared.

5. Plan your job search and develop your marketing strategy:

a. Have a résumé or résumés created that reflect your strengths and unique abilities. Target your résumés to match each specific position where you apply so that it seems you are exactly the candidate they need. If there is an advertisement for that job, weave key words from the job description or job requirements into your résumé.

b. Create a profile on LinkedIn. Recruiters like using LinkedIn to scout for prospects. Some recruiters also peruse TheLadders. Make your professional profiles as complete as possible. Clean up unbecoming public information you may have on other social media sites. Everything visible to the public must be professional. The same goes for professional sounding email addresses and voicemail greetings.

c. Make a list of companies who need people with your expertise and where you would like to work. Research those companies and find out who the key decision-makers are. Attempt contact with those people and present your best professional self with a stellar résumé.

d. Begin a network of people with whom you regularly keep in contact, including family, friends, church members, online professional association members and former co-workers who may hear about jobs that would be a good fit for you. Document your network members and the dates of last contact so you know when to follow up again. Also note the line of work anyone in your network may be seeking so that the job search favors may be reciprocal among your network.

e. Get organized and develop a system to keep track of when and where you apply, who the contact person is, and when you follow up. Always, alwaysFree Articles, always follow up after applying and after interviewing. Use this system also to keep track of website passwords.

Plan to spend 40 hours per work on your job search following the above steps a. through e. Read up on the latest trends in interviewing and practice interviewing with friends. Preparation and a positive attitude are the keys to success in surviving life changes just as in thriving in the business world.

Source: Free Articles from


Krista Mitchell is a Certified Professional Resume Writer crafting resumes designed to showcase your value with impact and is a leading job search industry expert. Her website also features articles to aid you in your job search. Free comprehensive resume reviews as well as full resume and cover letter writing services offered. ~Pages for the next chapter in your career...~

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