I like many people in the current economy have lost their job in the last year. I was laid off about a year ago, I never saw it coming. The company I worked for decided to move their corporate office elsewhere and they laid off everyone in our office. I was in shock! I couldn’t believe this had happened. I sat in that meeting and listened to them tell us their reasoning. I looked around the room and saw the panic on everyone’s faces. We put our heart and soul into this company, it felt like after all we have done for them, none of it mattered. So many people were hurt and eventually angry and scared.
If you find yourself unemployed, try not to get yourself so upset that you can not function. You need to stay strong and think of the very important steps that must be taken. If you receive severance pay, do not spend it on things you don’t need! You do not know at this point how long you will be out of work. If you need health insurance, ask your former employer about your rights pertaining to COBRA. As soon as you are eligible sign up for unemployment, I know its not much but this is what it is there for, make sure that you collect. If you had a retirement plan or 401K with your former employer, roll it over to an IRA or some other retirement plan. Do not take it in cash unless absolutely necessary as you will have to pay penalties on it.
Before you start your job search, take a couple of weeks to get yourself together, Don’t go crazy job searching right away. Update your resume, if you need to have a resume service take care of this for you, research and find one. A resume is the first thing a potential employer sees, you want to make a good impression. Maybe it may be a good idea to take a couple of classes and brush up on your skills. Once you have achieved all this and you are calmer you can now concentrate on finding a new job. Start by posting your resume on as many job boards as possible. The most popular ones are Monster and Careerbuilder. You can also search these sites for jobs in your area and field. You can also consider that this may be a good time to make a career change, if the field that you are in, is not doing well in the current economy maybe you can try something that is doing well, like healthcare or “green” careers. Their are so many companies right now that are all about saving the environment that their should be a lot of job openings in these types of companies. Another good way to job search is by networking. Let everyone you know you are looking for a job including all contacts that you had at your former job. Their are also many job fairs out their, so get dressed up and hand your resume to everyone. You never know what may turn up.
Treat your job search as your job right now. It’s very important not to let yourself get discouraged. Do not spend the whole day, everyday job searching. I found the best thing to do is to do your search in the mornings, check your emails, make a few phone calls and attend any job fairs there may be in your area. Then do something else! You will drive yourself crazy if you spend all your time agonizing over finding a job. Consider taking a part time job, check with your unemployment office on how many hours you are allowed to work and still collect your benefit, If you can’t get a part time job, you can also consider volunteering. You never know, an opportunity may come about from this, if not, it will make you feel great that you are doing something for someone and it will make you feel useful again. Take care of yourself! Keep your mind busy, do something that you never had time to do because you worked full time. Maybe it ‘s cleaning out a closet or garage, or decorate that room that you never had time for. Take up jogging or go to a gym. If you have kids, have fun with them! Once you are working full time again it will be back to not having any time for things you really want to do.
If someone contacts you for an interview, and you know that the job is really not for you, go anyway! Its a great way to practice being interviewed. This will give you confidence for when you do find the job that you really want!
Do not get discouraged, when you least expect it something will turn up! Stay positive and take time to enjoy a little while you have the time. Good Luck!