Being laid off can be a shock, even if you know that the company you work for is down sizing, restructuring, changing hands or has a new captain at the helm. You can see it coming but still get caught. Most people can expect to find themselves out of work more than once during their work life so don’t let it get you down. It’s tempting to take that long deserved holiday and soak up the sun or go fishing for a while. In fact a short break might be just exactly the right thing if you are feeling exhausted.
However before you do, consider these things:
- Make a list of all your financial commitments, for example, mortgage payments, car payments, daily living including food, fares, insurance, school expenses if you have children, and so on. Examine your credit card statements for recurring expenses. Decide what you can trim. How long can you afford to be without an income? If this is not your strong point get advice from someone you can trust. A Google search should locate trained financial counsellors. Depending on the results of your soul searching you might be able to:
- Retrain in to a different type of work that suits you better or has more opportunities.
- Start a business if you have the self discipline to work at it. There are business courses that can help you get started, and business enterprise centres that offer advice and support. But do some research. It’s not much use opening a dress shop if the main street in your town is full of dress shops that have closed their doors. You’ll need to find out how much it would cost to set up a business and be conservative about how long it would take to support you. Home based business have lower overheads and may be a good way to get started.
- If you have mouths to feed maybe you just have to get out there and find another job. Be prepared to take a drop in income especially if you are accustomed to a high salary and have great skills. Sometimes the best way to get ahead is to take a cut and look for career opportunities in the new role. In this case the faster you start your job search the better it will be. Don’t let the grass grow under your feet.
- Take good care of your health. Stick to a daily routine that is compatible with a normal work day. It is tempting to sleep in, go fishing, watch daytime tv or spend a lot of time on social media. Plan on 7-9 hours sleep at night, eat nutritious meals and get some exercise. You can do all that on a budget. Be creative and resourceful. Seek out people who will support you amongst your friends and family. Although they will be there when you need them don’t make a habit of loading all your troubles on them constantly, but ask for ideas, they can often be the source of useful leads.
- Remind yourself of your strengths. It’s easy to become despondent and suffer a drop in your self esteem. Redundancies are not your fault; they can happen to even the best and most valuable employees. However if you were sacked because of unsatisfactory work then learn from it. Were you in the wrong job? Do you need to learn more skills? If you made a mistake then learn from it and move on. It may be the thing that makes you better. Brene Brown, PhD, has done a lot of research on shame, you will find some great, encouraging talks on YouTube that I heartily recommend. Good libraries also stock her books.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a start. If you would like some ideas for polishing up your CV you might like to read here. I’d love to hear from you if you have some successful job search strategies. You can comment below.
If you are feeling stuck then contact me for a free Career Booster Call now.