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How to Prepare for & Survive a Job Layoff

In today’s economy, many workers have been downsized, unemployed and laid off from their traditional 9 – 5 jobs. Although losing a job can rock your world, it needn’t signal the end of your world. Following are ten tips to help you prepare for and live through a layoff.

Top 10 Tips to Handle a Layoff

1. Plan Ahead

If you know your company is facing financial difficulties, start planning and saving. Often there are rumors of downsizings, cutbacks and closures before they happen. If you think you are about to be laid off or downsized, don’t panic; don’t quit; and don’t give your employer any reason to terminate you. You may be entitled to some benefits including unemployment or severance if you are laid off for which you might not be eligible if you quit. Start to set some savings aside, even if it is just a little, and begin to consider other options so you are better prepared if the ax falls.

2. Check Your Benefits

Read your employee handbook or go online and find out if you are eligible for a severance package if laid off or terminated. Find out what your company policy is regarding severance. Be prepared to follow all the steps necessary to get your severance paperwork filed in the appropriate amount of time.

3. File for Unemployment

As soon as you are laid off, register with your unemployment agency and file a claim for unemployment benefits. You should wait a day or two for your paperwork to be put in the system from your former employer, but file within a week of losing your job.

4. Mourn Your Loss Without Getting Depressed

If you are laid off, you have suffered a loss. Let yourself mourn the loss for a day or two. But don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of being depressed over your loss. A positive attitude will go a long ways towards helping you survive a layoff as well as finding a new job. You now have the opportunity to learn from your previous job and find something even better suited for your talents and temperament. Surround yourself with family, church friends and other positive peoplewho will help raise your spirits as well as help you find job leads.

5. Prepare an Updated Resumé

As soon as you lose your job, it is time to prepare an updated resumé. Look online for tips on preparing a current resumé, because the best format for a resumé changes every year or so.

6. Treat Job Hunting Like It Is Your New Job

Job hunting should become your full-time 9 – 5 job until you find a new job. Start at 8 or 9 in the morning and work at it until 5 PM, Monday through Friday: look through classifieds, call for appointments, go to interviews, work on your resumé, work on cover letters, build social networks online, check the want ads, contact friends and acquaintances to see if they know of any jobs, etc. Target the top 10 – 20 companies in your field for a phone call introducing yourself and asking to whom you should send your resumé even if they aren’t advertising a job currently. Job hunting IS your new full-time job until you find a better one.

7. Tighten Your Budget

I am amazed at what people will waste their money on when they are on a tight budget. Here are some surprising things you CAN live without: cell phones, smart phones, beauty salons, navigating devices and other electronic gadgets, beer and alcoholic beverages, cable and satellite TV, gourmet coffees and other luxuries. If you need to tighten your budget, you can use a landline, color your hair yourself, get a map, drink water, and listen to the radio. See Top 5 Gadgets You Don’t Have If You Are Poor for more ideas.

8. Look Into Starting Your Own Business

Although the numbers show a slight increase in employment in recent months, many of those new jobs are just that — people creating new jobs. Consider what talents you have or could easily learn. Consider the apprentice or intern system where you get on-the-job training, even for a very low (or no) salary. Develop your talents and strengths into a new business.

9. Look into Franchising or Network Marketing

If you like the platform of an established company with the freedom and flexibility to be your own boss, consider purchasing a franchise if you have sufficient funds or network marketing if you have a limited investment. There are endless possibilities available to those with a little money to invest and lots of determination and self-motivation. One of the best network marketing opportunities I have found is the Rodan + Fields Dermatologists company, makers of Proactiv Solution. See Why You Should Consider Network Marketing for Extra Income in Today’s Economy

10. Keep a Positive and Realistic Attitude

Unemployment is at an all-time high in most parts of the country, but there are plenty of jobs and business opportunities out there. Keep a positive attitude, but also a realistic one. It may take some time to find the right job (most experts say 6 months is the average time although the time is much longer for some job hunters), so consider cutting your expenses drastically so you can survive on your unemployment and/or severance for up to six months.

For more information on Rodan + Fields or network marketing, visit my Rodan + Fields website or leave me a comment below.


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