How to Survive a Layoff
by Susan Elliott
Today's crumbling economy has had many people worried for quite some time, but the thought of possible unemployment has never crossed my mind until Wal-Mart Home Office announced it would layoff between 700-800 people from the Home Office, in the Bentonville, Arkansas area a few years ago. My husband works for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc as a Senior Programmer Analyst. The unexpected layoffs made me wonder what we would do if suddenly he were unemployed.
Your Attitude is Vital
According to Tom Mochal of TechRepublic, the most important thing to your future success after a layoff is the attitude you present in the face of diversity. Of course, finding yourself suddenly unemployed is an unbearable shock, but having a good attitude may help you as you begin the search for another job.
Many times the person that brings you the pink slip is not at fault for your loss of position. Don't take out your frustrations on the messenger. Remember that your ex-boss may be one of the best references you can list on your resume. Having a good attitude and controlling your temper will show maturity and a good business attitude. An employer is sure to remember how you reacted when you were let go. (Mochal)
Allow yourself some time to grieve.
Once you get home, after your layoff, allow yourself some time to grieve, but only for a couple of days. Go home, eat ice cream, and watch movies. Or, take long hot bathes and curl up with a good book. Don't however take your temporary set back out on your family. They will be your biggest support. (Bouk)
After your self allowed days of grievance, resume your schedule. Don't lay around all day watching soaps, or eating Cheetos, but find something productive to do. It is important to stay busy, and not dwell on the negative circumstances which you find yourself.
Start Your Job Search
If your ready to begin your job search start scanning through Monster, or Hotjobs, and start applying for the jobs that fit your idea of your future goals. Or, if you have left your company in good standing, you may also be able to do some networking with old associates that have job leads. (Bouck)
Budgeting is also a big part of getting through a layoff. It is important to know which bills have to be paid and which ones can wait. If you have left your company with a severance package, it may be possible to pay up some bills in advance. This will help to ease your burden as you hunt for a new job. (Bouk)
The layoff is not your fault,
and does not devalue you as a person.
It is important to remember while you are getting through this rough patch that the layoff is not your fault, and does not devalue you as a person. It is easy to blame yourself for unexpected problems, but corporate financial loss does not necessarily directly relate to who you are or even how you do your job.
Lastly, take a big breath and know without a doubt that you will get through the layoff. Times may be hard for awhile, but as long as you are willing to work, there is a job out there for you!
Bouck, Laurie. April 20, 2003. Getting Over the Letdown of a Sudden Layoff. California Job Journal. Retrieved February 12, 2009 from http://www.jobjournal.com/
Mochal, Tom. August 11, 2003. Controlling Your Reaction to a Layoff can aid Future Success. TechRepublic. Retrieved February 12, 2009 from
Do you have any ideas to contribute on surviving a layoff?
Books for Surviving a Layoff