Being laid off is no fun. Some layoffs happen when companies opt to downsize, while others are forced by the loss of clients or other industry hardships. It's upsetting and scary at the same time, but many of us have lived through it, and you can, too. Layoffs are hard pills to swallow no matter how they unfold, but following these basic steps can help you survive to see better days.
Don't beat yourself up over it. A layoff isn't something you caused, it's more likely that the company is having financial issues, etc. These things happen to the best of us and the upsetting part is that they sometimes happen when you aren't expecting it. When it hits you out of left field is when it's hard to take. You can never prepare for something like this, but when it happens, remember that things can be right again with a little planning. In a few lucky instances for those involved, employees sometimes get wind that a layoff is about to take place, but it's rare.
Take some time for yourself. Whether it's a day or a few days, take the time to relax, have all of this sink in and plan what your next move will be. Running around scattered doing a half-hearted job on the important things won't do anyone any good. You'll just end up making more of a mess of things, exactly what you don't need right now. The world won't stop in the time you allow yourself to get used to the new situation and keep telling yourself that better times are ahead.
Apply for unemployment. This is important because it takes a few weeks for the checks to start rolling in, so apply to get a head start. Remember that unemployment won't equal your former salary, but it will be a little money to buy the necessities. (food, gas to go on interviews, etc.) Take advantage of weekly sales, trying to save a dollar wherever you can.
Update your resume. You will want to make sure your resume sparkles. Remember, when trying to get an interview, have your resume be second to none. It's all about beating out the competition so do what you can to look better than the next guy, even if it's only on paper.
Use your savings account sparingly. If you need extra money for essentials, take a little from your savings. Take the least you can because you don't want to run that down to nothing. Once you no longer have a steady income coming in, it's amazing how fast the money goes. Plus, you don't know when you'll be working again, so go easy with the spending.
Make a concerted effort to figure out ways to make money. Are there things you can do to make money while everything else is being done? Check online sites for ways to do this. Some valid sites offer some unique things to do and will pay you for it.
Tell people you are looking. The more people who know you are looking for work, the better. You'll never know the advantages of telling the right people and how some connections can really pan out when you least expect it.
Tell potential employers why they need you. Employers want to know they are getting the most for their money, so let them know why they need you. Practice what you will say before the interview. Be confident in what you tell them and you might just get good results!
The fight to get yourself back in the workplace after a layoff isn't easy; nobody ever said it was. But if you go about it with a plan and stick to it, then that's half the battle.