How to Survive A Layoff

There comes a time for every young writer lucky enough to hold a staff position when her boss sits her down for a little chat. Yes, no matter hard you work to stay positive, cheerful, motivated, what have you…if it’s February 2009 and you write features…you’re almost guaranteed to have to write one about layoffs.

Two editors give you the news quickly, they give your deadline, and then, to avoid any unnecessary emotion or pleading, they cut you off. No more chatting. Nothing but formality. Ask any questions, and you’re told to bring your concerns to the CEO. Afraid to bother him with minutia? You’re on your own, kid.

You retreat to your desk and start doing your research, a sense of general foreboding washing over you. What will you do? The articles suggest honing your networking skills, taking pictures of cats off your blog (crap…all the effort I spent uploading cats…is it bad that my icon on Twitter is a stuffed Cat??????).

Some of the articles suggest having a sense of humor, but sadly, this doesn’t fly at work. That’s right. No one in this office laughed at ANY of the jokes I tried to tell about getting laid off. Can you say annoying? I sure thought so.

But then I realized, once you stop making a joke out of everything, it is possible to accomplish things, if you don’t let yourself freak out. “When the moment arrives, a Fortune magazine columnist advises you to stay composed and clear-headed at all costs. Try not to take your situation personally, and you’ll be able to focus on negotiating the best possible severance deal.”

Then, after a clear exit interview and civilized departure, it’s time to take control of your finances, and start working on getting a new job.

“The Scobleizer blog reminds you to spend at least 30 percent of your day, every day, searching for a new job. And that means more than just scrolling the pages at or Craigslist. Before you even start sending out resumes, you can start to identify yourself as a great candidate.”

You’ll also need to formulate a plan for living without a salary, and apply strategies for maintaining your mental stability. (If you’ve ever had it…personally, I can’t testify in that area.)

Click for the Full Article: How to Survive A Layoff


5 thoughts on “How to Survive A Layoff

  1. I’ve been laid off. It sucked. The advice here is spot on. But, without divulging too much of my own personal saga, I must say there’s one bit of advice missing for the recently (or soon-to-be) laid off: remember to get dressed. Every day.

  2. ABH – AWESOME advice. 🙂And Miss Wicked Witch – thanks for the post! I was laid off in December, and come March 1st, I’m officially going to be looking for jobs. I did take the 3 months off as a vacation of sorts, it worked for me. Plus, the unemployment is pretty fantastic.A rule of thumb that I use is “5 days of work, 2 days off” idea. I do 5 days of work around the house, outside, volunteer, whatever, and then take my 2 days off.

  3. I think another thing to watch out for is scams. I’ve seen all about these ads for writing blog posts and articles online for money, but are these things legit? Do you have to pay for access to the jobs? It all seems kind of suspicious yet I know I would be very curious if I were a young (broke) person out of a job.

  4. Hi RB!Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog!GREAT blog you have!! Glad I found it. It made me laugh so hard: “Need to formulate a plan and apply strategies for maintaining your mental stability- if you’ve ever had it”!!!.Classic!!! That really should be my goal now–retaining whatever mental stability I have left. Although while working in the world of finance I was definitely more insane. In March I am going to devote most of my blog to surviving unemployment at …especially in crazy expensive NYC! This month has focused on dating in the city and as you can probably tell, I’ve reached the brink of insanity with that!Thanks for the much needed laughs. Happy Blogging!TCG

  5. ABH- I like your 5 days of work, 2 days off idea. I try that most weeks. Although this past week it has been 7 days off! I’m finding volunteer jobs even difficult to find in this city. That’s great you took the 3 months as a vacation and enjoyed it. We have the rest of our lives to work! Someday when we are working again we will look back at this off time and wish we took FULL advantage of it!Good luck,TCG


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