They say that the job market for Generation X and Generation Y is much more volatile than the job market of our parents. Workers from our generation can expect to be laid off an average of 1-3 times in his or her lifetime. Depending on the job, it can even be more. I personally have been laid off from two jobs, and I know how discouraging it can be. But I learned how to handle the lay-offs well, and I was quickly back in the workforce. I want to pass on my advice for anyone who is facing a lay-off, or who is now unemployed. There is hope!
Chapter 1. Attitude is everything.
Believe me I understand how scary an uncertain future can be, but if you look at it from a different perspective you will see that this may be something that will be beneficial in the long run. Sometimes people are in a job that they are not happy with for a very long period of time. A lay-off is a chance to re-examine your career and look for a better job or try to do something completely different.
Chapter 2. Get right back into the workforce.
Your first instinct may be to take some time off and live off of the severance pay you may have received. However I strongly advise against this. If you spend too much time off, you will eventually get used to the time off and wait until the unemployment period is over to start looking. I have seen friends do this and it is very discouraging for them when they need to go back.
I am someone who, much to my surprise, didn’t qualify for unemployment when I first applied. Although I did eventually get unemployment after two appeals, it didn’t matter because I was happily employed again at that time.
Chapter 3. Try a temporary agency.
I firmly believe that it is easier to get a job if you already have one. If you are working for a temporary agency, you can use that temporary agency as an employer on a resume. I wrote an article on how temporary agencies can help you get your career jump started again. I have used temporary agencies to find jobs when I was laid off and when I unexpectedly had to switch cities and find a job. Click HERE to read the article.
Chapter 4. Budget and downsize.
You are going to want to save as much money as possible. As soon as you hear of whispers of a lay-off, trying saving for the financial road ahead. Try starting by looking at where you are overspending, If you really look at your finances, you may realize that you were wasting a lot of money on things you didn’t need. If you budget, you can easily live on less than half of what you are spending now.
Chapter 5. Be honest about a lay-off.
Sometimes a potential employer will ask you what happened with your last job. Tell the interviewer that you were laid off. You have nothing to be ashamed about. As much as it hurts, try not to bad-mouth your former employer. Just smile politely and say, “It was an unexpected lay-off.”
Whatever happens, please remember that this is temporary. Keep your head up. Keep your options open. Most importantly – please believe in yourself! You may be well on your way to the career that you will love and stay at for the rest of your career. Best of luck!