huh? Yes, I heard that! Let me explain….
One month ago I was laid off. Again. Sorry, Mr. President, No I am NOT better off than I was four years ago… but not the point of this post.
The day that I was laid off I did all the appropriate things such as file an unemployment claim, review my resume, go over insurances, pay a little ahead on utilities, etc. As the lay off was the week after pay-day and I received a partial check the following week I figured things would be tight but okay. Uh not so much. Unemployment has yet to make a determination on my case – I did turn down a job that I actually wanted (like the company, great reputation, solid ethics, etc.) but the pay was nearly $1,500 per month less than I was making at the last job so just wouldn’t cover expenses no matter how much I cut back. I thought long and hard about accepting it and working a second job but the hours and ‘floating’ schedule would have made that impossible.
So, I reported to Workforce Services that I had turned a job down along with the weekly filing. I also emailed them to advise why I had turned it down and that I have another offer starting in a month that will at least cover expenses. I’ve kept to my schedule of two-three hours searching/researching/applying every morning and another two hours every afternoon following up, making phone calls and networking.
As one is allowed to turn down unsuitable offers, I figured that wasn’t going to be a problem for unemployment. WRONG! It will now be yet another three to four weeks before a decision is made so…. after one month of being unemployed, I have received no unemployment at all. That’s right folks, not one penny.
Thanks to WRTs generosity, I still have my phone – bit hard to continue the job search without it, dontcha know!
So, what’s the point of all this? Point is, if you have any suspicion, any inkling at all that you might be laid off in the near future start preparing for it. There is a lot of advice out there but not all of it is that practical. Here’s my take on things from lots of experience:
Stock your freezer and pantry with as many staples as you can. Load up on essentials – know it sounds silly, but are you going to have toilet paper left in a month? How about shampoo and soap?
If you’re renting, let your landlord know the situation and work out whatever you can with rent. Although in the U.S. if we qualify for unemployment, it usually starts 1-2 weeks after the layoff realize that there is a very good chance that either you won’t have enough for rent or that your case may take a while to be processed.
Make sure that your profiles look professional ‘check-up’ worthy. What’s on Facebook? Hide or delete anything that is inappropriate or possibly offensive.
Look over your Linkd-In contacts, who might know where a job is? Extend your network! If nothing else, it gives you a chance to see what’s out there in real terms. Yeah, I know that thousands of jobs have been added to the economic indicators lately but do they apply to you and your experience? For example, I am extremely aware that although corporate travel has retained a small growth rate, new openings are saturated with applications from seasoned experts as well as ‘wannabe’ types.
Go over your qualifications – what else does your experience lend itself to? Make a list of qualities and skills then be prepared to show HOW those translate into a different field. It isn’t always obvious to an employer in a different field that your years spent coordinating clients’ travel schedules, negotiating with vendors, writing and implementing then enforcing company travel policy will easily translate to meet their needs.
Above all else, find one thing every single day that you like. Sounds simple, huh? Maybe it is for some, but not always that easy here. So… even if it’s another blog post, an exceptionally cool picture, a walk in the park or even a bubble bath… go for it!!!! You lost a job, not a life!!!