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How To Survive A Job Layoff: 12 Point Self-Help Guideline

Posted by Becca Marcus at 17th September, 2010

by Marleen Levi, Woodhull Alumna

At some point in your (or someone you know) professional career, you maywell lose your job due to circumstances beyond your control. Being a victim of corporate downsizing is a periodic, common (mainstream) reality shared ‘en masse’. Your life suddenly, swiftly and radically changes overnight – on all levels. Understanding the dynamics of a job loss/job quest can significantly minimize the trauma and enable the job seeker to successfully move forward!

How do you effectively deal with this dramatic and emotionally-charged (albeit temporary) lifestyle change? This 12-point self-help guideline can better equip you with ‘action tools’ and positive mindset to empower change and desired goals. You can survive a job layoff with your self-confidence; self-esteem and ego still in tact; move forward (even ‘reinvent’ yourself) to an even more exciting, rewarding and satisfying career closer to goals, desire, passion and interest.

Read on for the 12 points!

1. Downtime: Allow time to accept/mourn job loss (grieve; don’t wallow);
‘separation anxiety’. Individual experiences vary; each person handles
differently. Find your space and comfort zone; come to terms; catharsis and

2. Support Circle: Share your feelings with friends, family and colleagues. Be
receptive but selective; avoid ‘why me’ and/or ‘open book’ syndrome. Don’t
fuel the fires of depression; embrace positive support from trusted, reliable

3. Letting Go: Avoid CWS: ‘could’ve/would’ve/should’ve…’ or, ‘if only…’
syndrome’. Don’t personalize the ‘business’ decision; avoid negative
thinking; ‘firm bashing’ – all non-productive. Let go of baggage; live in today -
the ‘here and now’ of your life!

4. Don’t Panic! You’re a professional between jobs; temporarily unemployed.
You have purpose, intent and production. Understand, it may take time to
secure a new position; don’t succumb to anxiety or stress: stay calm, positive;
confident, focused!

5. Introspection: Self-assess; identify interests, skills, lifestyle and goals.
Consider realistic career alternatives; transferable skills; opportunity and
ability to ‘reinvent’ yourself. Prioritize personal and professional objectives/
interests; measured risks.

6. Resume: Surprise yourself identifying taken-for-granted skills, knowledge
and accomplishments – valuable assets to a potential employer. As needed,
consider professional services. Draft multiple versions per job target; maintain
current resume.

7. Network: Opportunities are discovered and created! Think beyond your
immediate circle; include professional affiliations; extended business
acquaintances, etc. Attend corporate functions, events, seminars; use every
situation to further contacts.

8. Self-Image/Presentation: Maintain professional appearance, mindset, image
and attitude; upgrade as needed. Present yourself with confidence, energy and
pride including ‘positive body language’. Don’t waiver; believe in yourself –
others will!

9. Posted Ads/Resources: (Newsprint, on-line, other). Respond with cover letter
and job-specific resume or ‘exploratory’ search. Register with reputable
agencies/ executive search/on-line services – be selective; establish common
ground rules.

10. Kudos: Each step in the job search is an accomplishment; each task in and of
itself is important. Bottom-line job notwithstanding, be proud of: resume, ad
response, interviews, callbacks; acknowledge incremental achievements with
due credit!

11. Stay Focused: Organize, strategize, prioritize but stay on target and take
action! Don’t stray or drift; remain on ‘job track’ while open to new ventures;
self-awareness, expanded job menu and direction! Visualize projected goals
and coveted job!

12. Keep Active: Idle time works against you. Explore consulting, seminars,
advanced training; volunteer work, special projects, social relaxation activities,
etc. Maintain momentum; productive channels to best utilize your skills; self-
motivated challenge!
Marleen Levi is a freelance writer, consultant and licensed securities’ professional who has also been a victim of corporate downsizing. She has successfully ‘reinvented’ herself times over, using 12-point self-help guidelines!

About Becca Marcus

Becca Marcus has written 46 articles on this blog.

Becca is the Program Coordinator at the Woodhull Institute. She is a graduate of Vassar College with a BA in Media Studies and a correlate in Women's Studies. Becca is interested in Remix Video, collaborative technology, and Feminist community building.

Category : Careers / Community Member Projects and Updates

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