Once you get the notice that you've been laid off from your job, panic may set in. But according to the Boston Globe, there are some practical steps you can take to help you survive the situation.
First, be sure to take advantage of all possible severance benefits, like vacation time reimbursement, your right to keep your health insurance and outplacement assistance. Most companies hate conducting lay offs, so you may be able to leverage that sympathy into a hefty benefits package.
After you log your last day at your job, you'll need to assess your finances and your debt. Cut expenses that are not necessary by scaling back your cable package or eliminating dinners out. If you have a student loan, you may be able to defer those payments while you are unemployed. Try taking a temporary job or contract position to make ends meet.
You should also sign up immediately for unemployment assistance from the government. You can apply over the phone or in person at a state-run career center.
When you are laid off, your files belong to the company. You can, however, take your contact list if you have time, says Time Magazine. These relationships are yours, so feel free to contact them in the future to let them know you have left. Be sure to discuss the situation in a professional manner and don't divulge company secrets. These contacts could result in new job prospects, so be careful not to come across as vindictive.
After the whirlwind of activity surrounding your lay off, be sure to breathe and reboot. Dahn Yoga and other yoga meditation techniques can help you center yourself and refocus before you get back into the job hunt. One of the biggest advantages of the unfortunate situation of a lay off is that you'll finally have a little free time on your hands, so try to use that time to invest in your well-being.
Many people have enjoyed the guidance and support provided by a mentor, a professional with more experience who provides critical advice and career enhancing challenges. But recently, this difficult job market has bred a new support role – the sponsor.
According to career coach Colette Martin in an advice column for Forbes, a sponsor is a trusted professional that gives you advice and clarity – similar to a mentor – but this person is connected within an organization where you work or are hoping to work. The sponsor is like your personal public relations machine, advocating on your behalf for a new job or promotion within the company.
Typically, a sponsor is someone in a leadership position. This person will have the clout to lobby for you when a number of names are being circulated for a new opportunity. An advocate like this can be essential to moving up the ladder, as each open position attracts the interest of many qualified candidates. A sponsor won't have much pull in getting you a job that you are not qualified for, but this professional can surely help bring your name to the top of the list if you are qualified.
Finding a sponsor can require some hard work. While some companies offer formal mentoring and sponsorship programs, most cases require you to network to nurture this type of professional relationship.
Working Mother suggests that you network with senior executives whenever possible. At each meeting or work event, make yourself engage with two people who can help your career. Whenever possible, take part in work-sponsored social events or volunteer opportunities. It's likely that you'll meet some high-ranking professionals, and you'll do so in a fun, non-threatening environment.
When choosing a potential sponsor, look to someone who seems to be well-liked, well-connected and who is an ace at networking. Ideally, a sponsor would also be someone that you share some similar interests with. If you love yoga meditation, for example, and you find a sponsor who also enjoys yoga stretching poses, you may foster a deeper professional connection.
Although the job search is generally approached with stress and panic, there are positive things about looking for work, according to US News and World Report. Yoga stretching poses or yoga meditation retreats may help to relieve some of the stress associated with unemployment.
According to US News and World Report, it is important to change your perspective on seeking work so that you can see the benefits. For instance, job seekers can take time to consider what an ideal career would be and plan accordingly for the future. Although changing careers is difficult and may not be a viable option presently, the jobless can begin the process of transitioning or simply re-affirming their current career path, reports the newspaper.
Another benefit of unemployment is the competition. Adults rarely get the chance to directly compete with others. The job search can give prospects the opportunity to use the competitive spirit to prove yourself to employers, according the news source.
The newspaper also reports that the job search should be viewed as an exciting time. Finding a job is a new challenge to tackle, and a new job presents an environment with unique problems and opportunities. In addition, networking also gives job seekers the chance to meet new people and create friendships, according to the media outlet.
Unemployment also presents free time to tackle long put off tasks or to spend time with family and friends, according to the newspaper. It is often difficult to find time to do things you have always wanted to do while working full-time. The time off can be used as an opportunity to accomplish any number of things, such as getting in shape, volunteering or simply re-connecting with family, according to the media outlet.