Career Advice for the Unemployed, Starting a New Job
by OMG at Work
If there ever comes a time when you are laid off, there are two things you must do: live within your means and start the unemployment job search.
Here are some tips on how to find work and starting a new job.
Understand Your Choices
Some companies provide a termination letter (aka the pink slip) outlining the process. Others even offer a severance package of some sort which can go a long way in helping you cope with your new financial situation.
Be certain to evaluate obtain as much information as possible, including outside opinions, about your rights.
Confide In Family And Friends
Being laid off is not an easy thing. It can lead to feelings of hopelessness and even depression. However, it is important to remember that a layoff can happen to anyone. It happens every day and people still find a way to move on. It is not a time to feel humiliated or sorry for yourself, but rather to motivate yourself and know that you will get through it.
As with any negative experience, do not underestimate the power of sharing your emotions with those close to you. Discuss it with your friends and family. You may even find some of them have gone through it as well. In addition to alleviating the sense of despair, you will also empower yourself by taking control of the situation.
Identify Your Funds
As is obvious, one of the biggest hits when being laid off is that paycheck which will no longer be. What is less obvious for some are the ways you can begin to fix this even before finding a new job.
Filing for unemployment should be the first action you take. Never feel ashamed about collecting unemployment. Contributions to social security from the paychecks of employees (including yours) are what fuels unemployment funds. You put into the pool and there is no shame in taking some back in a time of need. Outside of government assistance, you should once again be familiar with any form of severance your company may provide. In some cases, a severance package may be able to help you get through weeks or even months of unemployment before starting a new job.
Plan Your New “Day at the Home Office”
The unemployment job search is a form of work.
Prior to being laid off, your schedule was already determined. Now, it is up to you to create a schedule for yourself. It is easy to get into the habit of procrastinating when no one is actually forcing you to do things on time. Do not let yourself fall into such a routine. Plan your week as you would have when you were working.
During your unemployment job search, you should create time for:
- updating your resume
- making phone calls and sending e-mails to potential employers
- asking friends and family for some career advice
- soul searching (yes, really)
- browsing the internet for opportunities by posting your resume on job sites such as Dice, Monster or CareerBuilder
Not only will this make your search more productive but it will keep you from falling into a rut and from dwelling on the fact that you are unemployed.
Be Sure to Treat Yourself Well
Being laid off from a job can be very upsetting, especially if it was a place where you felt comfortable. While it is a natural reaction, try not to spend a great deal of time feeling sorry for yourself.
Outside of your job search, you will have a great deal more free time than you did when you were working. Do your best to use this extra time in a positive way. Spend more time with friends and family. Reconnect with those you may have not had the chance to because of work. It is important to stay positive and there is nothing wrong with taking some of this extra time for yourself before starting a new job.
Allowing yourself to be overwhelmed by negative emotions is definitely something to avoid. As mentioned earlier, being laid off can lead to depression. Signs of depression can include weight gain or loss, insomnia, a general sense of sadness, and a loss of enjoyment from activities you previously enjoyed. It is important to remember that depression is very real and can have a strong emotional and physical impact. If these feelings last for a prolonged period of time, it is a good idea to see a doctor and/or a counselor. You do not want to get buried under these negative emotions, especially when you have a job to find. Take control.
Being laid off is not easy for anyone to deal with, but with the right approach and a positive outlook, it is something that you can cope with and eventually get past. It may take time to find work, but it will happen.
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