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Getting Fired or Laid Off:10 Tips to Survive Being Fired or Laid Off

Have you been laid off or fired? Is your future freed up? Is your head spinning? Are you feeling like you have been hit by a Mac truck? Loss of a job will rock you to your core. Read on. Here are steps that can help you navigate and survive this time of change do to job loss.

People loose their jobs for many reasons. Some reasons include down sizing, new CEO may bring in a new management team, or lack of work. Sometimes the lay off is through no fault of your own. Sometimes the employee sabotages their work life by not getting along with co-workers, lying, poor grooming, unreliable, used work for personal business, couldn’t do the work, or abused alcohol or drugs and they get fired.

When the ax comes, there will be a bunch of emotions that will overwhelm you. And there are activities that you will need to do to survive and flourish.

The emotions include denial “this isn’t happening”, feelings of overwhelm, fear, anxiety, anger, sadness, and depression. You will have to deal with the emotional rollercoaster. If you need help get it. Eventually you will get to acceptance and experience new growth and opportunity.

1) First, realize that you will have all of these feelings or emotions. Most of us will not experience these in a particular order. You may go from anger, to fear, to depression, to being OK, and then back to anger. Be present to each stage. Get a good friend to listen to you, be your sounding board. Or you can journal your feelings until you get a handle on them. If the emotions become too overwhelming, get professional help. After the first week, stop the “poor me” stories. Staying in the story makes it very difficult for people to be around you. It is what is. We have to work, so put on your boots and start looking.

2) If you qualify for unemployment… go and sign up. You have paid into the system and you will pay into it again. It is a financial stop gap between jobs.

3) Take stock of where you are financially. You may need to redo your budget so that you can live, eat and pay your bills. It might be a back to basics budge, but remember it is temporary. If you eat two meals daily at fast food restaurants, you should consider eating at home and packing your lunch. It is less expensive and healthier.

4) Review what happened, why did you lose your job. Be honest. If you have contributed to your new state of freedom, admit it. What can you do to fix your attitude or behavior(s) so that you get and keep the next job? If you need help in this area, get it.

5) Finding the new job takes focused effort. If you can get outplacement service, do it. You can Google “how to find a great job”. The internet is rich in resources from ‘how to’, resumes, job postings what to wear to an interview and how to interview, and follow up. Plan on spending 7-8 hours a day in job search activities. Watching TV, doing lots of chores, hanging out at the coffee house or pub, will not get you closer to getting that new job. Finding a job is like going to work.

6) Network. Network. Network. Call your family, friends, acquaintances and your Christmas card list. Let them know your situation and that you are looking. If they give you a lead, follow up. Start a little newsletter. It is a great way to keep everybody posted on your comings, goings and progress. It is a fabulous networking tool.

7) Keep good records. Have a calendar. Show up on time, neatly dressed, with your resume and references neatly presented. Keep a log of your resumes/applications that you have sent out, interviews, expenses and the results. This will keep you on track and you can have timely follow up.

8) “No.” Yep, you may get turned down. In fact, you may get many “no suitable opening” letters. So what. Shake it off and go on to the next opportunity. There is a job out there that is a good match for you. Keep looking.

9) Which brings me to my next point. Keep a positive attitude. It is the one thing you can do to help land that next job ASAP. It is the Law of Attraction. You won’t get that dream job by being depressed, and angry. People who are happy, upbeat, positive, capable, and dressed appropriately are much more likely to get the offers.

10) You Got The Offer! Yippee! Suit up and show up. Be a good employee. Be excellent at what you do.

Losing a job is very stressful. It will rock you to your core. It is something that most of us will go though, at least once in our careers. Are you having trouble with your emotions? Is the stress of job loss getting in the way of finding a new job? I invite you to visit if you are having trouble with the stress of being fired or laid-off.

From Mary Pat FitzGibbons, RN MS

HealthWorks LifeWorks

Getting Fired or Laid Off, what to say to your friend who has been laid off.

Last fall (2007) there was a CEO succession at the company where my husband and I work. In November, my husband, who was in upper management, was the first to be laid off. In a nanosecond not only does your work network crumble, but so does your social network. This is a small town. When this happened nobody would talk to us. I can’t tell you the number of our friends that wouldn’t, couldn’t or didn’t know how talk to us. They would avoid us, by looking at their shoes and walk away. May be it was fear? Will they be next? I don’t know what shunning is excactly, but loss of all our social contacts was rather devistating on top of the job loss. So, what do you say or do for your co-worker and friend who has been fired or laid off?

Whenever there is a change in management, employees become afraid. Your job feels very insecure, you may become defensive, protecting your position. With a change in management, there usually is some form of change coming down the pike. When a company brings on a new CEO, it may well mean changes in top management. Jack Welch became president of GE (General Electric) when GE was in trouble. He was known by the nickname “Neutron Jack” because many folks lost their jobs. However, he turned the company around to be a viable in today’s world, thereby saving and creating jobs. That scenario happens every day in companies all over the county. But what do you say or do for your co-worker who has been laid off.

1) When you see your friend, say “Hi, I am sorry to hear about your job.” Loosing a job isn’t leprosy, it’s not contagious. Just say “Hi!” The friendship and support is needed and much appreciated. Just keep in contact.
2) Do activities with your friend. Go to lunch or dinner with them, play golf or cards or go to a show. You don’t have to fix the situation, just be a friend.
3) Listen, your friend will need to sort things out and make plans for the future. It is easier and nicer to have a friend walk the path with you.
4) Encourage your friend through the process of the job search. It can be very lonely and frustrating to look for a new position. It is very important to be positive during this time. You are much more likely to land a new job with positive upbeat attitude. Call your friend, frequently to see how he/she is doing and how the process is going.
5) Depending upon the circumstances, the friend may have to move. Stay in contact with your friend during the process. If there are ways to help, do so if you are able. Having your friend over for a simple dinner is a wonderful gesture.
6) There will be a whole host of emotions that everyone will go through during this process. You don’t have to get stuck in “life sucks” conversations. Simply recognizing the emotions of anger, disappointment, sadness, and grief may be all that you need to do. Then you can get on to what is right and good in the new opportunities that present.
7) Be a “Friend”. Be present and available to the extent you can. You never know when this person or another friend will need to be there for you. “Pay it forward”, if you will.

Getting fired or laid-off is not the worst thing in the world. Learn from the situation and grow. It is a doorway to new opportunities that await you.

I invite you to visit if you are having trouble with the stress of being fired or laid-off.

From Mary Pat FitzGibbons, RN MS