Laid off from Job

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					                                 Surviving Being Laid Off

Layoffs can be a very difficult time, yet can also represent many opportunities. How you work
through a layoff is instrumental to maintaining your confidence. Below are some tips to
consider if you find yourself without a job.


       Prepare.

        Go online to read as many articles as possible on preparing for layoffs, financial tips
        for protecting your finances, career search, etc.

       IMMEDIATELY - Find out about continuing your health insurance coverage.

        Ask for the details on continuing your medical insurance coverage (assuming that you
        were covered by your employer's group health insurance at the time you were laid off).
        It's called COBRA - an acronym for the federal legislation that set it up in 1986.
        COBRA allows you to continue to participate in the medical plan, for a specified period
        of time, usually 18 months. With the 2009 American Recovery And Reinvestment Act
        ARRA), Uncle Sam will pick up 65% of the cost for the first 9 months, then you pay
        100% of your own premiums after that. For more details on COBRA and ARRA, click
        on the appropriate links in this paragraph.

        To find out if you qualify and/or if your employer doesn't provide the information, be
        sure to ask your state's Employment Office about it.

       IMMEDIATELY - Register for unemployment compensation with your local state
        Employment Office

        Be sure to register for unemployment compensation. If you wait too long to register,
        you may find that you no longer qualify, so don't wait!

       Have personal business cards made, or make your own on your computer.

        You'll need them for networking, to hand to potential employers, etc. See the
        Preparing for a Layoff - Steps to Take at Home article for more details.

       Get support in your job search.

        It's tough to do an effective job search on your own. Each state has several One-Stop
        Career Centers where you can find assistance and support.

       Catch your breath, and deal with your feelings.

        You'll probably be angry, hurt, scared, discouraged, and depressed, at least for a
        while. It can be a grieving process - we often identify with our employer. Sometimes
        our job is our identity.
       Take a day (or a week) off to cry, if you feel like it, and rage at the unfairness of the
       situation. If it helps, and it does help many people, dump your anger out on paper.
       Write it down. Get rid of it so it doesn't sabotage your job search. Then, unless you can
       afford to be unemployed, move on with your life and career.

      Don’t hide the fact that you’ve been laid off.

       Millions of people have been laid off. If your employer was large and the layoff was
       very public, you won't be able to escape it. So don't try.

       It can be an advantage - you won't have to explain why you left your last job (or if you
       do, just say that you "left as part of a down-sizing that eliminated my job"). Many
       people (not all) will know that your effectiveness at your job had little to do with your
       job loss. That's just how layoffs work.

      Don’t consider yourself "fired."

       That can be too demoralizing, and it's NOT appropriate, either.

       People are "fired" for a reason related to the employer's negative perception of their
       work performance, also known as "for cause."

       People are "laid off" because the employer has restructured the organization and
       eliminated that position.

      Don't trash your former employer.

       In networking events and interviews, be as upbeat as you can be.

       In discussing the last company that laid me off, my favorite phrases included "I learned
       a lot there," and "I worked with some great people." All very true!

       Of course, I also learned some very valuable things I don't often discuss, like that I am
       responsible for my own career and future, that even good management teams can
       make strategic mistakes ending a company's market viability, and that some co-
       workers are just co-workers but others are life-long friends.

       I have always called myself a "graduate" of that company - not a "layoff victim"(!),
       because I really did learn quite a bit while I worked there. The layoff was my
       "graduation" as it was for thousands of others.

       Look ahead to your new future!

       Strangely, being laid off can be a good thing. We often stay in jobs we don’t like out of
       inertia – too busy, or not quite unhappy enough to make the effort to find a new job. A
       layoff pushes us "out of the nest" into an involuntary job search -- which can lead to a
       better job, a promotion, a career change, and, even, more money and happiness!

Source: Susan P. Joyce,

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