Coping with the laid-off blues

We are again living in interesting times. There are lots of uncertainties in the air as the global financial meltdown threatens to morph into a world-wide recession. Jobs are no longer that safe. If you are one who is faced with the prospect of a retrenchment, here are some tips on coping with it:

Don’t panic. Losing a job through retrenchment has nothing to do with your performance or ability. It’s more about redundancy of your role in the company. The sooner you understand this, the quicker you will be able to adjust on finding a new job.

Draw up a daily schedule and keep to it. Update your resume. Set aside at least five to six hours a day on job hunting. This should include research, making telephone calls, attending interviews, etc. Make a list of the people and companies which can help you. Be specific on how they can help you.

Talk to other pros. Focus on the kind of job you want. Assess the market situation and make your plan. If a role is interesting but the company is not so much a brand name, are you willing for a lateral move, or would you like to take a cut in salary for a brand? Think through. Talking to senior professionals may help to give you a perspective.

Take up freelance assignments to keep your skills up to date. Besides, there’s money there. In the meanwhile, keep hunting for a job.

Be transparent. Don’t be shy to tell people that you have been laid off. It’s not a taboo anymore among companies. They will hire you for your skills. So be transparent in your next job interview and tell them why you were laid off.

Don’t play the blame game. Don’t start blaming the company or your luck during an interview. Employers like hiring people with a positive outlook, not one with a chip on his shoulder.

Your references. Make sure that you have all your references ready when you go for interviews. Do not hesitate to give them if asked, and inform your references in advance so that they are not surprised by telephone calls and will be able to contribute in getting you a job.

Network, network, network. It’s time to spread your wings and network like crazy. Nothing has more impact than a meeting. Also make sure you follow up with your contacts so that they think of you the first time an opportunity springs up.

Stay healthy. Keep fit, keep healthy, keep motivated. Stay mentally fit.

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