I Got Laid Off? How to Deal.
Posted by Cristina Grace on August 18, 2009 at 10:10 AM
We're young, we're fresh, we're hitting this world with all we've got. For those of us who have graduated college already and have entered into the workforce, the recession can be a big scare to the confidence and self-empowerment that we have. There's not one person that hasn't been affected by the current state of the economy and that means it can happen to any of us. It happened to me!
I went into work for a regular Monday at the office and proceeded to work like a normal Monday, busy as always. Towards the end of they day, actually, as I was gathering my belongings, my boss called me into his office to talk. I sat down and he let me know he had done everything he could to keep me on the last few months and he just couldn't do it anymore. He was sorry, but he had to let me go. WHAT?! You make me work ALL day and THEN you tell me you're letting me go? Way to squeeze out the last drop! I was flabbergasted. He also let me know he'd need the company cell phone he had given me back right then. Woah, buddy. So I packed up my desk, he handed me my exit contract, and I left for home.
Feeling overwhelmed by the dichotomy of freedom and fear of what was to come, I frantically called my parents and my boyfriend for advice. How could he let me go? I was the best thing that happened to his company! (I was the Marketing Director and worked so hard!) I was so mad I wanted to cry, but I got home, gathered my thoughts and realized, hey - I get to sleep in tomorrow!
Something I highly recommend doing (I did the night I got home from work) is filing for unemployment and deferring school loans if you have any. I filed that night and it took a while, but I finally received a check for the time I was not working. It's definitely not enough to support you, but it will help you get by until you find your next job. Also, school loans can be deferred for 6 months to a year so that also helps so much, just be sure to keep an eye on them still.
In my exit contract I had gotten a severence for two weeks pay, so I decided to take a few days and celebrate my new freedom. Of course, I got right into talking with contacts and job hunting, but I knew I'd take care of myself one way or another, so stressing over this was unnecessary. I put in a years worth of hard work at a company that turned out to not appreciate me. This time I get to be picky in finding my next job. I WILL find the perfect job, and now I have the freedom to do so.
Times are still tough - with all the lay-offs there are much more qualified professionals than me applying for the same positions for the same salary. It's a very competitive job hunt, but you know what? I know I'll find one, and it will be one I love. In the meantime, I've picked up a serving job to cover my bills and my rent and I've been able to scoot by. I must admit, the free time is seriously amazing, especially during the summer - I've never been so tan!
So, if this happens to you, don't worry. Keep that chin up and recognize now that you have endless possibilities as to what happens next in your life. Beef up that resume, send it out and actively pursue what you want to do next. Maybe you'll end up teaching English in a foreign country, maybe you'll end up serving like I do until you continue in your career path, or maybe you'll start your own entrepreneurial venture. Whatever it is - stay positive and good luck!