Laid Off? Cool Your Jets

Recently handed a pink slip?

You may be experiencing a complex mix of emotions ranging from anger toward your former employer to anxiety about the future of your career. While those emotions may be justified, knee-jerk reactions (e.g., sending an email rant to co-workers, blowing up at your boss, storming out of the building) aren’t in your best interest.

A better choice? Cool your jets.

The way you react to a layoff and spend your time between jobs speaks volumes about your character and your ability to handle adversity. Make sure your actions send the right message to a potential employer.

Use this list of do’s and don’ts to respond effectively to – and ultimately overcome – a layoff:

Don’t: Panic.
Sure, it’s natural to be upset. But instead of letting your resentment get the best of you, take a minute and just breathe. Then, do one or more of these productive activities which will serve you well in the long-run:

  • Gather your list of email contacts, so you can send them a thoughtful email once you’ve regained your composure.
  • Find out what, if any, severance or outplacement services you will get. If you’re calm, you may be able to sensibly negotiate a better deal for yourself.
  • Exit the building gracefully. Make sure that the final impression co-workers have of you is a positive one. After all, any one of them may have a contact that could lead to your next job.

Do: Accept your situation.
Give yourself a day or two to take stock of your feelings and your situation. When you give yourself time and permission to be upset, you can start to see the “big picture” more clearly – and then create your job hunt strategy.

Don’t: Withdraw or clam up.
The shame of job loss may make you want to hide out in your closet, but don’t give in. Now is the time to get out and talk to people! Instead of sitting home in your pajamas trolling the internet, connect with people who can change your employment situation:

  • Attend industry and networking events.
  • Go to job fairs.
  • Set up informational interviews.

Do: Be selective about the jobs to which you apply.
While you may be tempted to apply to any job for which you’re remotely qualified, doing so smacks of desperation. Exercise appropriate restraint and only apply to positions for which you’re qualified (as well as the occasional “stretch” position) to demonstrate that you understand your strengths.

Out of Work?  Fear you may be soon? 

If you’ve been laid off – or think you may be soon, PrideStaff can help minimize or even prevent an employment gap.  With offices nationwide, we offer a wide range of temporary, temp-to-hire and other transitional opportunities that can keep you working while you search for your next full-time job.  Contact the PrideStaff office in your area to find out more about great local job opportunities.