I Been Laid Off.COM

The thoughts and opinions expressed on this web site are solely my own and in no way, shape or form should I be considered as any kind of expert Ė hey I did get laid off after all, enough said.  However, since I am going through what most of you are, I just wanted to put together some resources and thoughts I have found useful through this time. 

As you envision sticking toothpicks or larger items into the eyes of the bearer of you lay off (be it your former boss or that HR nemesis), step back for a few minutes and relax. There will be time for that stuff later. And remember a lay off is not personal, so donít take it this way. Of course if you threatened to kidnap the bosses cat, well then, it may have something to do with you. If this is the case, move past anger and resentment quickly, they are self defeating. 

There are some things you will need to take care of first. I recommend assessing your financial information Listing expenses against your unemployment income will help. My first thoughts were nearly panic when I first heard the news was "crappe, I will have to sell my liver to make my next house payment", but by figuring out monthly expenses and comparing them to my unemployment compensation the picture wasnít quite as bleak. Then throwing in my savings into the equation, I came up with my panic timeframe. Knowing your timeframe will help in assessing job offers. 

For those lucky enough to have the foresight and was able to throw a few shackles in the bank, Congrats. This will provide you with some valuable time as you map out your plan. 

Speaking of compensation you will need to open up a claim. You can find your state employment web site here

Another first thing item is deciding on health insurance. This one was the most difficult for me. It is hard to throw out hundreds a dollars a month on health care (Private or Cobra) when you are finances are already being taxed. To take the chance or not. You can find a good article in helping you make your decision here.
There are many great ideas and solid advice on the links page. I did take the take short vacation advice and chilled out on the beach for a few days. The trip helped keep things in perspective and I had some special bonding time with my 4- year old. 

My own personal advice:

There will be a time when you will enter the workforce again however, it may be years if not decades before you have this opportunity again so donít waste it. Catch up on your sleep and recharge the batteries. Put yourself in a good frame of mind to better evaluate your career/life plan. 

Once your relaxed and recharged. It's time to get started. Putting myself on a schedule helped me, not a hard schedule but more of an intent. If I found myself with some momentum in one area, I would stay there instead of switching gears. After all not much sense getting stressed out about this. 

There should be some time set for your job search. Even if you not ready to work yet, it is important to some of your mind in this realm. You will be surprised how much time this will take. Update your resume, create some cover letters, get your resume online, network and in general keep up with the latest job news.
Grab some books (Paper or Online) - Update your skill sets and learn whatís new in you field. 

Grab some books (Paper or Online) - Update you life skills. Randomly read. Permit yourself to grow and explore some new ideas. 

Explore new opportunities, now that you are on a brief hiatus from the rat race. Build a website, volunteer, learn something new, spend more time on hobbies, learn new hobbies. Grab lunch with a friend or a relative. Consciously live and enjoy it, you now have the time.

This as an opportunity, refresh, rethink, retool and go kick some butt 

Good Luck!