I got laid off at the end of July. I just started working a week or so ago. Fortunately one of my old bosses heard I was on the street and asked me to come in.
I wasn’t hurting for money. I had unemployment, my wife’s job covered benefits and I had a nice severance to tide me over.
At first, I started hitting the pavement, calling up old contacts, but given the state of my industry, that was turning into a dry hole pretty quickly. Then I started wondering why the hell I wanted to go back to work so soon.
So I decided to go on vacation. I went over to the bar a few times a week and made some friends among the day time crowd. After 20 years of working and 12 years of marriage, I forgot how much I missed “me time”. That was the most therapeutic six weeks of my life.
I am not suggesting that you become a drunken degenerate like me. But do take some time off for yourself if you can afford it. Do something you enjoy. Remember to use that time to clear your head and don’t let that layoff define your mindset. That way when you start interviewing, you don’t come off as a pathetic job seeker and do come off as a talented individual who got a bad break because of the recession.
The other thing I did was that I had to take care of my wife. I wanted to show her that I was ok so it didn’t bring her down. Instead of taking a big vacations, I took her out on Saturdays for little day trips. We headed out to Harpers Ferry, the Poconos, Rehoboth Beach. It cost me a few bucks worth of gas but it kept our spirits up.
As far as looking for a job, get out there and work it. Think about the most social person at your old office. The kind of person who could make friends on the way back from a bathroom break. Call them and invite them out for a drink. That person knows a ton of people and they are all potential contacts.
Start calling people you know. When I was first laid off and started calling a few folks, I was surprised how many people I actually knew. I was even more suprised at how many people actually liked me and were willing to help. I ended getting some solid leads out of it as time went on. Of course I found a few people who never really liked me and weren’t interested in helping. Its life.
I know a lot of folks who have been laid off in the last few months. Most have never called me. Right now I just heard that a couple of co-workers are quitting for better opportunities and we have some jobs open. If a couple of people called me and asked me out for a beer, I could probably get them in for an interview. But they haven’t and I don’t know where to reach them or if they are interested. You never know who knows of an opportunity.
Good luck. A lot of us have been there and we know how it feels. Its like scraping your knee. It sure hurts at first, but it does get better.