Saturday, September 12, 2009

Dear CR: I Just Got Laid Off. Now What?


I Just Got Laid Off. Now What? I haven't looked for a job in 20 years. My lifestyle is comfortable and I could live off savings for a few years, but I'm not ready to retire yet. Any bright ideas?




I think the biggest challenge people face after being sidelined from being in the workforce is being able to self manage. You're probably used to being told what to do, and now you're not accountable to anyone but yourself. You also get may be getting a subsidy in the form of unemployment benefits or a severance package that sap your will to try that hard.

Do this, and don't argue with me...

  • Cancel any plans you have to go on vacation.

  • Do NOT start a business unless you've been dreaming of doing so and understand what that means.

  • Pay yourself some crappy wage, say $10/hour, so that you feel like you can spend at least a little money.

  • Work like hell to find another job.

  • Don't worry about being all depressed, because you'll probably get bummed out. Expect it, work through it, and don't let your feelings drive your decisions.

I could probably start a very successful business that nags people into looking for work, but until I do, embrace the naggiest part of yourself that you can find... "Hey Me, get off my fat ass and get me a job!"

Here's an idea. Throw a pot luck. Get all of your employed friends in one room, mooch off their food, and tell them you're out of work and give each of them 3 copies of your resume. Tell each friend why you like them, and then tell that friend you're also fighting hard to avoid going broke and that you'd appreciate them not inviting you to expensive weekend getaways or nights out on the town. By letting them know you need work before you lose your dignity (and you probably will), they'll probably be more understanding of you and plan events that you can actually participate in. They might even buy you beer!

Think of your laid-off-ness it this way... If you were still working and a clone of yourself was sitting around your house, eating all your food, and being a leech, would you tolerate that? Hell no. Don't autoleech (new word - v. to suck one's self dry).



1 comment:

  1. You're really on a roll with this one. Love it!