How to Survive a Layoff

The summer of 2008 will be forever marked by a continuing mortgage crisis, record high crude oil and consequently record high fuel prices and layoffs of thousands of workers in the closing of three General Motors truck and SUV factories.

General Motors is not the only major corporation to announce massive layoffs. Airlines, mortgage companies, real estate offices and recreation vehicle manufacturers are all announcing closing and massive layoffs.

Thousands and thousands of American families have had their lives thrown into a time of uncertainty and for some a time of crisis.

A layoff can be survived with a careful and well though out plan. Here are 20 tips on how to survive a layoff.

1.As soon as you are given notice and as long as you still have medical, dental and vision benefits, schedule as much as you can. It may be a while before you have benefits again so be sure to take advantage of your benefits while you still have them.

2.Update your resume. Enough said about that.

3.Evaluate your budget. Trim the fat now. Don't wait until you've depleted your savings to start cutting back, by trimming back as quickly as you can you will prolong the length of your savings.

4.Apply for unemployment.

5.Get a list of names and numbers of all your co-workers, this social network may become priceless in the days and weeks to come.

6.It's time to say no to your credit cards. Don't live beyond your means, it will come back to haunt you in a very short time.

7.Clean you desk. Be careful here, in some cases it may be illegal to keep your rolodex. If you can though your rolodex and training materials may be priceless in the future.

8.Have a garage sale.

9.Don't burn any bridges. When you leave, take the high road. Before you leave get a recommendation from your boss, it may be harder to get if you wait and try to get it later.

10.Negotiate your severance package, you want this last check to be a s big as possible.

11.Avoid worrying too much. The more emotional energy you give to your situation the more power it will have over you. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Picture where you will be six months from now and take steps every day to work towards that.

12.Be creative in finding a solution to your situation. You may need to consider a complete change in vocation. Talk to your list of contacts, find out what has worked for them. If you choose a whole new direction find a mentor. You will shorten your learning curve and your recovery time by working closely with somebody who has already found a solution.

13.Keep getting up in the morning. Make the best of each day. Remember while you are sleeping in your competition will be out there beating you to opportunities.

14.Don't forget about your physical well being. In order to keep active and in shape you might consider joining a fitness center (some have monthly dues as low as $10 a month). If a fitness center is not possible, go for long walks, bike rides, hiking or find a fitness program that you can do at home.

15.Take advantage of your local library. You will find books and audio series on motivation, preparing a resume, preparing for interviews and self-improvement.

16.Make your full-time job finding a job.

17.Take advantage of any retraining or outplacement seminars that may be offered by the company.

18.Reward yourself. Don't forget to live a little too. Take time to do the little activities that you and your family love to do. With a little work you can find some memory-making inexpensive or free activities for you and your family in your community.

19.With gas pricing reaching record highs almost every day it might be time to consider trading in your gas hungry SUV for a more fuel efficient vehicle. Be careful if you need to take out a new loan, try to negotiate lower payments then what you're paying now.

20. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Close friends and family want to help. You would help them if the table was turned. Just be careful not to ask for too much.

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About the Author: Rob Ruston is an author and motivational speaker. Rob has written dozens of training manuals and presented seminars in five countries aside from Canada and the US.