10 Things Not to Do the Day After You're Laid Off

It's easy—but unwise—to make bad decisions after you've lost your job.

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Now that you know the 10 Things to Do the Day After You're Laid Off, here's what not to do:

1. Don't be ashamed. One thing is certain: In this economy, no one will assume that being laid off was your fault.

2. Don't lose your cool. Feel like E-mailing an angry rant to your boss/coworkers? Of course you do. But, no. Not a good idea.

3. Don't splurge. Blowing a wad of dough on shoes, booze, or a flat-screen TV will make you feel better for a while. Then, not.

4. Don't tap that 401(k). It should be your last resort! First resort: Cut unnecessary expenses. Second resort: A temp job.

5. Don't try to go it alone. Join a support group—online or in person—of people in similar circumstances. They're out there.

6. Don't do anything rash. Now is not the time to move to a new state, leave your spouse, or shave your head.

7. Don't get lazy. You may want to sleep till noon. But do something toward finding a new job that very first day. Even a small thing.

8. Don't feel bad about filing for unemployment. It's there for a reason.

9. Don't neglect your health. You won't feel like exercising. Potato chips for breakfast will seem like a very good idea. But, ugh. Take care of your body.

10. Don't drop your health insurance. Some things you just can't skimp on.

11. Don't despair. (Hey, that's 11!) But it's important. Most lives involve setbacks. People get over them, and move on. You can, too.

Karen Burns, Working Girl, is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use, to be released by Running Press in April 2009. She blogs at KarenBurnsWorkingGirl.com.

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