6 Steps to Surviving a Layoff

The days after are crucial for setting the right wheels in motion.

By + More

Hannah Morgan
Hannah Morgan
The days after your layoff are crucial for setting the right wheels in motion. Shock, anger, frustration and other emotions come into play, even if you know the change is coming. The key to securing your next job is to get yourself moving forward as quickly as possible. Here are tips to survive and even thrive after your position has been eliminated.

1. Talk to your family. Have an open discussion with your family, including your children, and explain the facts about what has transpired and how this will impact everyone. Ask your family for their help and support over the upcoming months and maintain open lines of communication about what is going on with your search.

The fear and anxiety you're experiencing is normal and your family feels it too. When you talk openly and honestly about your job search, you help everyone understand their role and the progress you're making.

2. Cut unnecessary expenses immediately. Another way your family can help is by eliminating unnecessary spending. Ask each family member what they'll do to reduce his or her expenditures. Another way to cut your expenses is to evaluate other health insurance options. Depending on its size, your company will offer the option of continuing your health insurance at your own personal expense, also known as COBRA.

This is extremely expensive and will drain savings quickly. Begin investigating other health insurance options immediately by talking to colleagues, business owners and anyone who is unemployed to learn what health insurance options they're using. Being frugal now will enable you to endure the long job search process.

3. Build lists. Creating lists may not be your preferred style, but do it anyway. You'll need to refer to these lists to keep on track. Make a list of 100 people you know well and systematically reach out to them. Next, make a list of the top 50 companies you would like to work for or that could potentially hire you for work you'd like to do.

Keep the tone in your outreach positive. After all, it is a request for help, advice and information. Avoid saying, "help me I'm looking for a job" Instead, phrase your request to sound more like this: "I'm interested in learning about XYZ company and what you know about them."

People are more willing to provide advice, especially if they do not know of any job opportunities.

4. Create an agenda for success. You want time to recuperate from the shock of being laid off, but often the best way to overcome this is by setting a daily agenda. Create a new routine similar to your work schedule. Set your alarm, take a shower and get your day started.

More importantly, have specific actions identified during your day. This should include networking events, meeting with past colleagues, occasionally volunteering, investing in your professional development through formal or informal learning opportunities, and an hour or two of "you" time when you can indulge in your favorite pastime.

One last reminder—do not spend all your time behind the computer. Get out of your house and meet people. Your job search daily agenda should consist of outreach efforts ranging from networking requests to talking with recruiting agencies. A scant few actually find their jobs through online ads.

5. Learn to say no. Family and friends may begin calling on you for your help once they find out you're no longer bound to a job. However, your new full-time job is looking for a job. Learn to decline requests that would take away from your search. Just say no to the "honey-do" list and delegated household chores.

When you fulfill these duties, it may provide a feeling of accomplishment in the short-term, however, when you procrastinate on your job search efforts, you will extend the time you're unemployed, and no one wants to be in that position.

6. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Inevitably, your job search will take longer than you want. Mentally prepare for the long-haul by incorporating a healthy balance: exercise, eat right, get enough sleep and doing everything in moderation.

Hannah Morgan is a speaker and author providing no-nonsense career advice; she guides job seekers and helps them navigate today's treacherous job search terrain. Hannah shares information about the latest trends, such as reputation management, social networking strategies, and other effective search techniques on her blog, Career Sherpa.