7 Things to Do After You’ve Been Laid Off

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Corporate America is in and out of a tailspin, and if you’re one of the unfortunate who is paying the price by losing your job, you’re certainly not alone.

But just because you’ve been laid off, that doesn’t mean things are totally hopeless. So, what now? If you act quickly and keenly — employing these 7 steps for starters — you may be back to work before you know it.

1.    Mourn your loss.
As anxious as you may be about all that lies ahead, stop and take a breath. Losing your job can feel like losing a friend, family member, or lover. You have the right to be hurt, sad, angry, and everything in between. Don’t deny the place your job had in your life. Acknowledge it, and then move on.

2.    Get your social network on.
If you haven’t had time to investigate the online social networking scene, now is your chance. Hit up LinkedIn, Twitter (follow us: @CollegeSurfing), and Facebook, and let the world know you’re back on the market. Start a professional blog. You’d be amazed how fast opportunities open up via cyber connections.

3.    Hit the gym.
If ever there was a time you needed the endorphin rush that comes with exercise, that time is now. Laying on the couch can make you paunchy, pessimistic, and pokey -– none of which will motivate you to make critical career moves.

4.    Take a class.
Use unemployment to your advantage by taking a class to update your skills. You might want to pursue a computer certification, or even a communications course. Then, when you’re ready to dive back into the workforce, you’ll be even better qualified than when you left.

5.    Volunteer.
Volunteering is a fantastic way to fill your newfound free time. It can take your mind off your own concerns for a while and focus your attention on the people around you. Plus, volunteering may also provide an inroad to a new job — remember, it’s all about networking and making new connections.

6.    Change careers.
Why not try your hand at something that’s always interested you? Sign up for a class or two in a new field and find out if you have what it takes to make a go of a new career. To increase your odds of finding a job fast, consider getting into a high-growth industry like IT or health care.

7.    Work for yourself.
I have a super-talented friend who used her layoff from a graphic design job as motivation to start her own event design business. It wasn’t an easy transition to make, but she has been steadily building her brand and her client base. The result? She’s able to do what she loves on her own terms.

As for all my hard working readers who are plugging away everyday, remember no job is layoff proof. Now is a good time to start socking away some emergency fund money just in case, get back in touch with your networks, update your resume, and work extra hard on the job.

As hard as it may be to see when you’re going through it, a layoff could often be an opportunity in disguise.

-Robyn Tellefsen

Readers, any other layoff surivor tips to share? Shout ’em out in the comments section!

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