Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Can Getting Laid Off From Your Job Be A Good Thing?

Last week my friend ‘Katie’ joined the ranks of the California unemployed. She was laid off from her agency marketing job. Over the last couple of months, I know of at least ten skilled, intelligent, creative and hard working people who were laid off from their jobs. Recently I wrote the post fifteen tips on how to support a friend after they have been laid off. But, as the times and job opportunities still have not improved, I wanted to add on to that article so you can help yourself or loved ones through the daily grind that is unemployment.

OK let's face it, our laid off friends get to make some tough decisions in their days…such as, ‘Which coffee shop should I work at today? Should I go for my run now or later in the day when the fog clears?’ Although, we’d all like to have these options, having to fill up your days without the camaraderie of co-workers or a planned work schedule can be difficult to get adjusted to.

In fact, many unemployed ask themselves, ‘Now what do I do with my days?’ Of course, it's usually Murphy's law that as soon as they start to enjoy their time off, they find full time work. My advice is to encourage your unemployed friends to create a daily schedule and fill out a list of things for the week that can be accomplished. Referring back to my earlier post, here are a 2 specifics you can do to help your friends or loved ones.

11) Point out your friend’s skills and talents. It is very easy for them to get down on themselves. Remind them that a bad experience should not define them.

The reality is your unemployed friends need frequent reminding that they are very skilled, and have a lot of talent. As soon as the job market improves they will have plenty of opportunities to choose from. Wouldn’t you feel down if you were unemployed for months and hadn't heard back from recruiters, gone on any real interviews or had any new leads on jobs even though you've been sending out tons of resumes?

15) Help them create a support system. Connect your friends to other people that you know who have been laid off. This will let them network and vent. It helps to be able to talk to someone who has gone through the same pains.

I’ve noticed recently that my unemployed friends are pulling their connections together, taking care of one another and starting to reinvent themselves. Full time work is not as available, so many are turning to their entrepreneurial side and starting new companies.

I’ve also noticed that many others are returning to having a more balanced life? Isn’t that a wonderful thing? People are reading more frequently, taking better care of themselves and spending more time with their families.

And so I ask, how can folks make the best of being laid off? What would you do with the extra time? Who would you need support from? Please read this post whenever you are feeling down and know that you are not alone.

18 comments:

Underfunded Heiress said...

Awe, that is such a bummer for your friend. But I am sure she will find something good. That's great advice that you gave and you have terrific insight.

...love Maegan said...

it's true ..I didn't know what to do with my new days off after my boss cut my hours ...but I've decided I like it! ...good luck to your friend!

Laura said...

Underfunded Heiress: Thank you and when one door closes then another door flies open.

...loveMaegan: You have a wonderful positive attitude! Can you imagine that a third of us are laid off? Wow.

Dollface said...

Its really hard to get laid off... I think that maybe it is a good time to spend more time with yourself getting back on track with your life and coming at the job world full force!! xxooo

sherri said...

consider yourself tagged. at my place. scroll down - post before the backfat one. yes, I said backfat.

Char said...

as I begin my 5th month of unemployement....it sucks. *shrugs*

Laura said...

Dollface: I totally agree. Taking a step back can be a good thing if you have wonderful support around you. Thank you for your comment.

Sherri: Thank you for the linky love and I love your interview answers...

Char: You are not alone at all plus we're the lucy ones because we get to see more of your writing :) Hang in there and let me know me if any of this advice helps.

Susanna-Cole said...

Sorry to hear your friend was laid off. :( I wasn't laid off, but I did quit my job a few months ago, not to sound all dramatic (all though I tend to be), but it really was killing my soul! And making me sick, because in my particular position, I couldn't really eat or drink or any of that stuff all day, and I was so stressed, I was really just a shell of myself whilst working there, it was dreadful. I figure I'll just do what I think is best, and hope everything works out! :)

xoxo,
S-C

BlondieLox said...

thanks! i'm honored! i love your post... gosh, you seem like a great gal. sweet. confident. a good friend. a survivor. open-minded. equality lovin' kinda chick.
like rockyandballs say... (look 'em up on youtube - singing...) i *heart* you online.

Gabby said...

Hello! New to your blog and what timing...I literally just wrote a post about my feelings about being unemployed! It's been fantastic to have free time, but of course (clearly!) there are negatives too.
:)

Laura said...

Susanna-Cole: It will work out I promise. You took a risk that felt right to you and I applaud you for quitting and taking care of yourself.

BlondieLox: Ah such sweet things you made my day. Of course everything you said is all true, but you forgot to add how sarcastic I can be. Congrats to you!

Gabby: Welcome and great minds think alike:)

bridechic said...

More and more laid off folks are creating their own jobs. It takes awhile to get the momentum going but is certainly an option. My husband's hours were cut back so I know how frustrating it can be.

Laura said...

Bridechic: I hope everything works out for your husband. With more time comes more projects. Thank you for your comment :)

Bella said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend... we definitely live in hard times, and the best we can do is stay as optimistic as possible.

I was always taught that if one door closes and another doesn't open... use the window!


Another amazing post! xxx

Just Playing Pretend said...

You, me, my place. I have an award for you. ;)

Laura said...

Bella: You are so wonderful and thank you for the well wishes. We'll all get through it together.

Just playing pretend: I love my award and will show it proudly on my blog. Thank honey!

J.H said...

hi Laura,
Thank you for dropping by on my blog. I am truly inspire by loads of tips and story shared in your blog. I was laid off last year (and it came out to be a good thing), so I can relate to your friend.
Remember that God always in control :-) whatever happened.

~K said...

Well Since I just got laid off I have to say yes. Other than the trepidation about finding a new job, I got my life back, my summer back, my sanity back. I am actually much much happier.