Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Day the Job Died - Emergency response for lay offs

©2009 Jannet Walsh
By Jannet Walsh

Ocala, Florida

Your job is dead.

The day you were laid off has left your mind spinning. You are stunned, crying and finding little hope inside and outside. I know how you feel. I felt all those things the day I was laid off from my dream job.

Here is a news flash: YOU DID NOTHING TO LOSE YOUR JOB. It is the result of the current economic crisis.

Still, it is time for the seven stages of grief and you need to make funeral arrangements for your job. You need to say goodbye and move on.

Many people are trying to help. Maybe they are saying God has a plan for you and that one window or door will close and another will open in your life. Everything is fine, just like the angelic Maria in the movie “Sound of Music” as she sings and plays her guitar on a mountaintop in Austria.

Right now you are nowhere near the mountaintop but deep in the valley of the sorrow. The pasture is not green and the valley is about as deep as it has ever been. Ask your friends that are telling you that God has a plan for you that they should notify you day or night if they are contacted by God with a plan!

Remind people using the word “fired,” meaning you did something to lose your job, that "fired" does not begin to describe your situation of being dismissed from your job.

The day my job died, here is how it happened for me: A supervisor called me to report to a room filled with colleagues. I am told my job has been made redundant, meaning I am no longer needed. Never mind that I am a good performer with years of experience, expertise in my field and winner of many awards including one just before being dismissed.

I'm sure your story is similar to mine. Perhaps you too answered calls in the middle of the night - you left your warm bed to take care of emergencies related to work, but that is not adequate service to save your job. People with less experience kept their jobs, but they might be making less money than you. In the end you will never know why they were kept and you were not. Let it go.

You have more education, speak more languages and so much more than the other workers that did not get cut. You might even hear complaining from the employees that are keeping their jobs because of new workload they have been assigned because you are no longer needed. Why are they resentful? They have a job.

I know it is hard but now it the time to take the high road. Do not show resentment or bitterness. Play nice with others, stay positive, as you will need to use your former employer as a reference. Heck, they may even come back in the future and ask you to work freelance.

Secure as much help as you can from them before you depart. Find out what training, severance and letters of references you can take from this situation in the most diplomatic way possible.

The bottom line is that it is all about the bottom line dollars and cents, when it comes to lay offs. On the job you might have made friends, developed professional relationships, but it is only a business relationship, nothing more. Really!

Now, take a big breath. Start thinking that you will get a better job in the future than the one you had! Your suffering will make you stronger than the employees that were not laid off. This makes you better in the long run and already a winner!

Your friends and family at this time are sharing in your employment death because they care so much for you. They will be suffering along side of you in their own way. This is the time to enlist their support, network connections and prayers.

Search and Recovery – First response plan
1. Update your resume

2. Call and email your business contacts that you are seeking employment. Apply for unemployment insurance

3. Get your future human resources recruiter working for you!

4. If you having difficulties handling your emotions, which is normal, reach out to your church, councilors or more. Emotions are your “human filters” when life is not completely in harmony.

5. Make a new business card, one that reflects who you want to be now.

6. Set up a Web page with your credentials and links to accomplishments, consider starting a blog.

7. Review your finances. Track everything you spend for one week. Eliminate anything deemed non-essential.

8. If you receive a severance package, pay down debt and start a savings plan.

Jannet Walsh ©2009 .
All Rights Reserved. Contact Jannet for reprint rights.

Jannet Walsh was a staff photographer at the Star-Banner, in Ocala, Florida and The New York Times Regional Media Group until she was laid off on Oct. 17, 2008 due to the economic crisis. Contact: jannetwalsh@gmail.com

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Search and Recovery: What do after you have been laid off

By Jannet Walsh

I will be sharing my ideas of how to search for work and recover after you have been laid off. My first posting will be about what do after you have been dismissed. Wit and wisdom will be applied as part my "prescription" during one of the most difficult career transitions you might experience.

While you are waiting for the first posting, please feel free to visit my online resume, video and photos! P.S. I am currently accepting full-time job offers! Serious employers may apply at - jannetwalsh@gmail.com

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