IT Employment

10 things you should do if you get laid off

When faced with a layoff, you have two kinds of needs. The first is to live within your means until you get a new job. The second is to get that new job. Here are some ways you can pursue both goals.

When faced with a layoff, you have two kinds of needs. The first is to live within your means until you get a new job. The second is to get that new job. Here are some ways you can pursue both goals.

Note: This information is also available as a PDF download.

#1: Get everything the company owes you

Tie up lose ends to collect any money the company owes you. If you're still on the job for a couple of weeks, be sure to file any remaining expense reports. To make sure you receive any remaining vacation or PTO pay for which you are eligible, compare your time-off records with those of the HR department and iron out any discrepancies.

If you have stock options, the company may vest more of your shares in the event of a layoff. Read the fine print on exercising these options. There could be a window of time when you must exercise the options or lose them.

#2: Get your resume updated and out the door

You'll be sending out some unsolicited resumes as you notify your network that you are available. Brevity and relevance are most likely to catch the eye of busy people. Tailor your cover letters to the needs of hiring managers. Emphasize that you are a self-starter who's ready to get back to work.

These TechRepublic resources can help:

#3: Search company Web sites

Not all jobs are advertised on the big boards or in newspapers. One way to find these jobs is to go to the Web sites of companies where you'd like to work, then look for a Careers or Jobs link. Although it's more likely that internal candidates will compete for these jobs, it's still a good idea to monitor them. Find out about good companies by word of mouth, researching regional business publications for "top companies."

#4: List your sources of income

Companies that lay off employees rarely contest unemployment claims. Unemployment insurance programs are administered by the states, and companies usually provide you with the basic rules and contact information for the program.

Think about these questions when you assess your potential income:

  • How far can you stretch your severance package (remaining pay, unused vacation pay, etc.)?
  • If applicable, how far will your spouse's income go in covering expenses?
  • If your cash will be scarce and your expenses high, should you take any job -- even flipping burgers -- to head off more a serious shortfall? At what point would you have to make that decision?

#5: Prioritize expenses

Do you have the proverbial liquid savings to meet six months of expenses? If so, congratulations -- you're avoiding a major stress of losing a job. If not, well, you're in good company.

Mortgage companies are foreclosing with glee these days, so if you have house payments, do your best to keep up with them. Water, power, and insurance are usually the largest and most critical expenses after house payments or rent. After all, getting a utility cut off and paying to be reconnected will cost you more money than paying the bill in the first place.

Try to save by cutting out services and purchase that may be nice but aren't necessary. The usual suspects include dining out, cable TV (especially premium channels), and $5.00 coffees.

#6: Don't forget insurance

Ned Flanders doesn't have insurance because it's a form of gamb-diddly-ambling, but you shouldn't take as much risk as the prudish Simpsons character. You might be surprised to find that your employer contributed so much to your health insurance. A $45 deduction on your biweekly paycheck might end up costing you a monthly payment of $400 or more if you elect to continue your current coverage through COBRA. With family plans, of course, the cost is even higher.

Even if you feel you can't afford COBRA, don't do without basic health insurance. Get quotes on individual coverage from several companies. If you don't need expensive medications, you probably don't need prescription coverage. Choosing a higher deductible -- $1,000 or more -- will save on your monthly payments and prevent a financial catastrophe if you (or members of your family) have a serious illness or injury before finding your next job.

#7: Don't burn bridges

If you have an exit interview, it's tempting to vent about the company, your boss, even your former co-workers. It also may be tempting to slack off in your final days of employment rather than documenting your system or finishing other tasks. Don't give in to your urge to get even. After all, you may end up working with or for some of the people who were left behind.

#8: Avoid raiding your investments

Yes, you can borrow money from your 401(k), but in practice, you'll almost certainly end up losing money. When you pay the money back, you'll be using after-tax dollars. So you'll pay tax on the money twice -- once as you pay back the loan and again when you make retirement withdrawals. You also may miss out on gains while the money is out of the market. And even if you borrow the money with the best intentions of paying it back, it may take a lot of self-discipline to follow through. If you fail to repay the loan in the time required (usually five years), you'll pay an additional 10% penalty.

If you have investments in a regular (non-retirement) brokerage account, you could sell some stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. Again, think about taxes. If you make a profit on what you sell, you'll pay capital gains taxes. The rates are usually lower than on other income, but cashing in profitable holdings can cause a hardship when it's time to pay your taxes. On the other hand, you could choose to sell investments that have lost value and claim up to $3,000 per year as a net capital loss on Schedule D.

#9: Get out

Playing a first-person shooter game in your pajamas doesn't count as dealing with stress. Exercise, working on home projects, and helping others can give you the sense of accomplishment you miss from your job. Remember that free things can be fun. Check into meetings that you've wanted to attend. In addition to reading the help wanted section, check out your area's free and cheap festivals.

#10: Keep up with your debt

Anyone who has listened to a personal finance show probably knows how expensive it is to pay interest on credit card balances. For example, paying the minimum each month on a $1,000 credit card balance will take 153 months -- and you'll pay $1,115.41 in interest. Even if money is very tight, try to do without before you add to your credit card debt. Get the payments in on time to avoid high late fees and do your best to pay off the monthly balance.

Again, with the rise in foreclosures, don't put your house in jeopardy by skipping payments If you rent and are having difficulty paying, carefully read your contract to see how late you can be before the landlord can evict you.

Like your home, your car can be repossessed, so it's a priority if you're making payments.

And here's a bonus tip...

#11: Pay attention to your feelings

Although most folks working in IT are relentlessly logical on the job, an unexpected layoff can cause even the most Vulcan employee to show anger or sadness. Even if the job loss is in no way your fault -- say, your company is moving jobs offshore to cut costs -- it's easy to get down on yourself. Unfortunately, searching for a job is much more difficult when you lack self-confidence. Not only is it difficult to speak comfortably in a job interview when you lack confidence, but it's also difficult to deal with the nearly inevitable rejection that is part of a job search. After all, only the luckiest job seekers are offered a perfect job after a single interview.

Along with problems of self-confidence, job loss may also precipitate clinical depression. Symptoms of depression include feelings of sadness, problems with sleeping, weight loss or gain, and loss of interest in favorite activities. Men, in particular, may feel anger rather than sadness. If the feelings persist longer than two weeks, it's wise to discuss it with a counselor or physician. Untreated depression is likely to sabotage your job search with feelings of hopelessness, low self-esteem, and procrastination.

66 comments
JeffM34
JeffM34

Nice and useful! THere is even easier way, try with http://getlaid.us some married and "committed" girls are there for "discreet" meeting, and they don't care too much how you are looking or how much cash you have...

tuazi26
tuazi26

This is absolutely timely. I really need this information and I totally agree.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

2. Call her, no later than the next day. 3. Don't brag about it to your friends. 4. Don't expect it to happen on a regular basis. 5. If you must leave before she's awake, do it quietly. 6. Send her flowers. 7. Never, ever-- Huh? What's that, Bizzo? "laid OFF"?!? Never mind.

byron.bennett
byron.bennett

Kind of an obvious little nickpick, but number 8 throws out the scary line "So you'll pay taxes on the money [you borrow from 401k] twice." Once when you pay it back and one when you retire. Yes, but you also get to use the money twice. It's really a wash. I think where you lose is if you don't pay it back, you get stuck with penalties, thanks, Uncle S.

Tech_Monkey
Tech_Monkey

I was let go early 2008 due to the economy. U.C. benefits pay less than half of what you were earning. COBRA is available, but the cost would have been half of my monthly U.C. benefits. Then factor in mortgage, utilities, food and it is worse if you have family to try to support. I can say make sure you keep copies of any communication with the company, even the employee handbook and any contracts you signed. I was not reimbursed for any vacation or sick days and they fought me over reimbursement for already paid health insurance. It helps to have a 'nestegg' but most people on average salary cant afford it. Just be ready to part with something to get by.

TimeBomb
TimeBomb

Why doesn't playing a shooter game in your pajamas count as dealing with stress? Because the author doesn't play shooter games? Ah, yes, that must be why. I got laid off several years ago and have never been the same. I ventured into the realms of stay-at-home-parent and quasi-self-employment. Now I want to get back to work, and can't get beyond the point of phone interviews. I also consider suicide daily. No joke.

esmith
esmith

(esmith512) I was unemployed for two months this year, and the most important things I found was (a) financial management as a lifestyle (keep high reserves, a cheap-but-happy life, and low to *no* debt--this is extremely important) and (b) prioritize relationships with people as a priority (helping other people in the job and sustaining service until layoff for the sake of the people there). I easily got letters of reference from my employer, basically had two months of pleasant Saturdays, and had employers calling me right and left within a week of posting resumes (after taking about a month to just be free of everything). My old employer wanted me back, and I cheerfully accepted after a very pleasant break. I see unemployment to be like practicing for retirement. With several years of savings and a very cheap lifestyle, I even maintained full insurance and had the freedom to just do and go wherever I wanted whenever I wanted. In every life and career, unemployment **will**, repeat **will**, come like the weather. Plan for it, expect it as due course--unemployment is (a usually infrequent) part of a normal career, not an aberration.

kitteryguy
kitteryguy

No, you can't borrow from your 401(k) because you can't borrow from yourself. Taking money from one pocket and putting it in the other isn't borrowing. Borrowing is using (and risking) someone else's money. The post is correct, though, about all the reasons it is really dumb to withdraw money from your 401(k) before retirement.

Satha Arumanayagam
Satha Arumanayagam

Not to take things too personally. Often a layoff could trigger negative emotions and "why me" type questions. Have enough "personal time" to reconcile with the situation. This will add to your "personal wellbeing" and also give you the "correct frame of mind" to map out your next steps. Written by:

highlander718
highlander718

I cannot believe somebody has to write an article about such obvious things. Tomorrow I will read an article about not forgeting to breath. With all respect, but I am tired of these "genius" advises from people who think they invented the whole in the maccaroni.

shermp
shermp

Having gone through a few layoffs, I have to agree with everything said in this article. Most important is what you can do prior to a layoff. Here are a few thoughts: 1. Keep up a good network of contacts. Don't lose touch with people you knew from previous jobs or who have moved on from where you currently work. If you enjoyed working with them, do an occasional lunch or after work get-together, schedule a coffee break, or just call or email once in a while. It will help keep you current on the local job market and give you a quick place to start in looking for jobs. Plus it's always nice to have friends. 2. Update your resume frequently ??? and don't keep it at work. Most jobs have yearly performance reviews that require you to come up with a list of accomplishments. Utilize that work to update your resume at the same time. And, of course, never keep that resume on your work PC. Lay-offs can be sudden and there often isn't time to email home personal documents. 3. Keep current on what's happening in your career track. It's easy to get so head's down into a specific job that you forget about the larger picture. Check the want ads periodically. If it seems that you wouldn't be able to apply for anything, maybe it's time to try and broaden your skill set. 4. Remember that your work is not your home. Don't stuff your cubicle full of personal items. Lay-offs are fast ??? in my case it was 1 hour from being asked to attend a "meeting" to walking out the door with a box. It's fine to have a few pictures and items, but you shouldn't need to schedule a moving company to clear out your cubicle. 5. Your work PC is owned by your employer, not you. Make sure you keep the original and updated copies of all important documents on your home PC. 6. Keep your personal debt down. I know, this one is easier said than done ??? but if you live within your means it makes a huge difference. I was laid off for six months; the unemployment checks I got didn't even pay the mortgage. It wasn't easy, but I got through it Okay because I pay off my credit cards in full every month. I do this the old-fashioned way ??? I only buy what I know I can pay for. 7. Have a full life. This sounds trite, but having interests and friends apart from your job makes it much easier to deal with being laid off. You are more than your job, and the best and most important parts of who you are continue even if the company you worked for no longer needs you.

wbilbro
wbilbro

Re: your insurance. Sometimes paying the COBRA premium is critical, no matter what it costs. If you have a preexisting condition that you need medical insurance to help pay for, you MUST keep yourself insured, because if you let it lapse, you may find it impossible to get yourself insured again, at ANY cost. Insurance companies love this little loophole.

wbilbro
wbilbro

Re: your insurance. Sometimes paying the COBRA premium is critical, no matter what it costs. If you have a preexisting condition that you need medical insurance to help pay for, you MUST keep yourself insured, because if you let it lapse, you may find it impossible to get yourself insured again, at ANY cost. Insurance companies love this little loophole.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

Did you really get laid off or is this rumors out of control---

TheGooch1
TheGooch1

My problem is that work and school keep me so busy, I cannot even think to do a job interview or to update my resume. Job interviews are particularly difficult as lunch and other breaks are closely timed so that there isn't time to go on-site for an interview without taking a vacation day off of work. Anyone have a similar problem?

Jcritch
Jcritch

I was given the opportunity to explore the unemployment arena a few months ago. As everyone told me, this was not about performance (I rated a Exceeds expectations the last 2 years), I used that conversation to ask for reference letters up front from my director and CIO. Both complied. On more than one occasion, the hiring manager told me the letters sparked his interest which opened the door for job interviews. There was a average 50 viable resumes for every position I interviewed for. The process was long and very stressful, but in my time ???off??? I became certified in a few areas not directly related to my true profession (I am a Part Time Firefighter also). This initiative on my part made me fill like I accomplished something but was also noticed by my Fire Chief and other officers. I was given as many hours as I wanted to work, so I worked 7 pm to 7 am . Hopefully, this will open a door as a full time firefighter in the future. The work is rewarding, benefits are awesome, and you have a great opportunity to work consulting on your days off. Please take advantage of all professional contacts you have made. I made about 20 phone calls the first 2 hours of my forced vacation. I was given a good reference for a position by someone I worked when his customer was having issues accessing our applications remotely. That customer is now my employer. Finances- If you are in a bind, and have a good history with your lenders, call them and let them know what is happening. I did and everyone gave me a temporary reprieve on interest rates, and my car loans were given 2 month grace period if I needed it. The job market stinks, now is a good time to reassess your lifestyle and determine your bare minimums. We lived off my PT Fire Fighter income. It was tight, we did without Air Conditioning. We also realized what was truly our needs versus wants. I will not eat another Hot Dog, Mac and Cheese for at least another year, but we also know what we need to get by on. Dave Ramsey, has a great program to make you debt free, and we are following it now. We already have 6 mos of expenses banked away, and sold many "Toys" to relieve debt. We have paid off all credit cards. My last word of advice, do not shut out your family. This very trying experience deepened our relationship, and we all enjoyed the celebration of employment when it did arrive.

NetWhiz
NetWhiz

After spending several years on the road, I saw my layoff as an opportunity to catch up on a lot of things that went unattended while on my 7x24 field engineer's schedule. I'm catching up on industry certifications that I never had time to achieve, doing all the home improvements that I kept promising I'd do, and simply getting reinvolved with personal interests that I let lapse over the years. Obviously, not everyone in a jobless situation can take such a philosphical approach, but it does help me to keep a rational head and positive outlook during this time of uncertainty. I'm now in my fourth month of "free agent" status, but I am active every day in both position searches and cert study. I see it as only a matter of time before I'm again employed. If there's a really bright side of my picture, it's that I now have the opportunity to take up my musical interests and do something long term that I really love. I play guitar and keyboard, would like to do it on a casual or semi-pro basis, but I don't think I'd quit my day job (if I had one.) Stay Positive.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I stopped there. Unsolicited resumes? What the heck for? WHat's wrong with a little solicitation? I think the people who are over talented and unable to find work are in many cases doing just that, sending out unsolicited resumes. Unable to cold call a prospect, put forth ideas and push for a meeting, not a job interview a meeting to discuss how you are going to better the company. I'm not going to get into this again, it has come up so many time here over the years and it seems that half the people get it, and half the people simply expect a job. As for others saying chop expenses etc. Why? Any timeI have ever been laid off, quit, downsized or simply out of work because the company is closing, I have only ever moved foreward to a better job at higher pay, if not, you need ot rethink your approach. How can you not earn mre when you are moving forward with more experience andskill?!?!? Sorry, I simply don't get it. Getting laid off is usually the best thing that can happen to someone,if done right, you will only end up earning more doing something fresh and new. Sorry, I said I wouldn't get into it and I won't, I'm out.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

12)Contact your creditors BEFORE you get in trouble. Creditors will cut your payments, temporarily lower interest rates, reschedule, and do just about anything else to avoid losing 1/3 off the top for having to send you to collections. 13)TELL EVERYBODY: This is so important I can't stress it. Do you really want to hear this "Joe! I just heard you got laid off! Why didn't you come to me, we were hiring right up until last week!". You'd also be suprised who you can get a job lead from. I once gave a job lead to someone from the company I had just been laid off from. They were cutting IT, but hiring in other areas. 14)Sign up for volunteer work, especially if it's IT work. You will make contacts AND keep your skills fresh. 15)Allow yourself time for renewal. Yes, looking for work is a full time job, but you can burn out just as you can at work. If you burn out while you're job hunting, it will show on interviews. 16)Schedule no more than 2 interviews a day, one in the morning, one in the afternoon. You don't want to blow one interview because you're late leaving another. 17)Surround yourself with positive people. If someone's reaction to your layoff is negative, don't talk to them until you are back to work. You need people telling you what you CAN do, not what you CANT do. 18)Network, Network, Network, Network, Network. Go out meet people, talk to people, join professional groups, go to town meetings, get to know your chamber of commerce. Everyone knows someone, and that someone may just be your next boss.

JamesRL
JamesRL

Some suggestions: #1 Take some time. This is the time to take the time you need to decide what you want to do with your career. You can stay on the same path, change directions, its all up to you. You need to spending some time htinking about this before you plan your job hunt. #2 Activate your network Once you know what it is you want, call your network. Tell them you are looking, tell them what you want, and ask them to keep their eyes and ears open. #3 Find a job hunting club. That will get you out of the house, give you ideas on your search, and they usually have good speakers who might inspire you. I did attend one, and many members found work through the club. I didn't find work there directly, but one of their workshops really helped me craft a better resume. #4 Do a household budget. You need to understand your spending and financial resources very well in order to make changes and decisions. Hope that helps, I've been there. James

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Is there anything here other than the implication that immigrants are on food stamps, and by extension that no one else is?

KSoniat
KSoniat

Now I have to explain why I am laughing in my cubicle. I am eating lunch - so it's "my" time, but still... and it's out of context cause I read Bizzo during a compile earlier this AM.

RFink
RFink

Back in 2001 I was laid off and unemployed for 16 months until Sept. 2002. I also concidered suicide and had it all planned out. I decided how to do it, when to do it, etc. The only reason that didn't happen was because while I was unemployed I met my wife. She didn't care that I was unemployed, we did alot of free activies and spent lots of time together. Unemployment has to be one of the major causes of depression/suicide. Believe it.

DaPearls
DaPearls

After I was laid off from a Major corporation, I realized that I no longer had LIFE insurance. Health insurance is obviously a big issue, but since most people are given Life insurance as part of their comp package, it is easy to forget about it after you have left the company. Make sure it is the right policy for you and your family. An illness when you are un-insured is difficult, but something more serious could have DRASTIC effects on your family.

cbellur
cbellur

Yes. It is a good idea to double and triple check if you are laid off. When your badge and login don't work in the morning, there are a bunch of boxes in your cube and a security guard standing there, there may still be hope. When your manager tells you that you have been part of a reduction in force, what does that really mean? It could very well mean that you don't have to work as hard, right? Yes, if you really ask for confirmation, they will not think you are thick-headed. Instead, they will say "Man! This guy has gumption!" and it will save your job. That's what I learned from TV -- managers like gumption.

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

I knew he must have a sense of humor somewhere!!!

JRendon
JRendon

If you want it bad enough - you will do it. I'm sorry you have a spouse, two kids, two cats, up keep of the house, laundry, dinner, yard work, TV shows, school work, project work, resource lookup, restroom breaks, showers, - the list goes on and on. When will you look? It?s really how much pain you willing to go through. I am not saying that you should lie (as a general principle) but if you arrange for an interview during lunchtime break - why not state that you have a dentist exam and need an extra 30 mins. Start complaining about your tooth a few days before. Like the posts before, don't just apply for a new job for the sake of applying - be selective. Right now you are employed and going to school. Why do you need to leave? If the work environment is really that bad then start looking otherwise tough it out and when you get to a point where you can get a break - then leave. Even when you find a job always keep looking; that virtual ?ear to the ground?. There are two quotes that will apply in the situation: ?Press On? ? Calvin Coolidge ?Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race? ?D.H.Lawrence? "I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself." With that ? what are you waiting for?

tlr28
tlr28

I think it is great that you have always found yourself in a better position whenever you have been laid off - and I am not being sarcastic. It is equally obvious that others do not and/or have not had that experience. Maybe they know and yet do not know how to apply what they know. I am learning the hard way, it seems lately. I have found information that some people and families are only a paycheck or two away from bankruptcy, so I can see where money saving tips and saving suggestions are a priority. Something I would like to see, and I wish you and others that have learned these skills would contribute is a comprehensive curriculum of "must knows" that can be woven into the school systems and taught mandatory each year. Or a hub website, with links to such areas for those who were never taught or are struggling. Not the 3Rs, but how to network correctly and with the right people (my network, such as it is, has brought me one true job lead in several years), when loyalty is not a good thing, how to improve your position while you are working, how to be organized, how to throw things away, how to be clean and to clean, etc. Was I taught some of this? Sure, some of it, maybe even twice. I did not apply it correctly, and/or some of it did not sink in at the time. I know what I did and why, and hindsight is 20/20. If another person can learn from my example, I would be glad to help!

fiatlux9167
fiatlux9167

Almost every job I've gotten has been through a personal connection of some kind, sometimes, via a friend of a friend. Once, it was through my family doctor. Don't be shy about letting people know you're looking. There's no substitute for face to face contact. Next best is to use the telephone. Email and such simply lack warmth and emotional bandwidth. For techies it's a trap to think that using the computer/Internet is enough. There are lots of free or low-cost ways of meeting people, from support groups for job seekers to public talks to classes at community colleges. Volunteer work is also a great way to keep using your technical skills, feel productive, make contacts, and build good references. Finally, if your former employer is offering outplacement services of any kind, make use of them. You may learn some useful tips and keep motivated, as well as maybe have a venue to commiserate with colleagues in the same boat.

Photogenic Memory
Photogenic Memory

1.)Shop at the dollar store. It will save you tons of money while unemployed. 2.)Find temp agencies that may help you establish a job and get a little cash flowing back in the wallet. *Special note* Temp agencies don't care about what you need; it's about them making money off YOUR time so choose wisely. 3.)Limit your spending habits until you get a decent job. 4.)Take absolutely full advantage of the local government resources in your area such as unemployment, career counselors, etc. 5.)Pay your bills with the minimum amount. 6.)Walk to get your stuff if stores are nearby. Gas ain't gettin cheaper!

santeewelding
santeewelding

If you knead, push, pull, and otherwise massage it, supplying it with what you have, you could.

esmith
esmith

I've had stressful periods of unemployment too, (never to the point of suicidal idiation), but the stresses were immensely educational to me. For your nerve-wracking 16 month stretch, please review it and find as much philosophical benefit as possible. (My personality is geared to philosophical observation (it makes depression temporary and makes suicidal thoughts impossible--I'm a pretty happy guy in life.) (1) People in this (and many industrial) cultures (especially men) are brought up to be taught to be work people, not people who work. (2) People are taught that jobs are goals (they're means to life goals--*never* sacrifice yourself to someone else's business case. YOU are your ultimate business case--this is important because if you are unemployed from someone else's company, *YOU* per-se are never unemployed (unless you're dead!)). The social business programming you've been given most of your life (especially if you a man) is a form of indoctrinating propaganda for some external business model, someone else's business and profit interest. Remember this forever: You are always employed--as you. (That eliminates most depression immediately--you are never abandoned, you are always with you.) (3) Employment is not consistent and never was. Check me on this thoughout human history, I'll wait. Google it. A lot. See this reality yet? Good! (4) Points 1 through 3 mean that unemployment is part of life--you're in some profoundly good company being unemployed. (Google and Wikipedia again, start with all of human history.) You're the CEO of the [your name here] Company. You always were. Expect up and down cycles. Plan for unemployment. It's certain (it really is). It's temporary (except in one case, you know the one). And it's normal in life (everyone has been unemployed). Personally, my unemployment periods have been very relaxing, basically one very long multi-month-long weekend of pure freedom and opportunity, with some spots of competitive tension and interesting interviews. Financially plan for intermittent loss of income, a kind of financial UPS. Live cheaply/efficiently, save a lot, keep financial track--kinda run yourself like an independent business, not a consumerist employee. Save about at least two years (not six months--unemployment is actually practice for retirement). God, I could write a book on this subject! A lot of people already have. --Ed (esmith512)

Jcritch
Jcritch

I have given many interviews after 5:00 to meet a candidate who I thought was worth the effort. I also ask people how they took time off during the day to meet with me. I look for a honest answer. Down the road, if you lie to a employer, you never know who may be your next boss, and your current supervisor may recognize the toothache interview! I am just saying, you need to look out for #1, but you also need not burn bridges also. As far as class goes, I have told prof's before I may be late due to a job interview, and most, with the exception of one, were very understanding. The one was some liberal arts prof for a BS class about 18th century artists, something I have used daily in my work ......NOT

gary
gary

Whilst out of work volunteer to assist with IT issues at local schools or similar. Compared to what you have been doing it may be trivial but it shows that you are getting into new situations (And always picking up new skills even if its nothing to do with IT) and meeting people. you never know but two months volunteering might get you a job at the place you are volunteering at.

Big Ole Jack
Big Ole Jack

I've heard mixed opinions on this and am wondering if it's worth shelling out a typical $300 yearly membership renewal fee to join such a thing. Do they help unemployed IT professionals, or are they simply interested in their usual symposium and lectures about things than an unemployed IT pro could care less about?

tlr28
tlr28

Not to say do not use them, but do not count on them. For years that's what I did when in between "permanent" jobs, and landed two of those jobs thanks to the temporary agencies. Unfortunately, sometime between late 2000 and early 2003, that changed. Now to get a temporary position you jump through hoops, and you are seen in a very narrow light. Does not matter if you can do something, if that does not fit the category you are in, forget it. Now the temporary agency that I worked for the longest, and that took over most of the smaller agencies in town, parted ways almost two years ago. All of the good work I did for them for many years in any form is now darkly clouded in their minds. So if you work for a temporary agency, do not stay at the job just because it is comfortable, or something else is going on in life, like I did. What you need short term may bite you in the long term.

jmasters1
jmasters1

I understand what you're saying... I was unemployed for years after the tech bubble burst. I went through my stock money and into debt which I'm still paying off to this day. But I didn't get that stock money saved overnight... I saved for 10 years. Think of any discretionary expenses you made last week, last month or last year.. Each pay period you could have saved a little for a rainy day. Not saying you can't do without, but it takes consistent discipline. Fore yers I bailed out our excessive spending with stock sales, and never cured our problem... I finally took over finances, and we're paying down debt. It's hard, being forced to do without, but that's the consequence of not having good discipline. Now, having said that, take a look at this site: http://www.providentliving.org/ It has a LOT of really great resources, and it's not just for Mormons. Mormons are always laughed at for saving food storage, but in times like this (and when I was laid off), we used our food storage to augment our expenses. We also bought a little extra a little at a time and stored it. Same principle. Learn to do without a lot of things. Be willing to drive an older car for a bit longer. What comes from that are skills in self reliance as you learn to do repairs yourself. I now rebuild my own transmission on my minivan when it goes out. Haven't had a car payment in years. And it's wonderful. I learned a lot of skills over the years - never stopped learning. It's an investment in my future, as are classes I took along the way (little by little) for advancing my career or broadening my skills. Being out of work that long is VERY demoralizing and stressful...especially with a family of 7. I should have been willing to flip burgers, but I was too proud. My wife worked two jobs. I look back in regret at the debt we have today, which could have been lessened had I been less proud. But invest in yourself, little by little. Education. Maybe tools to do your own work, which pays off in the long run. Self reliance. Saving a little of each paycheck. Doing without, or making it last longer. Find enjoyable outlets for your spare time, and see if you can market a job you love. A woman I recently met online has just impressed me with her creative cake making, quilting, embroidery (with a machine she paid for years ago), and many other things. She looked for opportunities. And has had doors opened up to her. And don't care what the neighbors think... We tend to build up these notions that others will look down on us or we have to "keep up". When the rubber meets the road - you have yourself and your family to take care of, and they - theirs. You'll feel a LOT better about yourself in so many ways... even as tough times swirl around you. Been there, done that, and still digging my way out...

OnTheRopes
OnTheRopes

You're in a rough situation. I hope things work out for you and yours.

spiritbear928
spiritbear928

I just got laid off a week ago from a decent job. Yes the signs of the ship sinking were there but not like they hadnt been at every job I have ever had. After a while you become numb to it and dont follow the signs. I have not been out of work in the last 10 years and it sucks. I have no mortgage (never fell for the buy a house lie thank God) but I do have debt and have always been a paycheck from homelessness even though I made a good salary. How the hell can one save money when they cannot even make ends meet without borrowing more and more. The only reason we arent out on the street yet is we had some proceeds left from the last loan we took out to make it. I am not suicidal but I can relate to those who are. I feel like a man without a job is like man without a d***. Sure I am looking, networking (though that never sounds as easy as people say. If you are LUCKY you may have one or two employed friends). People talk about months of being out of work. I figure I have about two weeks to get a job making at least what I did or things will fall apart real fast. I think people who talk about savings dont understand that way working people REALLY work in this country. I know I have it better than some. At least I didnt buy a house and only one of our three vehicles has a lien against it.

marie.truman
marie.truman

I was able to successfully look for a new position while employed and going to school at the same time. It requires a lot of careful task management and organization. I found most people if they really want to meet with you will conduct an interview as a breakfast meeting or lunch meeting. I had interviews after hours and only once did I need to take time off during the day. I still managed to get school work done and completed on time also. This meant getting used to less sleep but it is doable. If you are determined and really want something you will be able to find a way.

JRendon
JRendon

Sorry allow me to be more clear ? I?m not saying burn bridges, I?m not saying lie to just lie. What I am saying is be creative in doing what you feel is the right thing to do. Stop saying ?But? instead ?how can I? and then figure it out. Yes, it?s important to be clear on your intentions with the former and future employer but in reality sometimes that is not part of the plan. As much as you?d like to tell your current employer where to put it and how far, sometimes it?s best to simply to stay professional. Sometimes current employment doesn?t see that the work you are doing is worth the pain you feel. To be even more clear, I too have had after hours interviews, phone interviews with a cell phone with one bar and even weekend interviews. The point I?m making is that there are employers that don?t care that you want to leave even if you want to do the right thing, look to find the right job, give appropriate notice, etc? ? they would rather say fine ?quit? then give you an extra 30 mins you need to find a better job. I am a compassionate person but there are some managers that just frankly don?t give a rats arse. Sometimes it?s about taking the risk ? Look guys, I?m with all of you, be up front, tell the truth, be on time, wear good clothes, brush your teeth but sometimes you need to be creative. That?s the core point I?m trying to make ? you want it bad enough make the move.

TheGooch1
TheGooch1

But I am already taking vacation in relation to keeping up with my schoolwork in addition to being in the process of moving. I actually had to put my move date back so that I can get my reading and final paper done this Saturday. I took a half day off last week to get time to write my in-class presentation that was due the same day. I was supposed to take an online knowledge test related to a position that I applied for last week, but even after extending the suspense date by a week, there still was not enough time. Just a few examples. Dental excuses are tough as I already have regular orthodontic appt's , but I guess I can try a little ingenuity. Anyway, I am hoping to have time to do a resume for a Sysadmin position where the hiring manager told me about the position and asked for my resume. But once again, classwork rears its ugly head so the last 2 nights have been dedicated to that. The next 2 nights/day are reading course material and writing the final paper. And so Sunday I can do the resume and hope that on Monday I am not told that the position has already been filled.

JamesRL
JamesRL

I can give interviews after hours, and I have been given one after hours. Or take a days vacation - if you have one. Never ever burn bridges, I've been hired by former bosses at their next company. James

Big Owl
Big Owl

There are many levels of volunteering and I can promise nearly every organization from museums to a 2-person activists' office will welcome IT support. Who knows you might learn something new while meeting a whole new network of supporters.

abcarter1016
abcarter1016

Absolutely, bust just remember it is just one of the many ways you should be networking. Of course, $300 might be a bit much when you have no money coming in, which is why this is something that you should do before.

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