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MAIN Your Money Arrow to JobsJob Hunting

How to Get Back On Your Feet After a Layoff

next steps after a layoffThe economic picture is not pretty. Bailouts and rescue packages are the focus of governments. Bankruptcy and cutbacks are the order of the day in business.

If you haven't been laid off from a job yet, consider yourself very lucky.  

According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 11 million Americans have lost their jobs in recent years, and predictions say that those numbers will not go down considerably anytime soon... and the outlook is not much better in other countries around the globe.

The politicians have stopped arguing about whether economies are in a retreat or a recession, but wonder how deep and long the recession will be. The reality is that jobs are just not as secure as they used to be no matter where you work.

The picture may look bleak, but many of the people who are "downsized" do find other jobs. There's no reason you can't be one of them.

So how do you get back on your feet after a layoff?  

There are a number of steps you'll need to take.  "First and foremost, don't panic!  You may have lost your job, but not your ability to work.  Something bigger and better will come along soon," says Vernon Pursley of, a Web-based Computer Training service.

Here are some of the most important things Pursley's organization recommends people do to get back on their feet quickly:

"The reality is that jobs are just not as secure as they used to be no matter where you work..."

1) Organize your finances

Take out a piece of paper and make two columns. On one side list your necessities, like the mortgage, food, gas, utilities and daycare. On the other, your luxuries, like that daily cup of Starbucks coffee, your gym membership and movie money. You'll likely find you can save a lot of money by cutting out the extras for a while.

2) Update your resume

A good resume can often mean the difference between being granted an interview or not... and getting the interview is the foot in the door you need to get a new position. Even a temp job can sometimes lead to a high-paying permanent position or a whole new career path. Take the time to make your resume really shine before sending it out to represent you in the business world. Be sure to highlight all the skills and responsibilities you had on your last job. Definitely, make a point of asking someone you know who has experience with hiring people to review the document before you send it anywhere. Don't be defensive if you get constructive criticism. Be open to making changes that will improve your chances and be prepared to tweak the finished product, if necessary, before sending it to each prospective new job.

3) Activate your network

Don't be ashamed that you've been laid off. In this economy, it really is happening to the best people. Tell everyone you can think of that you're looking for work. Don't whine and have a pity party, but mention your job search to bowling buddies, golf and tennis partners, members of your church or social clubs, friends, relatives or a neighbor. Maybe one of them -- or someone in their circle of friends -- knows of an employer looking for someone with your skill set. Many employers are willing to offer a bonus to a current employee who recommends a good person for an empty position. You may be doing your network a favor by letting them know you're available. Contact your alumni associations many are very involved with helping alumni to maintain a successful career -- so they can continue to be generous donors to their alma mater!

4) Go back to school.

Take advantage of the time off to better yourself both professionally and personally. Especially if the job you lost was in a high layoff sector, you can go back to school to learn the skills you'd need to make the transition to a higher paying professional position. Many state unemployment offices will work with you and may even provide funding to retrain you for a better career.

If you are still employed, but worried about your job, there are steps to take before you get laid off to make life easier. Paying off credit card debt is priority number one. Make sure to send in more than the minimum payment. Even an extra ten dollars a month can cut your fees dramatically and get those cards paid faster. While you're at it, start putting aside some rainy day money in a savings account or CD. Small deposits add up quickly and can be a life saver if you do have to face a layoff.

If your career is in one of the depressed sectors, you may also want to consider training for a different field before the ax hits your department. Being proactive about your job choices while you are in control can bring hefty dividends if your time comes to hit the streets looking for work.

The extra benefit of job training while you are working is that many employers will actually pay for it - and you may wind up getting a promotion instead of a pink slip.

This article is based on a press release provided by ARA Content

also see -> How to get out of debt | How to start your own business

More about job hunting around the Web:

How To Find A Job In A Tight Job Market

10 career steps to take after a layoff - Forbes

Rebounding after a layoff tutorial


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