The hardest work in the world is being out of work.
~Whitney Young, Jr.

Earlier this week, the business that I work for was notified in a big floorwide meeting that both us and another building were being shut down and our customers were going to go to other regions. They gave us a 90 days warning and everyone from VP to customer service rep. was going to bee gone.

I have been through a lay off of this magnitude before and it pretty much went this exact way. The responses however were more severe as the people I work with are older and more established with families than the previous lay off. It broke my heart knowing that the guy in the bathroom who was throwing up had just bought a house a few months ago or a that the woman who sat next to me still had one more back surgery to go through. We all quietly moved around the office in our own world's trying to make sense of the news and yet do our work like nothing had changed.

My way to digest the information was to think of ways to cut back on expenses and figure out what I am holding onto that aren't needs. My partners way to work through it was to immediately get online and get a list of job available, find out places to transfer to within the company.

We talked about it nonstop on what to reduce, what jobs to look for, where to live for a good 3 days and then it hit me and I just couldn't talk about it any longer. The time was going to go quickly and I know that I need to get organized, update my resume, get contact information and be prepared for both getting a new job or riding out the search.

The actions that we took went to cutting back first, a tangible action that helped us mentally see that we could save money and still hold on to our needs and a few of our wants. Whether it be utilities or conveniences we have gone through this before and cutting back on some things is more about tweaking a little here and there since some it won't save any large amount a month or year.

After listing our cutbacks and acting on a few of those, the next step was to get together with the company provided career counselors so that I can brush up on interview skills, resumes and so on. I want to go in to whatever interview as fully capable as I can.

Finally, as the day draws closer to the lay off date and if I haven't received a job offer yet I will want to get organized again for the unemployed future by filing my unemployment notices extending COBRA and so on.

Over these next few months I will take you along on the journey with me, making decisions or even helping me make decisions. I appreciate your thoughts, ideas and criticisms as I move along this new road laid out in front of me.

Actions Taken in 1st week of lay off notice:

* Drop cell phone bill to emergency plan (saved 20-25$ month)
* Called Cable - Removed some channels, better prices on others (savings $55 month)
* Contacted career center for appointments
* Gathered a list of places that are currently hiring or will be hiring in the next 3 months, including transfer options
* I ate a big bag of M&M's and chocolate cake... I feel better now and will be back in the gym on Monday!

14 Comments

  1. Anonymous // Monday, February 01, 2010 8:24:00 AM  

    Good for you (about the M&Ms and chocolate cake:)I hope your search goes well. You sound very organized. Please keep us posted as I will be thinking about you.

  2. Kelly (Your Life Organized) // Monday, February 01, 2010 12:33:00 PM  

    Sounds like you're doing everything you can, being organized AND frugal, hoping for the best but planning for the worst. Be kind to yourself through this transitional period... Thoughts and prayers are with you...

  3. Jill // Monday, February 01, 2010 12:51:00 PM  

    I'm sorry that happened! It sounds like you're doing what you can. I have a friend in a similar position to your coworker. He just bought a house and is told that there will be layoffs though he doesn't yet know if it's him.

    Good luck with the job search and well done to you for taking action and control of the situation the most you can.

  4. Sandra // Monday, February 01, 2010 2:48:00 PM  

    If you have high-speed internet, which I sort of assume you do, consider dropping the cable entirely and finding more of your programming online.

    Also consider dropping the gym membership and doing more exercising in the outdoors... then again I live in California so the weather only gets so bad here during the winter. :)

    Best of luck! Glad you seem to be taking a positive attitude with something very terrible.

  5. Dawn // Monday, February 01, 2010 3:01:00 PM  

    @Anon
    I will keep you all posted.. all about a life of frugal living, whether I'm having good days or bad.

    @Kelly and Jill
    Thank you both for your thoughts :D

    @Sandra
    I do have hsi service, the cable is more for the other person in the house as they don't like being on the computer all the time. But, things may change in that regard.

    I don't have a gym membership (almost got one before the lay off though) instead I either work out at gym at work or at the apt. complex gym.

  6. Anonymous // Monday, February 01, 2010 5:21:00 PM  

    Just got laid off on Friday January 29. Thanks for writing this. I'll be following along as I consider what to do next.

  7. Dawn // Monday, February 01, 2010 5:23:00 PM  

    @anon-2
    My thoughts are with you and I will try to be as much company as I can along the way.

  8. Anonymous // Monday, February 01, 2010 9:02:00 PM  

    I am so sorry but not about the cake and m & m's! Hang in there, been there, done that. There are better days ahead. What steps you have taken are good ones.

  9. Regina // Tuesday, February 02, 2010 8:00:00 AM  

    Dawn, sorry to hear of your layoff. Thanks for letting us into you life before and during this event. You have provided some much good info and lead by example. Will be sending you good thoughts.
    Gina

  10. Kate Forgach // Wednesday, February 03, 2010 10:07:00 AM  

    Dawn: Been there, done that for too long. Job hunting has changed tremendously since the last time I was out beating the street. Using social media is all the rage these days, so I thought you might be interested in my GoFrugal post: http://www.freeshipping.org/blog/10-steps-to-landing-a-job-using-social-media

  11. Lorinda // Wednesday, February 03, 2010 2:49:00 PM  

    The same thing happened to me recently after being with the company for 12 years and it's very unsettling. It's hard to talk about it for me except with those going through the same things. Others can empathize but the emotional roller coaster you experience is often embarassing. Especially in this tough job market and continually getting turned down for things you apply for without any idea why. I can only say you are not alone, I am here if you need support and I keep my fingers crossed for all of us that things improve quickly. And my best advice aside from what you're already hearing is utilize your public library for as much entertainment and enriching your mind as you can stand! It's a Godsend. Good luck.
    Lorinda Lamb

  12. Dawn // Wednesday, February 03, 2010 3:02:00 PM  

    @Anon-3
    I'm not sorry about the cake and m&m's either... some grieving time has to exist... and then it's time to move on.

    @Gina
    Thanks for good thoughts... I can feel them helping already :D

    @Kate
    Thank you for the post link, I will take a look at it.

    @Lorinda
    I have to agree, being on this side of the fence helps me understand people predicaments better and the anxiety mixed with hopefulness that come in waves.

  13. mybratsmom // Wednesday, February 03, 2010 9:48:00 PM  

    Here's to hoping for the best and being prepared for the worst - oh yes, and PLENTY of chocolate cake!

  14. Hammy // Sunday, February 28, 2010 4:30:00 PM  

    Hope that something decent turns up for you soon. It's hard work looking for a job.