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.
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!