Dealing with my layoff

Filed under: by: Daniel Burkhead

Well, I was working for a company out of Columbus, Ohio, called Netjets. It was, I thought, a very employee-oriented company. And at one time, I believe it was...however, as the upper management changed, so the their "orientation".

I've always been one not to try to predict what a company I worked for was going to do. And, I typically try to find the good in most things.

So, when the company had all of us off-site guys call in on a conference call....what a happened was COMPLETELY unexpected. In fact, I was sort of expected them to give us the ole "we're doing a great job..blah, blah, blah" speech. Yes, that's how they told us we were "no longer employed with this company"...over the phone, a conference call, no less. That's just low. Oh well. Time to move on, in my opinion. Luckily, my wife and I had started up our home building/remodeling business about 3.5 years ago, Burkhead Homes, L.L.C.  Now, we've been "nudged", rather roughly, to kick it up a little more. I also have my photography business, Burkhead Photography, that I'm just now getting going...officially ;). So, we have more to fall back on than some of the other people I worked with.

With the others that lost their jobs in mind, I wanted to give my opinion on how to deal with a layoff. If you know of anyone who has become unemployed recently, please feel free to pass along this little bit of information. Who knows, it may be just what they needed to hear.

1.  Take a day or two to rest and gather your thoughts. You will need to think clearly about your options and how you will respond to them.

2.  It is important to keep a positive outlook. For instance, if the news is bringing you down, turn it off for now. Surround yourself with positive, supportive individuals.

3.  Take a good look around. Focus on what you have to offer and reasons you would be an asset to future employers. You may find that it is actually an opportunity to move into a new arena. I'm getting completely out of aviation, which I've had some part in for the last 22 years. List the things you have always wanted to do and your talents or may even find that you've got the potential to work for yourself.

4.  Update your resume. Consider investing in some affordable business cards with your name, area of specialty, and contact information to hand out.

5.  Stay connected. Consider potential contacts that may be able to help with job referrals and let them know you are now available. Attend professional meetings, industry presentations, trade shows, business organization luncheons, or social networking…you never know where opportunity will surface. Present yourself in a positive light. Keep your social networking "working" for you. Sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are all great sources to put your name out there and start marketing "You". Don't forget about other forums online that are in the area(s) in which you're interested.

6. Finding work is your new job. Sign up for job postings from the many online employment sites, consider hiring a headhunter to work on your behalf, depending on your area of expertise consider going door to door in business parks, sign up with employment companies for employer paid openings.

7.  After you have evaluated your situation, pause to consider your next step. Then when you move forward, you will move with confidence acting on the plan you have constructed. Writing it down will keep you focused. Remember that tomorrow is another day with new opportunities, keep your head up and never give up!

I've been going over things in my head since I got that call Friday. There's a lot to mull over. So far, things are looking good. I've got a few small "handyman" type jobs lined up as well as some future photography jobs. I need to get some more business cards made up as my current supply is running low.

I know the Lord has a plan for us, and we'll continue to put our future in His hands.


On September 13, 2009 at 2:32 PM , Michael S. Red said...

Good advice. I will add, from my own experience, if you make use of a headhunter, let him or her do their job and try to enjoy your unplanned time off. Spend more time with your family and enjoy yourself.

I wrote a similar article last year after being laid off. Mine was targeted to those who hadn't yet lost their job.

On September 13, 2009 at 10:52 PM , Daniel said...

Great post, Shane. I never realized you even blogged about all of that.

Thanks for the link