Layoff 2009: An Ex-Yahoo's Survival Guide
So it's 2009 and you've just spent the past 15 years or so either working, going to school (partying), or pursuing your chosen profession. You were one of the most experienced guys in the office and confident in your job security. Life inside a yellow and purple cubicle at a major internet company was pretty good. Twin 60inch plasma screens in the lunch room? check. Foosball tables? check. .
Then, the economy imploded.
I'm George and I'm an Ex-Yahoo! And please don't forget the exclamation point at the end of Yahoo! !...they were very picky about that.
I had just completed some pretty expensive training on the company dime and was ready settle in for an easy summer of NCAA Women's softball archives, Nascar press conferences, and Disney electronic press kits. I was skating down easy street in my very cushy day job.
My final day in the office was a Tuesday. I had just returned from a long weekend on vacation. As I walked into the office with my sack lunch and designer messenger bag in tow, my boss and security were waiting at the front door for me.
"Can you come with us please?"
There is no mistake as to where we were going now: to an unmarked conference room, located outside the secure interior of the office to meet with 'HR' Nice touch.
I was then escorted back to my desk to pack my career into cardboard boxes and see the looks on peoples faces as I left. I went from employed to un-employed in about 5 minutes. Instant free fall
Scenes like this have played out a million times, just this year in the United States.
Suddenly, I too am an unemployment statistic.
The neat, clean, and concise pink slip read something like: 'As you have been informed'..'your position has been eliminated' "career transition", "future endeavors", etc, etc.
Don't Panic, Get a Grip!
It's bad news, but not the end of the world. If you got lucky and received severance benefits or even if you didn't, take advantage of this sudden time off to unwind, relax, and get some rest. This is key.
Getting laid-off is a major life event, yes. But you've most likely been busting your tail for years and perhaps slowly losing touch with reality in the process. Take some time off, get some sleep, and enjoy yourself for once. When the shock wears off; take a long, careful look at yourself, your goals, and where you'd like to go next professionally. Most of the people I know who have been laid-off earlier this year say that it was the best thing that ever happened to them, from a motivational standpoint. Just the kick they needed, so to speak.
The daily grind of work tends to separate professionals from the activities and people that they love. Now that you've got some serious spare time on your hands, get out, see the country, visit family, and plug back into the reason you were working in the first place. Take a road trip.
Layoff 2009 Gallery
I bought my tickets to the Bonnaroo music festival the day after I received my layoff notice. Needless to say, Bonnaroo was the ultimate way to relax after over a decade of continuous employment. I took 12 days and drove cross-country from Dallas to Nashville to New York City to Atlanta and back to Dallas. I visited friends along the way and made a few new ones. Vacation is exactly what I needed to reset myself
Road Trip Gallery
The droning routine of professional life can tend to make people lose touch. Networking can get you everywhere, especially while you are searching for a new gig. Plug back in and start talking to people.
Get Back In Shape
You'll be competing against kids half your age for jobs, better be sharp, better LOOK sharp. It seems that everyone is on a fad diet of some sort these days, but seriously. It's well past time to get your body and your mind back in order. It's never too late to feel great and look good again. The stress and rigors of life are much easier to tackle from a place of health. And besides, looks count, no doubt.
The competition for jobs is fierce with so many job seekers. Although it shouldn't really matter, your appearance can make or break your job chances sometimes. I'm not talking about getting juiced up and hitting the gym hours per day or starving yourself.
I'm talking about finding some form of physical activity or sport that you love and getting out there. The gym isn't for everyone. That's ok. Play soccer, ride bikes, whatever- just get active. It does wonders.
Get yourself moving and you'll be surprised at how fast you can get back into decent shape with a little effort. Eat less, exercise more. It works.
Wellness looks fantastic