How to survive after being laid off during the holidays
It's Friday afternoon, and you have just been called into the office and told you are being laid off. Now what do you do? Christmas is around the corner, you have gifts to purchase and stress of finding a new job. Here are some tips to help you get through being unemployed during the holidays.
- Don't panic
- Figure your finances
- Tell your kids
- Evaluate yourself
- Think outside the box
- Lean on your family
You can't help but think it's the end of the world, but it isn't. You must counter all your bad thoughts with, "I'm going to make it through this." At first, it will seem like a silly thing to say, but stick with it and it will slowly become believable. Do not blame yourself, self-pity will only make it worse. Don't let yourself think, "This is the worse Christmas ever." It may turn out to be the best Christmas ever as your family will be bound together during this time.
Figure your finances
Figure everything out. How much you will have coming in and going out. Add all your income from your savings, unemployment and if your lucky, severance package and figure out how long you can keep going before you get in a desperate financial situation. You may have $15,000 to carry you through, but by the time you pay your mortgage, car and all your bills, in 6 months you may be out of money. You want to think ahead so that you are not suddenly hit with an electric bill that you cannot pay. After that, set aside how much you will be able to spend on Christmas.
Tell your kids
You may think they you should shield them, but they will know something is wrong. They will understand. Ask for their support. Instead of Christmas lights outside, put up wreaths and other decorations that don't require electricity that would run your electric bill up. Use less lights on your Christmas tree, and make homemade gifts. Go back to the basics.
Decide if you are the type of person that needs to take time off, or the type that needs to hit the ground running. Make sure you limit yourself. You don't want to mask your fear by taking too much time off, or do the opposite and over-work yourself. Have a workable plan and follow it. You need structure to help you get through this, especially during this time of the year.
Think outside the box
Tell everyone you are looking for work. If they don't know of a job, maybe someone else they know will know. Get your best suit dry cleaned in preparation for your first interview. Don't allow yourself to become a career job seeker. Many people won't apply for jobs that are less money than what they were getting before or are over qualified for, and wait for the exact job they were doing before. That really limits what you are applying for. Use the holiday season to widening your search and think about how your qualifications can be worked into another job title. Consider part time work and seasonal work that will keep money coming in until you find something full time or permanent. And don't turn down less money. Three months working for minimum wage is far better than 3 months of waiting for the phone to ring and your car being repossessed. Even if you are used to bringing home $1000.00 a week, that shouldn't keep you from considering a job that pays less. $350.00 a week is better than zero dollars a week.
Lean on your family
Let the rest of the family know what has happened, but don't let them worry about you. Let them know you have a plan and everything will be alright. If you usual have Christmas dinner at your house, ask if someone else in the family can do it this year. If you usually give many presents, let them know that this year you will be cutting back. Everyone will understand and appreciate your candor.
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