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What to Do When You Get Laid Off: Tell Everyone

The door is that way, buh-bye.The other day my sister-in-law told me about a mutual friend for whom the handwriting seems to be on the wall. The "impending layoff" handwriting, that is. Our friend has been invited to a meeting with the board of directors at work this Friday, hasn't been told the meeting's agenda, knows there are no new projects in the pipeline, and her industry is in a slump.

She's convinced (let's hope wrongly) that she'll be heading home Friday night with a pink slip.

Her predicament got me thinking about what I would do if it were me about to be laid off.  I decided my first step (after updating my resume, of course) would be to immediately announce the news to all my family and friends so they could become allies in my efforts to land a new job.
 
Job boards and social networking sites are great, and they should definitely be part of your job search plan. But a "tip from a friend or family member" is one of the best ways to find a new job.

Below is a rough draft of the kind of announcement I'm thinking of, which you should send via email to enable easy forwarding. (However, if you're inserting business cards, you'll need to use the paper-and-stamps kind of mail.)
 

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, I've become a statistic. Last week, I was laid off from my job at Former Corp, where I'd been working as Coordination Coordinator for almost five years. Naturally, this was an unwelcome turn of events, but in a way, I'm excited about the new possibilities it opens up.  [Note: This optimism is probably BS. But you want people to think of you as a positive go-getter, not a dejected zombie, which may be what you actually feel like. ]

Rather than keep this news a secret, I decided I'd just lay my cards on the table and ask my "network" for a favor: Would you take a minute to consider whether you, or anyone you know – a friend, a neighbor, your hairdresser, your kid's coach – might have any connections, information, or suggestions for me? 

In case you're not sure what I do …

[Insert one of these three options here]

Summarize your qualifications and desired positions.
or
Attach your resume.
or
Have business cards printed with your contact information and qualifications (like a mini-resume) and insert several in each letter.

Please don't feel obligated to respond. I just wanted to put the word out that I'm in the market for a new position, because you never know until you ask.

[Here you could insert a personal comment, say thanks in advance, ask for advice or prayers or lucky vibes, whatever feels right for you.]
 
Best regards,

A.  Jobseeker
123 Main Street
Anytown, ST  00001
555-345-6789
ajobseeker@myemail.com

P.S. If you know of anyone else who's job hunting, I'd be glad to share any leads I come across as I conduct my own search! (Or we can just commiserate.)

You've got nothing to lose by spreading the word and getting your loved ones working on your side. Layoffs are happening everywhere, to everyone. Enlist the people who know and care about you to be your partners on this journey.

At worst, you'll get some cyber hugs to boost your spirits. And who knows? Your dream job may have just opened up at your uncle's mechanic's next-door neighbor's company. 

We'd like to hear how you've coped with layoffs and unemployment. What worked? What do you wish you'd done differently? Please leave a comment.

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