Every day it seems that more and more people are joining the "layoff" club. A month and a week into my layoff journey, I've learned a few things that I thought I would share.
1) When your boss stops looking you in the eye, you're going to be laid off.
This comes from personal experience, and has been confirmed from fellow layoffees. If you "layoff radar", which I call "laydar" activates, there is usually a reason. At this point, start bringing your stuff home, bit by bit. Do this surreptitiously, just in case you don't get laid off and need to bring it all back.
2) Tell everyone that you know that you've been laid off.
In today's economy, there is no shame in a layoff - it's happening everywhere. Tell everyone so that they know you're looking for a new job. Leverage all the relationships you can, because times are tough people, and you need every bit of help you can get. You would do it for them.
3) Don't tell your furnace that you've been laid off.
My furnace still thinks I go to work everyday, and goes down to 17 degrees at 8:00 am. I can't bear to tell it otherwise, so every morning I'm reminded that I should be at work. It's a little motivating, and as I start to freeze, it gets me off the couch and into the day. And David Suzuki loves me a little more for it.
4) Pity, Party of 1.
Getting laid off sucks, no matter if you liked your job or not. So get a tub of ice cream and eat it. Watch TV all day in your pajamas. Be annoyed at the people that didn't get laid off. People are going to want to take you out for dinner to make you feel better. Let them. They have jobs dammit - they should pay. Take at least a week or 2 (depending on how much severance you get) to just sulk.
5) Break up with the non-essentials.
Face it - you're at home now, you can't justify the cleaning lady or the dogwalker. You are now both. And the gym is debatable, especially if it is an expensive one like mine was. You can try to negotiate a suspended membership, but if your gym is evil like mine was, they won't agree, even if you play the single income family card, along with the times are tough card and i love the gym so much card. Stupid Mayfair.
6) Do a budget and stick to it
Hmmm...no money coming in. Suze Orman would tell (rather, she would shout) that you should shave down to just the essentials, and I wouldn't disagree. You are about to become a very boring person. Gone is the movie-going, dinner-eating out, brunching, Costco devotee...you are now subject to rigid budgeting that will allow you to survive without an income for at least 4-5 months. Your friends will respect it for a while, but then forget and start inviting you out again. Remember that your PVR is your best friend (and notably, wasn't part of the non-essential list. What are you, crazy?). Be firm!
7) Sleep in if you want to
You're laid off. Being laid off has to have a silver lining. Sleep in if you want to. Don't feel guilty about it, unless you sleep past 9 am every day, at which point you're just lazy. Get out of bed already!
8) Start a blog
Why not? You've got time on your hands, and it's better than just talking to yourself all day. Just type what you're thinking and then read it over and over. Check your stats every couple of hours to see if anyone else has read it. Feel slightly resentful that your friends and family aren't visiting your blog every hour.
9) Hang in there
It won't last forever, you'll find another job.
10) Get annoyed at people who constantly tell you #9