Got laid off? Here are 10 things you should do when you get the pink slip. Diane Stafford, McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers
1. Get mad. Go home and grieve. Have a really good cry. Slam tennis balls against the wall. Scream. But do it once. Do it thoroughly. And then move on. Do not cradle your grief.
2. Share your situation with your loved ones. Focus on the good stuff. For at least one day, make a conscious effort to erase job and money woes. Hug your family and friends — it's an amazing tonic for self-pity.
3. Avoid rushing out and spending money. Shopping won't make you feel better. Make a budget. Watch for sales. Clip coupons. Do not run up your credit card debt on the theory that you'll pay it off later. Be frugal.
4. Sign up for unemployment benefits if you're eligible. You apply online in the state where you worked. If your pink slip includes severance benefits, bank your state jobless benefits in case you really need them in the future. If you're let go without severance payments, work hard on your household budget; your state jobless benefits will be less than your take-home pay has been.
5. Find a list of job loss support groups in your area. Pick out two or three and attend the meetings. You'll learn a lot about the local job market and get job-hunting tips from fellow attendees.
6. Make job hunting your job. Do not plan to suspend job hunting for weeks or even months. It will help you to be as busy as you can be. And even if your first contacts don't produce a job, you'll be in the pipeline and familiar with the routine.
7. Use gatherings at your religious institution and at your fraternal, club or community organization meetings to network. Be positive. Don't moan about your job loss, but do mention that you're looking. Be brief and specific about what you do or what you're interested in doing. Don't be so needy that people shy away from you. Be confident.
8. Get up every day at the same time. Get dressed. Use the Internet, the newspaper, business magazines and conversations to get a bead on industries or organizations that are hiring. Do not spend your time huddled over the computer, firing resumes out to anything and everything. That will just depress you. Target your applications very, very carefully.
9. If money worries or idleness are concerns, take a "subsistence" job. Nothing is beneath you if you need the work. Sometimes an entry-level position in the service industry can morph into a management or professional position.
10. Volunteer. Lots of nonprofit organizations are strained by an influx of needy clients. Get out there and help. It will make you feel better to help others, and it may produce some networking opportunities that could turn into a job.