Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Day-to-Day Laid Off Strategy

(photo by mashroms)

Many of you locally here in Central Florida have felt first hand the effects of the recent employment market and the large lay off numbers surrounding it. Some people are coping with the situation in interesting ways, seeing opportunity and blessing in their layoffs or having great grief and struggle to make ends meet. No matter your situation, here are 7 tips to make the most of your transition period.

  1. Grow your network. Your network is the most important thing during this transition. Whether you are looking to start your own business, go into consulting or look for a new job opportunity your close knit network can help you in ways you would never think of. Go through that stack of business cards, hit those networking happy hours and start using the Internet to find people that you mesh well with and can leverage off of their skills.
  2. Re-establish relationships with family and friends. When you are in the midst of your career, you tend to put some friends and family members on the back burner. Now is the time to get back in touch, see what you missed and regain great connections. This will boost your self-esteem and confidence, as well as help you focus on obtaining a career when you have time for the people that matter most in your life.
  3. Find hobbies and passions and get into a routine in accomplishing them. Start a blog, hit the gym, learn a second language. Whatever the case may be, your off time gives you the opportunity to give time to things that you care about. Take some time for yourself and do what you love to do - just don't break what's left of your bank account to do it.
  4. Check your finances. I am no financial expert, but there are plenty out there. Find ways to leverage your 401(k), look for consulting gigs to boost income, even freelance work from your previous employer (assuming you left on good terms). Look into AARP and Social Security benefits if you qualify. You may be able to qualify for new government programs for mortgage relief in the form of lower payments by way of lower interest, or longer-term or lower principal (make sure you are current on the mortgage). You may be able to refinance a paid-off car or your home. Consider asking grown children living at home to pitch in, even if it means earning minimum wage. There are options out there if you seek for them.
  5. Look for support groups. There are groups both online and off that offers tips, ideas and tactics to finding work. One if the Free Agents, another is Freelance Switch. Dig into your industry and look for groups, forums and blogs that offer support for people in their industry.
  6. Start a business. The Internet provides ways that are quick ad easy to test your market, create products and make a living on your own.
  7. Keep your morale high. Do whatever it takes to keep your head high. Employers, friends and families can sense when you are not at your best, and your job is to keep your confidence and morale high even when its rainy outside. It can be touch, especially in when the days and bills start to stockpile, but it is only you that can get yourself out your situation. Go make it happen!

Bonus tip - Come visit with 40+ Orlando companies and learn about social media, branding and the local government's role in the current employment sector at the Orlando Job Fair on Thursday, April 16th. Pre-register here now!

Happy hunting Orlando!

-Greg Rollett

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