Posted By Paul
So did anyone out there read my article:
You've Been Laid Off Now What
Well I'm re-reading my own article because just yesterday my company laid off everyone in my department.
If you had told me a week ago (or heck two days ago) that I was going to be laid off I would have said you were crazy. It was THAT much of a surprise for me.
So I thought I might as well blog about the experience in the hope that my experiences might be of help to someone out there.
So here goes:
I was pretty shocked yesterday. I've been laid off before, but this one really was a big surprise to me. I was literally working right up until they told me (and my colleagues) that we didn't have jobs anymore. Most of us were in such a daze that we just wanted to clean out or desks and go home, so I did just that. I was home by 1PM. I had lunch with my wife and my friend Matt and then just sort of moped for a while.
By 3PM I was bored with moping so I decided to go back to work and drop off the last couple work-owned items that I needed to bring in and make sure I hadn't left anything behind in my desk. I then ran a couple of errands and came home.
My wife was gone that evening (she teaches at a community college) so I had the house to myself. It really gave me some time to process all this. I was certainly surprised but that wore off quickly. Of course there was also anxiety, but there was also a new feeling that it took me a while to identify.
It was guilt. Even though my wife works I still make most of the income for our household (or at least I did before I got laid off), and I was feeling guilty about the fact that I wasn't bringing home a paycheck anymore. The last time I got laid off I was single, so this feeling was new to me.
Now all of this guilt was just of my own creation. You couldn't ask for a more supportive spouse than my wife. She's been sympathetic, optimistic and encouraging, and not once did it even enter her mind that in a way I was letting her down.
I know this because I talked to her about it. I didn't think that my guilt had any basis, but it felt good to talk about it with her. I still feel bad that we're going to cancel a weekend trip to the coast and that our upcoming anniversary celebration probably won't be the fancy dinner out that we originally planned, but we both realize these are just some of the things you have to do try to save your pennies when household income is down.
So that said I've been facing forward and diving into the job hunt. I'm updating my resume, and I've already applied for unemployment. I plan on sending out resumes hopefully tomorrow.
I've also been keeping in contact with my colleagues who were laid off (we created a google group for "alumni" of our company). Not only has it been nice to have a sort of email support group, but we can all help each other network as we try to find jobs.
I've started a t0-do list so that I'll stay on top of things, and I am also planning on adding a few "personal improvement" items to the list as a way to make my time off not just all job hunting and anxiety. For example I plan on taking a CPR class (something I've always wanted to do but never had the time) and do a few projects around the house.
Okay, I'm off to work on my resume. Stay tuned for more updates as the days go by.