This blog contains some simple tips and advice from two regular guys. We're not accountants, financial advisors, or brokers, so follow, ignore, or discuss our ideas as you see fit.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Laid Off: Day 1

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.


Anonymous said...

Hey.I'm really sorry to hear about your job loss. You're not alone. It happens to everyone. Me included. And my DH. Hope you have an emergency fund in place.

Don't see this as the end. See this as the beginning. A new adventure.

Good luck to you and your wife. keep us informed. I'll be checking in to see how you are doing.

Keep the faith. Say a prayer. You'll be fine.

Kacie said...

Really sorry to hear that :( Stay positive--I think you'll be back in the workforce in no time.

What line of work are you in?

Paul said...

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for the kind words, I've been through the layoff experience before, so I'm pretty optimistic about the future.

Goodness knows that if you work in technology (I'm a Software Engineer) it's hard to stay in that field long without experiencing involuntary unemployment at least once.

Stay tuned for more posts as the days go by.

Randall said...

Layoffs are hard. I've been through a couple myself, and I know how you feel. You've got to remember that you didn't do anything wrong, someone else HIGHER UP in your old company did something wrong (not planning correctly, overextending the business, etc).

Obviously they liked what you were doing or they would have gotten rid of you long ago, that means you have marketable skills that another company will want to snatch up.

Every job is a stepping-stone to another job. Look at it as a little 'forced' vacation.

Vibiana said...

Hang in there! Something better will come along. It always seems to. You were looking for a job when you found that one.

Just keep in the groove of getting up each day and don't let those pajamas get too comfy. Although it's 3 degrees here in Kansas, so I am mighty jealous of you being able to wear them all day! LOL

You're in my prayers.

Leah in Oregon said...

Paul, I was so shocked to hear about your layoff, especially since you just got promoted! Here's hoping something even better comes along quickly. I remember my layoff 4 years ago...I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me for about 2 weeks. I was so stunned and hurt. But looking back now it was the best thing that could have happened. One suggestion: go ahead and take that weekend trip and have that nice anniversary dinner. Both you and your sweet wife deserve it. Even though you've hit a bump in the road you need to maintain some level of normalcy, and these little things go a long way in keeping your spirits up and your relationship strong.

Craig said...

Hey Paul,
You and me both in the same boat! I'm looking for a whole new career! Good luck man!