Welcome to the Rest of Your Work Life


Last week a dozen people at my office lost their jobs because business changes had made their positions unnecessary. Among those cut loose were most of the folks I hung out with at work events as well as one of my closest friends.

I thought I’d write about my own experiences with sudden re-introduction to the job market, but I realized that this might be an example of making the pain of others all about me. I’ll save that for another day.

Instead, in an effort to be useful, here are some suggestions for dealing with life sans work.

  1. It’s not you. Obviously it’s happening to you, but a layoff is not a judgement on you or your performance. This isn’t important merely for your morale; it’s vital for interviews. Why did you leave your last position? The business dissolved it. Sticking to this neutral truth indicates not only that you weren’t at fault but that you possess the maturity to speak about it objectively.
  2. Stop and smell the Pop-Tarts. It’s important to take the job search seriously. Set aside time to devote to locating opportunities and adjusting your cover letters to suit them. But it’s vital to attend to your spirits. You’re under stress, so you need to cool off. Do something you enjoy every day, whether that’s reading, playing games, or hanging out. Don’t be afraid to have fun; you’re still allowed!
  3. Keep a schedule. If you’ve been using an alarm clock, keep setting it. You still have work to do! Exercise? Keep it up. Maintain as much routine as you can. It’ll help lessen the disruption of your (hopefully) temporary new situation.
  4. Get a kitten. I’m pretty clearly running out of advice, but I have a spare kitten yet. I’m just saying. He’s cute, and sometimes he poops in the litter box.

I hope everyone finds a new position quickly. They’re all talented folk, so I’m sure they’ll be fine.

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