GeekMBA360

Career and Money Advice At The Intersection Of Business And Technology

GeekMBA360 header image 2

What should you do if you’re laid off today? A 5-day Personal "boot camp" to beat layoff

October 6th, 2008 · 4 Comments

I was laid off in May, 2000 right after the Internet bubble started bursting. I was sad, depressed, and frustrated. I had been a hard worker. I gave all I could to the company. Many un-deserving individuals didn’t get laid off — well, at least that’s what I thought at the time.

But, I didn’t let the frustration, fear and sadness to take over me. I was able to put together a structured job search program and got myself a good job in 4 weeks. In fact, I got a $10,000 raise. In this post I’ll talk about what you should do to find your next job.

Give yourself a day or two to feel sad and depressed, and then stop  — feeling sorry for yourself will not help you get a job. You might feel that you were treated unfairly by your employer. You might have grudges against your company. You might think that you are a victim of office politics. But, the world is not fair. Feeling sorry for yourself will NOT help you. So, it’s super important for you to establish the right mind set — tomorrow is just another day, and focus on what you can do to improve your situation.

Below is a day-by-day, structured program that enables you to get your personal finance in order, and launch an aggressive campaign to land your next job.

One note: It’s much better to get laid off now than later. I said this from my own experience.

Day 1:

  1. Immediately apply for government unemployment benefits. For most States, you need to update the government weekly in order to keep receiving the checks. Please do yourself a favor, and be diligent about completing the paperwork on time. You need this income.
  2. Figure out how much cash you have, your monthly burn rate (I.e. how much cash you need to pay rent/mortgage, utility bills, student loans, childcare, grocery, etc.), and how long you can last given the current cash level and burn rate.
  3. Determine areas that you can cut your expenses.
  4. Update your linkedIn profile, and ask for 3-5 positive references.
  5. Update your resume
  6. Plan your daily routine during the period that you’re unemployed — this is not the time for you to sleep in, wake up feeling depressed, surf the Internet, have lunch, email a few resume, have dinner, and then go to bed. You still have a job — your job is to get a job. Be extremely disciplined and establish a routine.

Day 2:

  1. Wake up before 8AM. Recommended: go to a walk or exercise for 30-60 minutes.
  2. Put on your business causal clothes — yes, this will make a big difference. If you’re on your pajamas, unless you know you’re super productive with your pajama, change your clothes and make yourself feel that you’re working.
  3. Make a list of top 20 companies that you are most interested in working for.
  4. Go to the following web site, browse and search for job opportunities. Copy and past the job descriptions to a Word Document — you want to have a master document that keep track of every opportunities. www.craigslist.org, http://hotjobs.yahoo.com/, http://www.monster.com/, http://www.careerbuilder.com, www.linkedin.com, http://www.simplyhired.com/, http://www.dice.com/
  5. Decide if you’re open to relocation
  6. If you’re interested in jobs at start-ups, check out Venture Capital companies’ web sites, and look for their list of portfolio companies. Go the portfolio companies’ web sites, and look for job opportunities. Here is a list of venture capital firms: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_venture_capital_firms
  7. Go to the corporate web site of the company you’re interested in, and look for job openings
  8. If you belong to any college alumni association or company-alumni email list, make sure you subscribe to their email list. You might get good leads from these lists.
  9. If you are part of any industry association, make sure you subscribe to their email list.
  10. Apply 5 jobs today. Customize your resume and cover letter for each job. The cover letter could be an email, but treat your email just like a regular cover letter.
  11. Contact 5 former colleagues, friends, mentors, etc. and tell them you’re looking for an opportunity

Day 3-5:

  1. Identify a few network events you would like to attend. You should plan to attend 1-2 events each week. Not only the industry networking event would be great opportunity for networking, it also lets you to go out and take a break from staying home.
  2. Apply 5 jobs today. Customize your resume and cover letter for each job. The cover letter could be an email, but treat your email just like a regular cover letter.
  3. Each day contact 5 former colleagues, friends, mentors, etc. and tell them you’re looking for an opportunity
  4. If you send out an email, and haven’t heard back in 48 hours, send another follow up emails.
  5. continue to search all of the online job sites, company career sections, email list you’re on, etc.

Email me (regularguy@GeekMBA360.com) if you have problem to implement this plan — it does require discipline and patience to implement this program. I want to help — in today’s world, corporations have no loyalty to employees. We, employees, must help each other, and take charge of our own careers and future.

In addition to implement this program, you also need to use this layoff as an opportunity to reflect your past experience, and use Depression 2.0 as an opportunity to build your career and prosper.

Tags: Beat Recession

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Paul // Oct 7, 2008 at 12:02 am

    …and don’t forget to post you resume on Smuz.com where all employers can find it for free.

  • 2 Steven // Oct 7, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    So who got laid off? Just wondering which departments took the hit(s)? Also want to compare with Yahoo layoffs. Google announces earnings in a week… Wondering if there is a pattern here.

  • 3 GeekMBA360 // Oct 7, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Thanks for your comments, Steven.

    So far, I have been contacted by folks from eBay, and Paypal. Departments include marketing, customer service, etc. Location includes both US and Canada. If anyone has any detail of the layoff, please comment.

    Also, I think it’s almost certain that other large companies will use this as an opportunity to cut some fat, and lay off some people. I wouldn’t be surprised that Google and Microsoft would announce layoff in the next 4-8 weeks.

  • 4 Penny Stocks // Apr 8, 2010 at 8:02 am

    I just figure it out that the cash you have, your monthly burn rate (I.e. how much cash you need to pay rent/mortgage, utility bills, student loans, childcare, grocery, etc.), and how long you can last given the current cash level and burn rate.

Leave a Comment