A few days ago I wrote about Coping After a Layoff. If you have been laid off and you are struggling to get back into a positive frame of mind so you can go back into the marketplace, the following tips may be useful to you.
1. Close out your old job. Take are of any work tasks you have open, file any papers you bring home, sort through your benefits paperwork, transfer your retirement accounts, and even burn a few things if it seems fitting.
2. Make wise decisions about relationships at your former employer. Is there someone you want to thank? Is there someone you want to continue a professional or mentoring relationship with? Is there someone you want to continue a Personal friendship with? Be prepared that some relationships will conclude when you leave a workplace. That's okay - it's not likely that you were truly "friends" with everyone you worked with. Other relationships may be ones you want to bring forward into your new life, but it will not longer be as co-workers. Instead you may become a vendor, you may become a "buddy" outside work, and in some cases you may even become a competitor.
3. Stay or get fit. While you are laid off you will have more time on your hands than when you are working full-time. Take time to exercise - it's a great stress reducer and will help you think more clearly and make better decisions about your future.
4. Don't watch tv. There is nothing more depressing than daytime talk shows and sitcom re-runs. Resist the temptation to turn on the tv during business hours. If you had favorite shows you used to watch outside of work, go ahead and keep up with those, but don't add a bunch of new shows to your schedule.
5. Network, network, network. Take time to map out who you want to meet with and why. You list should include people who may be able to hire you, people who may know someone who can hire you, and people in your industry who always have interesting ideas about the trends and future of your profession. It should also include others who have been laid off so you can trade job search stories and support each other; however, be careful not to repeatedly meet with people who can only speak negatively about their past employer or who can't seem to shake their own anger over being laid off. Do your very best to encourage and support these folks, but don't let them drag you down.
6. Learn a new skill in an area that interests you. This can be as simple as trying a new recipe, or more invested such as signing up for a class in woodworking or quilting. The point is to keep learning and to stretch your brain in a new way. You will meet new people and you will have something interesting to talk about instead of just how the job search is going.
7. Do something nice for someone else that is not related to looking for a job. Make a meal for a busy working mom. Send an encouraging note to someone who volunteers in your community to let them know they have made a difference and you appreciate them. Smile at the clerk at the gas station. Each day commit to spreading cheer and joy to at least one person.
8. Organize your closets. Seriously. There are few things as empowering as organizing a home office, a set of bureau drawers, or a closet. The process of sorting out our physical belongings often helps us sort through our emotional baggage as well. A great book to help in this process is Clear your Clutter With Feng Shui by Karen Kingston.
If you engage in these 8 activities alongside of your regular job search activities, I guarantee you will find yourself feeling more energized and positive about your future.