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What To Do if You Lose Your Job

February 21, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Nancy Pascal

I recently conducted an interview with Nancy Pascal, a career coach.  I asked her to discuss career and job issues since jobs and money are so clearly interconnected.

I met Nancy in the summer of 2008.  I was a corporate attorney at a large, international law firm.  I realized that the work I was doing at the firm was not my passion and did not match up with my values.  While the firm had impressive clients who were creating ground breaking investment products, I felt that I should be doing more to help people rather than financial institutions.  As I was wandering from career book to career book in an attempt to stumble across my dream job, I met Nancy and began working with her to seek out a new, more fulfilling position.

I can honestly say that Nancy knows her stuff.  She is well versed in resume and cover letter writing.  But beyond the basic job hunting skills, she also has a talent for helping a person hone in on their skills and talents in a way that can help lead them to a fulfilling career.

I asked Nancy to list the most important things that a person should do immediately after getting laid off.

Kim: When someone loses his or her job, what is the first thing that person should do?

Nancy: No matter how shook up you are, ask questions about the situation and negotiate with your employer.  The time to negotiate is at that moment.

Kim: What if you forget or something prevents you from negotiating at the moment you get laid off?

Nancy:  You want to negotiate as soon as possible.  Once you are off the premises, it is much easier for your former employer to say “no” to any of your requests.  If you think you are going to be laid off, pay attention to what kind of severance packages have been handed out in the past.  And remember that you can negotiate anything.  If you need additional healthcare, ask for it.  You may not get what you want but it doesn’t hurt to ask.  And remember: you don’t need to sign anything on the spot.

Kim: So you can take an agreement with you?

Nancy: Yes.  You should take time to review it with a clear head so that you can think it over.  Also, try to get references in writing before you leave the office.  You have more leverage while you’re still there in the office.

Kim:  Once you have been laid off and you’re out of the office, what is the next thing that a person should do?

Nancy:  Decompress.  It’s ok to take a break.  You don’t have to immediately jump right in to searching for a job.  You should take some time to regroup and lick your wounds.  Even if you expect to be laid of or you hate your job so much that you want to be laid off, it will affect your ego.  You need time to deal with that.

Kim: What next?

Nancy: Set up a schedule and a routine.  Don’t get sedentary and don’t lose focus.  Set up a time to wake up and a time for lunch.  Try to stay structured.  Getting a job is your new job and you need to have structure to do this.

Kim:  So now that you have a structured day, what do you do to increase your chances at finding a job?

Nancy:  Make sure that you are up to date on all social networks.  Review your contacts and who you know to see if your network can help you find a new position.

Kim:  Any final recommendations?

Nancy:  File for unemployment ASAP.  People often wait or their pride gets in the way so they don’t file right away.  You don’t know how long you will be out of work and it’s best to file for unemployment as soon as you can.

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