Layoff Season: The Sky is Indeed Not Falling

My brother is an assignment editor at the local news station in our little Texas hometown, and yesterday he called me frustrated on how he felt, “I cannot seem to report anything about the facts of all the oil layoffs without being mocked that I might as well be reporting ‘the sky is falling’”.

For all retailers January is already a scary month, a month that our corporate overlords sit back and quickly reflect on the profitability of their stores and make their final selections on our fate, this January in particular seems to be the true blue horror story across more trades than retail.  First Baker and Hughes and Schlumberger, two very large oil companies, announce combined 16,000 lay offs due to falling oil prices. In retail, JC Penney’s, Macy’s, Wet Seal, DEB, Aeropostale, P.S. Aero, Delia’s, Sears, and Radio Shack are closing a combined number of more than 2,275 stores across the nation, the largest contributor obviously being Radio Shack at 1,100.  But despite the bleakness or the urgency of this news, the sky is indeed not falling.

December did not exhibit the climb expected with falling gas prices but, according to NRF, it still exhibited an outstanding year-over-year 4% increase in sales; that is the largest jump since 2011!  Yes the economy will be okay, just from my personal associations alone December was a time of acclimation, a time for Americans to step back and watch what the crippling increase in health care for the middle to upper class and the challenges of OPEC would do to their wallets further.

Still the reality is thousands upon thousands of Americans are about to be laid off, and this is no light or easy ordeal. If you are one of these individuals, my heart truly goes out to you.  Keep in mind the majority of the nation is pulling out of the recession and there will be other job opportunities available to you.

5 Actions You Should Take After a Layoff

1. According to Kate Wendleton of the 5 o’ Clock Club, the first step in overcoming your sudden lay off is to “conquer your emotions”.  A layoff can cause a gyre of emotions all at once.  You panic over paying your bills, what’s next, all the while overcoming the huge hit just played on your self-esteem.  ’Do not talk to anyone outside of your inner circle until you have your emotions in check,’ Wendleton.

2. Fulfill the rest of your expected time with verve!  This shows prospective employers that you are dedicated and dependable investment for their company.

3.  Ask your supervisor for a recommendation letter to add to your personal portfolio with an updated glowing resume.  Ask if your HR department has a job resource department that can help you find your next employer.

4. Update or begin a LinkedIn.  Be sure to write in your status that you are seeking “your career choice here” employment.  List your glowing achievements, add the right contacts (this is not Facebook so keep it a professional ladder).

5. Take a moment of your current state of freedom to reflect and dream a little.  This is an opportunity for a fresh start.  What do you want to do?   All great ideas and adventures started with a simple dream.  Think outside the career you just left, think of your happiness.   What is the timeline it will take to fulfill this?

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