On Nov. 1, I answered a call from my boss and 90 seconds later hung up in a daze. I had just been laid off. I'm an Type-A personality who always has a plan, a back-up and sometimes a back-up to the back-up. But I had absolutely no idea that this was coming down the pipe and therefore found myself plan-less. To say I was in a state of shock is an understatement. It took a case of hard cider, a Bridget Jones marathon and a good cry before I finally felt like I could face this new reality. Armed with my trusty yellow pad and favorite Lamy pen I searched the Internet for as much information as possible about what I should be doing next. There wasn't much there -- I found a few message boards on navigating unemployment, some resume templates, and a few tidbits on writing cover letters, but I had to fill in a lot of blanks by soliciting advice from friends and colleagues who had been in a similar situation.
Milennials are particularly susceptible to being laid off in this poor economy. It's important to know what to do when you get laid off and, as I found out, to make sure that you're adequately prepared beforehand even if it seems unthinkable. In our current financial circumstances any business, even if it is "too big to fail," is susceptible to sudden layoffs due to mergers, bad investments, or simply a drop off in sales.
- Immediately apply for unemployment. It's a royal pain but well worth it. To prepare for this make sure you keep your last two years of paystubs on hand as well as your W-2s. I was laid off after a mere five months and had to send in paystubs from my last job to prove that I qualified. Also make sure that you receive some type of official document from your employer stating that you were laid off. In a small business you may have to ask them for this.
I sincerely hope that none of you have to go through this but if you do, know that you're not alone. Shit happens and everyone knows that. Also know that you don't need to throw your applications to the wind. You can harness your network as a source of support and inspiration. Also don't be afraid to think outside of the box. Think about doing some freelance work while you're looking for a fulltime position. It's a way to get out of the "I'm unemployed" mindset and can also be a way to prime the pump in your job search.
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Literally, Darling is an online magazine by and for twenty-something women, which features the personal, provocative, awkward, pop-filled and pressing issues of our gender and generation. This is an exact representation of our exaggerated selves.