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A Few Tips For Surviving A Job Layoff

Wednesday, June 17, 2009Mustafaa Abdul Muhammad

Bro. Mustafaa Abdul Muhammad

Just a few minutes ago, I experienced one of the most dreaded things most people fear in this economic down turn... the dreaded L word... yes Layoff.

 I went to my job today and everyone looked as though they had seen a proverbial ghost. One co-worker looked as though someone had died. So, I asked what was wrong? It was then that I was told by my co-worker that my long time j-o-b would be closing down for good. I was then directed to speak to the president of the company. He then confirmed what my co-worker told me, apologized and then blamed the shut down on the bad economy. 

No one said a thing, but I am sure some where surprised by my upbeat attitude towards the ordeal. As a youth, I was in the boy scouts for a month and our motto then was: "Be prepared!" So, I already had a contingency plan prepared if the worse happened. One co-worker actually cried in my presence while discussing the layoff and went on about possibly having to live in her car. I tried to remind my co-workers that while this is a bad situation it is not the end of the world... just a setback. And you know what they say: setbacks and setups for comebacks. 

As I drove home after this news, my heart went out to all of those who will suffer greatly as a result of this layoff. I wondered too, what this will mean for my financial goals for this year. 

I would like, in the rest of this posting, to offer comfort and a few tips for surviving and thriving in a layoff.

#1 File for unemployment immediately and all benefits available. I know this will not be the full salary you were used to, but just knowing that some income is available goes a long way towards alleviating stress. This is the time to review your budget, cut the fat and focus on what is actually needed to keep your ship afloat. 

#2 If you can get financial aid, this would be the perfect time to enroll in some classes or to be certified in a skill. If that is not an option, you can always look at continuing education classes to learn something new. Keep yourself busy, learning and growing everyday.

#3 Do something that will make you happy and keep your spirits high. This might already be a terrible situation in your life which doesn't need to be compounded by you allowing yourself to succumb to worry, stress, fear and being despondent. 

After finding out I was laid off, I, after checking my reduced income budget, took myself out to dinner at a moderately priced restaurant.  I did this allow myself some joy and to relax my mind to prepare my comeback plan.

#4 If you are religious or spiritual this is the time to find comfort in your religious text of choice. From reading such text we discover that God has never let his servants suffer a defeat without eventually blessing them with more in the end. As the famed motivation speaker Les Brown says, "It is not over until you win!" 

#5 I know this might be the last thing on your mind, but maybe this is the time to start a small business or service. With your reduced income, you might think where will I get the money to start a business?

I believe that our Creator blessed us with two hands and a mind. So, between these two gifts, I believe that we  have the ability to be little creators. 

There is always something that can be done by someone that will alleviate a problem for others. I don't know what your skills and talents are, so I cannot advise you what service oriented business will work best for you. 

You can research online or check out a magazine called "Get rich at home". I am not talking about a get rich quick scheme, but rather a legitimate means of bringing in some extra cash. I was amazed to read that during the great depression people were still becoming millionaires and Hollywood was still releasing successful movies. 

Keep your head up, keep faith and this dark time will pass for you. 

Thank you for reading

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