Last week I was laid off from my position as Director of Development at Opera Colorado. I have never been unemployed, fired, or laid off, so this is a new experience for me. I thought I would share my experiences being unemployed with all of you as I go through this process.
Fortunately for me, I felt this coming. What I did as I started getting that feeling is something that I have come to find out most people already have. I created a list of emails in my gmail account of friends and of professional contacts. This has become very useful as I get the word out about me seeking employment.
I also had already spent time tweaking my resume, have friends look at it, and creating a list of strong, current references. All of this was in place the second I was laid off.
Another thing that was already in place was my presence in social media. I already had a LinkedIn account that was very active and I already had a personal/professional Twitter account. Immediately I was able to use both of these resources to let people I know know that I had been laid off. So I highly recommend both of these if you are not already suing them.
As you read this, please keep in mind that I never thought I would be laid off. Towards the end of the year I knew my company was in trouble, and also knew that the only way I would lose my job was if we closed, and I was not going to let that happen. I knew that if given a chance I would be able to raise whatever money needed to be raised for the company to survive and thrive.
Yet that didn't happen. It doesn't hurt to be prepared for a job loss, and creating a social network can even help you in your current job, especially if you are a fundraiser!
The day I was laid off I was home by lunch time and started thinking about what had just happened. It is important to process everything that is going on within yourself as you start the process of looking for your next adventure. Be on the lookout for self-pity, anger and maybe some fear. Share with friends, your spouse, really anyone who cares about you. And one thing that became very clear very quickly to me was that there are a lot of people who care about me.
I posted a note on Facebook letting everyone know. I let people know that I was free for breakfasts and lunches but that they would have to treat (I wrote that partially as a joke and partially serious) and by the end of the day I had 57 invitations. I had to start writing them all down. I was blown away and my heart was filled with gratitude.
Then came all of the support in other ways. Job suggestions, gift cards, flowers, introductions, job websites, and much more. I am honestly struggling to keep up with all of these and make sure I am thanking each person.
Thank you for reading. I will continue sharing my process. Thank you for your support and please keep the suggestions coming!