Don't get me wrong. I'm not a pro on what to do when you leave the office or meeting room you were called into to get the news that you no longer have a job. I just experienced this for the first time a couple of weeks ago. When I was laid off I had an amazing network of friends and colleagues ready to help and support, and a lot of what I did (and am doing) came from their suggestions.
No matter how much good you know will come from this later, it is not a good feeling when it is happening, especially, like many who will be reading this, if you totally rocked it at your job and were the most loyal employee ever.
First things first. Create a personal email address. You most likely will already have one and perhaps you can use that, but not if the address is something like IloveBlackSabbath@hotmail.com. No, this address has to be a little more professional as it will be the address you use to let professional colleagues and friends know that you have just been laid off. It's also the address you will use to send out resumes. I created a gmail account.
Next, create address books within the account. I have one personal and one professional. I also have one for my "inner circle" of professional contacts, those who I have a wonderful relationship with and I know will support me with a lot of energy in finding a new job. Once you have an inner circle address book go ahead and create a short email to them letting them know that you were just laid off and that you would appreciate it if they could keep an eye out for any positions they think you my enjoy. If you know exactly what you are looking for, let them know. NOTE: These same people are the ones you will be meeting with within the next week or so for moral support and guidance. They will rock your world.
As soon as you possibly can file for unemployment. In Colorado the process is online and it took me less than 10 minutes. From the time you apply to the time you get your first check it could be several weeks, maybe over a month. So the quicker you do it the better. And once you have applied read the instructions! There are several other things you'll have to do, none of which take a lot of time but are important in the process of you getting your benefit.
Social media can make a HUGE difference with your job search and with getting the word out that you have just been laid off.
Create a LinkedIn account. It would be perfect if you already have one. I already had one and it has bee incredibly helpful. I have been able to search jobs as well as get help around my resume and cover letters. I keep my connections informed on what I am doing and many reach out to see if they can help. Some online application processes allow you to log into LinkedIn from their online application and download all of your resume information. Let the folks on LinkedIn know what you are looking for. It's OK to ask for help!
I would say the same for Facebook and Twitter. Facebook is of course a little more personal. Let your friends know what is going on. Not a day passes that someone on Facebook doesn't let me know of a job they think I might love. On Twitter I have a personal account and a professional account. The professional account is just that, and I use it to make connections and let friends there know about what has happened and what I am looking for.
More to come. Thank you for reading! My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org