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Post-Layoff Behaviours to Avoid If You Lose your Job

Post-Layoff Behaviours to Avoid If You Lose your Job


The axe fell and you’re unemployed. Good thing you’d read our 10 Things Not To Do If You Lose Your Job article. That advice probably helped you get you through the first 72 hours.


It’s sometime afterward now and the job search has started. You’re finding the process stressful: all that effort, lots of uncertainty. Pressure can build even if you’re doing all the right things.


Which is why you should read our list of common post-layoff behaviours that can undermine your transition.


1.  Going On A Spending Spree

It seems pretty obvious not to squander money when in-between jobs. The more cash you hang on to, the longer you’ll be able to search without getting desperate. But running out and buying unessential stuff provides stress relief for some. It can make you feel temporarily flush as it takes your mind off your woes. Until the credit card bill arrives like a pounding sledge hammer.


2.  Canceling Pre-Planned Purchases

Still want to go on that long-planned vacation or take delivery of new furniture? Cancelling items that were budgeted for – and are still affordable – can amplify the focus on being unemployed. It may also cause friction between you and your immediate loved ones. Best get some financial advice before making rash decisions.


3.  Taking Frustrations Out On Others

Searching for work is a grind. It’ll wear you down if you don’t take care of yourself. You’ll need all the moral support available. So dumping anxieties and anger on people close to you isn’t advisable. Instead try to find healthy outlets. Like exercise or pursuing a hobby. Share concerns with different people and reach out for help if needed.


4.  Letting Guilt or Shame Overwhelm You

It’s a real challenge to repair job identity loss. So much of your self-image is wrapped up in your career. Not being employed can make you feel inadequate, disconnected. But remember that this is just temporary. Also most people these days have gone through a similar experience. You aren’t alone and by sticking to your plan you’ll get back to work sooner.


5.  Applying For Every Job Advertised

Answering as many job ads as you can may bring success. True? Sure, if you’re qualified for every one of them. Otherwise you’re mostly spinning your wheels. Job hunting is a numbers game and it’s more about targeting appropriate opportunities. Plus networking has to be part of your game plan too.


6.  Panicking

Fear prompts bad choices. People accept lower wages, lesser titles, pretty much any affront just to escape unemployment. Typically that happens when money runs short or when hope begins to fade. Unfortunately accepting an insulting offer can lead to poor outcomes. Disloyalty and lowered productivity, job hopping. That’s why you should be realistic and strategic from the start.


7.  Letting Other People Get Under Your Skin

Your neighbour comes home with a shiny new car. Envy consumes you. A loved one innocently asks why you’ve been out of work this long. Rage gets repressed. French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre said famously that “Hell is other people.” Push back. Tell people how you want to be treated while you’re unemployed. As for jealousy, keep it in check by creating a gratitude list. Small things make a big difference when you can’t compete materially.


That’s Extra Things in Total Not to Do

Between our previous article and this one, you now have lots of tips on what to avoid while jobless. Focus on what’s doable, and take moments to reward your efforts. Once you’re re-employed you’ll be glad you resisted those self-damaging urges.

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