The Pink Slip Blues

A woman, who was recently laid off, seeks guidance on how to pull herself up by her bootstraps.

Your Career Coach

Pink Slip Blues

Dear Michele,

I was laid off unexpectedly about a month ago. I am so embarrassed to tell anyone and feel like such a failure. I know I’m supposed to get going with networking and sending out my resume and all that stuff, but I mostly hang out in my bathrobe and watch TV. I am pathetic. I loved my job and the people I worked with were like family. Now I feel all alone and like there’s nothing I’m good at. Any suggestions?

— The Robe

Dear Robe,

Well, at least you are aware enough to know that hanging out in your bathrobe all day is not exactly the healthiest choice. So let’s get that changed first.

Going to a job is a routine, and gives structure and order to our days. First thing you need to do – get some structure and schedule going. At first, let’s just get you up, showered and out of the house. Where will you go? Take your laptop to a local Starbucks or library. That way, you’ll be around other people and won’t feel so alone. Use the time to send e-mails to your contacts, explaining what’s going on with you and what kind of work you’re looking for.

I completely understand the embarrassment of being laid off — but the good news is that there are PLENTY of people in your boat, so the embarrassment can be somewhat minimized because so many are sharing it. Just be straight with people and ask for their help, advice or guidance. Make sure you list your successes at your last position and highlight the ways you can contribute to benefit a new employer. Oh, and while you are out and about, make eye contact with the folks sitting around you. Chances are, they are laid off, too, and could likely use a friend. Before you know it, your life will be active and full, and the days-in-the-bathrobe will be a dim, dusty memory.

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