Thousands of people across America are facing similar circumstances to me at this moment: The unwanted free time. Also known as: a layoff.
How do people handle this? Some handle it well, others not so much. There are some secrets to the layof that can be especially useful to you if you're put in this situation as well.
During the layoff
Don't get upset. Don't scream about calling your lawyer. Don't throw things or threaten your manager with a letter opener. These things are bad.
Instead, tackle this as an opportunity to convince your supervisor that you're important enough to stay hired. Mention projects you're working on, and how much progress you've made this quarter or month or week. Tell them about how you're the best at fixing the copy machine or that you're the fastest guy in the office to tackle that horrible monthly report.
|Image by Leslie Gidden|
After the Layoff
Don't slack. The day after you're laid off, wake up at the usual time. get dressed, but not necessarily in your work clothes. Go to your computer and set your desk up like an office. Get to work.
First things first. Fill out unemployment paperwork. Some states can do it online, others you may need to go down to the office. Either way, get that done immediately so it's out of the way.
What you're doing next is filling out applications. Fill them out like it's a full time job. Do this for a couple of hours and take a half-hour break. Don't let yourself go on break too long or you'll not want to get back to work. After lunch, call the people you just applied for. Speak to the hiring manager and express to him or her your interest in the job. Be confident. Be firm. Don't act like you just lost your job. Act like you've been given an opporunity to get a better one.
When your regular-scheduled work day is done, so are you. take the rest of the day off, and wait for some phone calls. Tomorrow, do it again.
Unemployment is difficult. I know, I'm unemployed right now. But my lunch break is almost up, so I've got to go back to work filling out more applications now!