The Layoff Lifeboat

By Deb Perelman  |  Posted 2007-10-24 Print this article Print

: How to Get Back to Work"> "On the day that you are laid off, or ideally before that, you want a Rolodex full of contacts. My big rally against open networking is that you can have 10 thousand contacts and not know any of them. Make sure you really know some people," said Muskovitz. While no layoff is easy, getting gears into motion beforehand can help people get back on their feet faster, because the job market usually operates on a first come, first serve basis.
"If you really in your heart believe that the day is coming, dont wait until you are laid off to start looking for a job. On that day you are with a thousand other people. Be the first person," said Muskovitz.
2. Apply for Unemployment That Very Day Even though it will be the very last thing that you will want to do—swallow your pride, get your papers together and march to the bureaucratic nightmare that your towns unemployment office will inevitably be—it has to be the first. "Your benefits are based entirely on the day you go to apply. If you wait a day, you get one day les. You may not want to deal with it; you may be sure you are going to get a new job tomorrow, but you must," said Muskovitz. There are other reasons as well, some of which vary by state. Click here to read about the good, the bad and the ugly on video resumes. "Here in Washington, there is a one-week period before you can start collecting. But, most layoffs happen on a Friday, so if you can get there on Friday, the week ends [on] Saturday, so those two days will count as seven" Robert Poulk, a Redmond-based senior enterprise systems troubleshooter, currently working on contract, who called himself all-too-seasoned in the ins and outs of unemployment. Muskovitz, like others, made no bones about this process: applying for unemployment is "an awful, awful thing." "People who apply for it are made to feel guilty about it, despite the fact that it is an entitlement. You have paid into this fund. Its your money, go get it," said Muskovitz. "Its really not a handout but its very much treated that way." Muskovitz admits that it was a bit of a culture shock to go from being a white collar professional to being ordered to look for a job every day, be able to constantly prove this or else your only source of income would be taken away. The job-placement services that are offered are not always technology-focused. "The first rule, though, is to put your pride in the bank and go deliver pizzas if you must," he said. 3. Mope, Cry or Imbibe, But Stay Classy After the initial trip to the unemployment office is made, it is sometimes okay to give yourself a day or so to decompress, especially if, like in Muskovtizs case, it has been a "not very enjoyable" job. Page 3: The Layoff Lifeboat: How to Get Back to Work


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