The Layoff Lifeboat

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

: How to Get Back to Work"> "If they cant take the time and trouble to get one piece of paper right, why do I want to risk my business on them? Its not rocket science to get it perfect. Ask your friends to take a look at it, buy them a beer," said Muskovitz, who has been the point person for hiring in many of his jobs. "The very first place you lose your chance at a job is for your resume to have typos and or be in any way incoherent."
6. Tell Everyone in the Whole World That You Need Help
Losing a job, even if it was your company that failed or could no longer afford to keep you aboard, is humiliating. Few have gone through what is often called "the horror of unemployment" without it taking a toll on their self-esteem. Many deal with this by keeping the arduous process of getting back on their feet again to themselves, but this is the wrong way to handle it. "Nobody is going to guess that you are looking for a job. If you appropriately communicate what you want to do, people generally want to help you, so reach out to your contacts," said Lanzalotto. Muskovitz says that this is no time to be stoic and pretend that things are okay when they are not. During a year-long bout of unemployment, he even went so far as to make a t-shirt that said "Hire Me" with a list of his skills on it. Hed wear it to mixers. "As soon as you know youve lost your job, start calling in favors. If you had a friend that suddenly lost their job, you would do everything in your power to help them out, but only if you knew there was a problem. The way you find a new opportunity is to enlist as many human beings as possible to help you find it," said Muskovitz. You never know when the bag boy at the grocery store has a mother with a consulting business that needs help, he added. 7. Your New Job is Finding a Job Those who have been laid off and those who advise them agree on one thing: you must come out of the gate fighting. "That first week, you are still in a work mode and you have to take advantage of that. If you get used to staying home and sleeping late, your pace changes. When youre shocked and pissed off is a good time to leverage this energy and get the engines running," said Poulk. In treating job-hunting as your job, maintaining a routine can help combat the funk that surrounds not knowing where your next paycheck is coming from. "Every single morning, go out, buy the newspaper and read the classified [section]. Go to all of the job boards and post your resume everywhere and go to Google and find that one magic phrase that nobody else has thought of and e-mail everyone that you know," said Muskovitz. Muskovitz would have business cards made with his contact information on it and have them and a stack of resumes everywhere, including his car. Hed have lunch at a diner and run into a friend and give the friend two cards, one for them and one for anyone else they know. "Id put classified ads in the paper offering to do one-on-one computer tutoring or maintenance. Id help people who were computer-phobic. Odds are, if you are technically inclined, youve been doing this anyway for friends. Now get some work out of it," said Muskovitz. 8. Dont Take It Out on the Wrong People Having to ask friends for help and relying on social services for paychecks is emotionally draining. "People have a lot of pride and this wears them down. Its awful and terrible and horrible, but if youve kept up your healthcare, take advantage of the mental health services available if you must. Find people to talk to," said Muskovitz. Page 5: The Layoff Lifeboat: How to Get Back to Work


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