The Layoff Lifeboat
: How to Get Back to Work"> Muskovitz said that being unemployed humbled him. While unemployed, hed look at people on the street and finally understood how few steps there were between himself and the homeless guy he stepped over on the sidewalk. It was a sobering experience and finding people to talk to was essential to his well-being. "Its better than taking it out on your family," he said.9. Take a Deep Breath When You Reach the ShoreWhen you finally land a new job, its the best day in the world. But, your job recovery process is not over yet. "When you get that gig, celebrate. And then, thank everyone who helped you. Send them an e-mail, a letter. People appreciate that follow-through," said Lanzalotto, who sees the help friends have given as a responsibility as well as a gift. "Now it will be your job to reach out to other people who might run into the same problem." To read more about negotiating your salary to get the money you deserve, click here. Furthermore, dont be surprised if you are not completely out of the woods, financially or emotionally. "Its not an immediate jump back into well. If youre in a leaky boat and you plug the hole, you still have water in the boat. Even if you are on a day-to-day basis more or less back where you were, you accumulate baggage," said Muskovitz, who said that seven years later, he still carried debt from his year without a job. 10. Negotiate Severance Pay This Time Around Theres an old adage about if you make a mistake once, its forgivable, but making the same mistake again is less so. IT and other professionals who have been laid off even once quickly learn to try to negotiate severance packages at the start of a job. After being laid off from a company once, then rehired, Muskovitz did just this, and when layoffs came around again a year later, others had only two weeks pay while he had three months. "It happened four times total, so I got wiseit helped a lot," he said. Even recruiters agree it can be in the best interest of a scorned professional. "Its almost like a prenuptial agreement, but its appropriate because if youre going somewhere, your hope is that relationship is going to work and you hope youre going to be a great player and as asset to them. But if this doesnt work out, you want to get something fair back," said Lanzalotto. Check out eWEEK.coms Careers Center for the latest news, analysis and commentary on careers for IT professionals.