How To Handle Your Job Loss

There is a very good post on handling a friend’s job loss here. However I found it too self-absorbed and without any direct steps that will alleviate the situation. I believe in attacking the problem head-on.

What credentials do I have to comment on this you ask. Well, I have been caught in the dot-com bust and have been retrenched twice from my previous companies. And both times I have got out clean by following these steps.

Given the size of this article I have split this into 3 posts. This is the first installment.

Steps to take in the event of a layoff


Immediately check your cash balances, assuming you have been prudent with your spending. Close out credit card balances if you can. Cancel your second phone line. Get down to the cheapest plan for your communication needs. Watch your house rent, this is typically the largest component of your expenses. Check if cheaper options are available, or if you can move into a shared space. This is a highly inadequate treatment of this matter. Am no expert on this…so head out to Ramit Sethi’s blog for a series of tips on saving money.

Communication channels

Keep a net connection and mobile available. Both these will be essential in your job hunt in the next few weeks. Get a clean and professional mail id setup. None of the ‘hotguy4u’ or ‘coolgal’ mail ids. Sends a wrong message to employers. Keep your phone charged.


Forget how you were positioned within your old company. Remember a tight economy means lots more people are available in the market. Take stock of which skills you can take to the market place.

Brush up on your fundamentals. It does not matter if you have 10 years experience building serious e-commerce systems. The moron at the other of the table can still ask you SQL syntax questions, sad but there is no two ways about it. You gear yourself up for how the market wants you to be.

Invest in quality books for the skill you want to focus on. Check with friends for ebooks and borrow them. This can give you a low cost way of getting up to speed quickly.


Update your resume. Highlight all the measurable value-adds you have contributed in your tenure. More tangible the results of your efforts the better, say publicly available URLs of applications you have built, articles you have written, open source projects you have contributed to etc.


You need to get your real-world and virtual networking in order. Get in touch with your list of contacts regardless of whether they might be able to help you or not. Enquire about their status and update them on yours, drop a word that you will appreciate any information about companies recruiting. You never know from where the lead for a new opening might come from. Many job openings are filled by referral than via online job portals or recruitment agencies.

Get your LinkedIn profile set-up/updated. Change status to indicate you are on the look out for a job. Do the same on all social networking sites you are on. Remember this is serious and not time to throw virtual sheep at friends.

This concludes the first part. Will post links to subsequent parts shortly.

[Update: Part two is here. Part three is here.]


  1. Very valid point Chris..that is the attitude I have carried since my own contact with these situations..thanks for the suggestion and the comment!

  2. Merry Christmas To You too. One of the things that I'd say is to ALWAYS BE PREPARED for your job loss. Meaning simply this: you always should assume you're about to lose your job, and be prepared accordingly. How like a spider you are … to get all Jonathan Edwards on you.


  1. […] for ebooks and borrow them. This can give you a low cost way of getting up to speed quickly How To Handle Your Job Loss – 12/24/2008 There is a very good post on handling a friend’s job loss here … […]

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