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Laid off? Things you should do right away

One key to success: Maintain your sense of humor.

By Karen Datko Sep 29, 2009 3:48PM

The ugly economy came home to roost on Kyle's head in the form of a pink slip, so we read with great interest his post at Amateur Asset Allocator called "11 things to do immediately when you get laid off."

Our favorites on that list? Take a vacation, and find a girlfriend/boyfriend. Until now you probably haven't had time for either one.

This post is tongue-in-cheek and fun (bonus tip for the unemployed: Maintain a sense of humor) and it contains lots of wisdom. We'll also review the steps Kyle really took once he was let go from his software company job.

First, some of the funny stuff:

"Tell EVERYBODY you've ever met, immediately," Kyle writes. He's actually right. Don't be shy about this. You never know who has a contact who can help you out.

Stop spending. He says, "Do you really need 18 HBOs and every Cubs game on TV (they'll never win, anyway) for $5,205 per month?"

About the girlfriend/boyfriend, he says: "Nothing works better on the ladies than saying 'Hi, I was laid off today' with a sad puppy-dog look on your face. I'm not even kidding. Even if you weren't laid off, you should try that one."

Among the serious stuff (from the post mentioned above and another called "I was laid off yesterday"):

Kyle brushed up his resume. Then he assessed his financial situation. A smart guy, he already had an emergency fund. Add in severance pay and money for unused leave, and he has enough cash for about 12 months. He also has a roommate.

Next on his list are selling mutual funds in his taxable accounts (not retirement accounts) to build up more cash, and developing income from freelancing and blogging.

Other great ideas from Kyle:

  • Line up your references.

  • Start your own business. There are plenty that don't require a lot of money.

  • Build your network with sites like LinkedIn.

About that vacation: Make it a brief, inexpensive one. We think he's right about that. Take a break from the stress and heal yourself.

Published Nov. 11, 2008



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