"Oh, I cried," I said.
"What, you've been laid off before?" she asked, with wide eyes, as if I was an alien or a mutt of some sort.
Oh, honey. I laughed out loud. "I've been laid off three times. And kind of another time. I've been laid of 3.5 times."
I admit, the first time I got laid off I freaked. I cried. I got wasted and puked on myself and I woke up the next morning feeling completely lost and sorry for myself. Each time it got easier. When it happened with Kaplan, I didn't even cry until I had to tell my dad. And even those tears ended up being laughs. Neither Dad nor I could believe my rotten luck.
Each time it got easier, although I sincerely hope no one has to go through 3.5 lay offs in their life. I sincerely hope that. I wouldn't wish something like that on even my worst enemy. I have, however, come up with a few tips to those people who are unlucky enough to get the axe.
- Tell everyone. Seriously. You don't have to badmouth your ex-employer by any means, but you need to tell everyone possible that you are looking for work. I posted on facebook every single time I was job searching, and you would not believe the leads I got. Use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, whatever. Just get the word out there that you are looking.
- Take your time. When I got laid off from Ameristar, I panicked and took the first job I could get, which was the Sales Manager job at Spencers Steakhouse. I knew from the minute I walked into my first interview that I would not like the job, the people or my boss. That guy knew I was desperate and didn't want to go on unemployment so he completely fucked me over and completely lowballed my pay. It was a joke. I would have made better money on unemployment and actually taking the time to apply and interview for jobs.
- Apply for things outside of your comfort zone. When I got laid off from Harrah's, I swore off casinos. But then I veered right back and ended up at Ameristar. When I got laid off from there, I went to Sales..which is what I was doing at the casinos at the end. On a whim and not really expecting to get hired, I applied at Kaplan, and ended up completely switching industries, and it was a great decision.
- If you get a part time or a temp job, treat it like that. Keep applying and looking for full time positions. Even if they promise full time, don't believe anything until it's a done deal. It's your life, and you need to protect yourself.