You’re laid off – now what? Apart from the administrative steps you should take following a lay-off, you now have time not only to nurse the wounds of losing your job but also to focus on yourself for once.
If you’re in a lay-off situation, here are 50 things you can do with your time:
1. Take the Opportunity to Travel
There may be contract work in other cities or states/provinces. Take this opportunity to travel and still earn an income.
2. Speak to a Lawyer
Who knows? There may be grounds for unlawful dismissal. It’s always worth looking into.
3. Tackle Your Jar of Spare Change
There may be more money than you think sitting in your coin jar. Grab some rollers and count it up.
4. Find Out What’s Included in Your Layoff Package
This is the first thing any oil and construction employee should do after being laid off. These packages typically include severance pay as well as extended health benefits.
5. Buy a Lottery Ticket
Your luck can’t get any worse, right? Seriously, you never know what could happen!
6. Look for Temp Jobs or Other Contract Work
Earning anything is better than earning nothing. Try to find a job to keep your head above water until something better comes along.
7. Start a Family Tree
There are a few online resources that will allow you to easily plug in family information in order to determine your family tree.
8. Apply for Unemployment Benefits
One thing you should do right away after being laid off is apply for your unemployment benefits, There is often a waiting period between the time you apply and the time you get your first payment – so apply immediately.
9. Take an Online Course
There are many free and affordable courses you can take online and learn from the comfort of your own home.
10. Inquire About Outplacement Services
Companies often offer outplacement services for laid off employees. These services provide you with resources to transition quickly into another job. Find out if your former employer offers this.
11. Complain to Your Friends
They’ll probably get sick of hearing about it at some point, but until then you can at least get some anger and frustration off your chest.
12. Reorganize Your Home
You’re looking at a fresh start career-wise, so why not give your home a fresh start too? Throw out old junk, donate items to charity and sell what you can.
13. Skip Town
If you have nothing tying you down to where you live, maybe it’s time to pack up and move on out. Head back to your hometown or try somewhere completely new.
14. Ask for a Recommendation Letter
Once you’re ready to start searching for your next job, it’s always helpful to have a letter of recommendation and most former employers are happy to write one for you.
15. Take Some Time Before Job Searching
You may feel compelled to hit up job search sites that same day, but being laid off is a grieving process. Let yourself work through your feelings first so you can hunt for your next job with a clear head.
16. Cut Off Toxic Acquaintances
Right now you need people around you who lift you up and inspire you. If someone in your life is constantly making negative comments about your current course of action, perhaps it’s time to give ‘em the boot.
17. Go On a Road Trip
Pack a bag, fill the tank, grab a map and load up on plenty of road snacks. A good road trip will give you some time to think your situation through while getting away for a bit.
18. Organize Your Job Search
Use a spreadsheet on your company, or a piece of paper, to keep track of who you apply to and when. This will help you keep track of when to follow up with applications.
19. Go For a Drive
When you feel like you’re going crazy sitting around your house all day, hop in the car and go for a drive. Even a 20 minute cruise can be enough of an escape to make you feel better.
20. Practice Interviewing
Whether you grab a friend, a mirror or your pet, you should brush up on your interview skills. Having prepared answers will make the process much easier.
21. Learn How to Change Your Oil
As well as other simple maintenance tasks on your vehicle. Think of the money you’ll save when you’re able to change your own oil, turn signal bulbs and windshield wipers.
22. Burn Your Business Cards
Allow yourself some cathartic release by burning your business cards or any other work-related documents you don’t need to keep.
23. Start Focusing On Yourself
You’ve spent so much time and energy at your job but now you have time to focus on yourself. Now is the time to set and achieve new personal goals.
24. Spring Clean Your Home
Even if it’s not spring, this is a great time to give your home a good scrub down. Having a clear home environment will help to give you a clear head.
25. Give Yourself a Pep Talk
Like the great Stuart Smalley (SNL character, look him up) used to say to himself in the mirror: "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me." Give it a try!
26. Make Money From Your Hobby
Do you like to paint? Bake? Blog? Make money from your hobbies by selling your products and services online.
27. Reach Out to Other Layoff Victims
Nobody will know what you are going through like others who have been recently laid off. Reach out to them, even if it’s just to chat or to hang out and have a beer.
28. Figure Out Your Career Goals
You don’t want to start job searching all willy-nilly in desperation for a new job. Think about what you’re qualified to do and what your experience is worth then write down the types of jobs you want.
29. Know What You’re Worth
Find out the going rate for your former job, consider your knowledge and experience, and get ready to negotiate for more.
30. Beef Up Your Resume
Before you start pounding pavement looking for a new job, take this opportunity to optimize your resume by adding in key words that appeal to the oil and construction industry.
31. Volunteer Your Free Time
Try to do something meaningful with your free time such as volunteer in your community. Helping others will give you a sense of purpose during your lay off.
32. Think About Who You Know
The oil and construction industry is all about networking. You never know who will be able to hook you up with a new job.
33. Write a Letter to Your Old Boss
Be as scathing, brutal and honest as you can. However, please don’t send it. Burn it instead (maybe along with your business cards?).
34. Stay Up to Date on Industry News
Long gaps between jobs in the oil and construction industry are commonplace, so potential employers are usually not concerned with employment gaps. However, they’ll be interested to know how you spent your time. Keeping up with industry news is a good way to show that you are dedicated to your field.
36. Read a Book
You can reread your favorite book, hit up some classic literature or tackle that forever growing list of books you just have to read.
37. Never Give Up
You may feel like doing anything right now is pointless but don’t give up. Keep job searching and always move forward.
38. Buy Yourself an Employee of the Year Mug
Remember that you weren’t laid off because you weren’t good at your job. Let this mug remind you of that.
39. Vent Online
Not on Facebook because that’s pointless, but find job chat rooms that focus on lay-offs. Who knows, perhaps you can glean some advice or offer your own to other people.
40. Blog About It
The difference between a blog and a diary is that a blog is meant to help other people. Use your experiences to guide others who are dealing with the same situation.
41. See How Long You Can Go Without a Shower
There’s nothing wrong with setting personal records – and think of how amazing you’ll feel when you do finally rinse off.
42. Make a Mixed Tape
Well, with today’s technology you can just make some playlists. Lose yourself in the flow of choosing the perfect song for each list.
43. Get Out in Nature
Getting fresh air and exercise is a great way to clear your mind and reduce your stress. Go for a walk in the woods, around your neighborhood or at a local park.
44. Check On Your Retirement Savings
Especially if you had been contributing to a company retirement program. You’ll want to move that money to a new account or investment.
45. Get Your Health Insurance Set Up
Now that you’re no longer employed, you’ll need to pay for your own health insurance. However, most severance packages will keep you covered for a certain amount of time so be sure to check on that.
46. Get Loud
You’ve got some pent up frustration, so let it all out! Blast your favorite tunes in the car and scream along until your lungs burn.
47. Get Your Finances in Order
Being laid off gives you more time to spend money you don’t have. Start a budget to track your money and ensure bills are getting paid on time.
48. Face Your Fears
If there’s something you’ve always been afraid to do, now is the time to do it. Facing your fears will make the rest of your situation seem not so bad.
49. Grow Your Hair Out
Or let it down. It’s likely in the oil and construction field that you’ve had to keep your hair short or tied back. Now’s the time to let it loose!
50. Take a Deep Breath
Although this is a tragic change in your life, you will get through this. Just take a deep breath and remember that this too shall pass.