Bouncing back after being laid off

If you've had the unfortunate luck of getting a pink slip, it's certainly not the time to curl up and hide. Here's how you can bounce back.

Bouncing back after being laid off

Your next opportunity is out there and waiting for you.

You've just received the awful news: Effective today, your services are no longer needed. You know you're not alone, but somehow that doesn't make you feel any better. Your mind tells you to put together your resume right away, but your body won't move. Here are some tips to help get your mind and body working together.

Grieving time

Before you bounce into job-search mode, take some time to grieve. There's no denying your loss. And while you may be thinking your employer will call you back on Monday, it's highly unlikely. So go ahead and mourn, and then prepare yourself for the new life ahead of you.

No more excuses

It can be easy to use work as an excuse for not being in great shape. After all, who has the time or energy for the gym after working a 12-hour day? Well, you've lost that excuse. And with the tightening of the economy, job searches are taking longer, so you will need to be in good physical shape to go the distance.

Now don't plunk down your severance pay to join a gym, but it's worth scheduling time for a run or a walk. If you exercise in the morning, you will be pumped up for the day.

If you have a buddy who is in the same situation, suggest he join you. Your friend might provide just the motivation you need to get out of bed on those days when you would rather hide under the covers.

Time for reflection

It's hard to move ahead when you don't completely understand your past choices. Are you putting yourself into job situations that may not make sense for you? Are you a workaholic? Take the time to figure out what is driving your behavior.

If you realize you need to break a pattern of behavior, seek professional help. If you are still covered under your former employer's health plan, check to see if counseling sessions are included.

Invest in career counseling

Now may not seem like the time to spend money, but there are some investments worth considering. Before you start applying for any job that comes along, take time to make sure you are headed in the right direction. A good career counselor can help you choose your path.

You have an opportunity to do something different with your life. You just might need some help figuring out how to transition your skills.

If money is really tight, consider asking family members to forgo their usual holiday gifts to you. The money might be better spent on helping you find your calling in life.

Develop a plan

When you are ready to pick up the pieces and move on with your life, put together a game plan for your job search. It should include everything you will need to do while job hunting, along with some deadlines. Don't just tuck this plan in a drawer. Pull it out and follow it. On days when you are feeling down, you will be surprised by how far you have actually come.

Who knows? One day you may thank your former employer for letting you go. Many people bounce back into jobs that are even better than the ones they left.