Although the unemployment rate may be lower now than 5 years ago; when you work in the start up world life is never predictable or something a chart can tell you. Many of my friends are suffering from LivingSocial’s most recent layoffs or just the economy in general and I have known that pain. It makes fiscal sense for a company to lay off people in November. They can pay out severance, clean house and start the new year with significantly lower costs. From the personal end it totally sucks. Its cold, you need new winter boots or a jacket but your depleting bank account reminds you nothing is coming in, your motivation is lower because its dark at 5pm oh and holidays are around the corner. Life in general is just more challenging. Unless you are a fan of this time of year most of us say “winter is coming” with the fervor of a Stark.
This was my position in November 2012. Since then I have been apart of two layoffs at LivingSocial, managed to be rehired both times and now work for the NY Mets. Since I am such a wise 25 year old I would like to share my advice with the world.
1. Realize it is not the end of the world
Granted it is daunting. Bills don’t just stop. You still need to eat. You definitely need to drink. One important thing to remember is to not have a panic attack. Throw some house pot lucks. Since every day is the weekend my roommate and I were constantly throwing pot lucks: Bring a bottle and bring some food, Baby its cold outside. Create some processes for yourself. I am a huge proponent of creating lists. Create one for networking, job opportunities, budgets. This control will help you maintain some normalcy while you put the pedal to the medal.
2. Make plans. Travel.
Severance is a gift. Use it and your new free time wisely. Everyone always complains “man! I only get 10 days off a year and I can never take them because of work!” This is your time. Shut down the excuses. Pack a bag and go. There is nothing holding you back and there are plenty of affordable countries or cities to visit. Find a friend who has a couch or a cousin who needs some nanny help for a little cash. Websites like airbnb can make sure your apartment isn’t a financial concern. You will gain the most valuable experience about yourself and definitely have some great conversation topics for what you did with your time.
3. Use your friends.
The world is far to electronically social today for anyone to try to use an excuse about not knowing anyone. From twitter to linkedin the job hunt has been dramatically changed. Everyone knows someone and that someone could get you where you need to go. Make coffee dates, call old high school friends. Every relationship is a step in the right direction which moves you forward and up.