Be Constructive In Your Use of Layoff Time
Depressive feelings associated with being dislocated can impact your energy level if you allow this to happen. Remember there is a moment where we can choose between lethargy and taking action. Perhaps you need some time to process the feelings. Find someone you trust to talk things over and then consciously commit to move on by drawing up a plan of action.

No doubt that plan of action will focus on a “job hunt.” Notice the use of the term “job hunt,” instead of “job search,” which sounds a bit more passive. A job hunt has the feel of a confident and assertive attitude, the kind that can truly treat the task as a job in itself.

Of course, this needs to be your main priority with your time, but do not allow yourself the luxury to feel sorry for yourself. In fact, this is a time to commit even more to your development both personally and professionally. It can be an ideal time to pick up some new skills by taking some classes or studying for certifications. Check with your local Workforce Development Center. There are usually government funds available for training, as well as for support services such as child care and transportation. Keeping busy in positive ways will help you to move forward; inaction can set up its own paralyzing dynamic.

Another constructive way to use this downtime is by volunteering. Nonprofits are often more in need of volunteers during economic slowdowns as donations tend to drop. Even some businesses open up to the idea of accepting talented volunteers when reduced workforces become stressed. Volunteering can be beneficial for displaced workers in at least three ways:

1) As an entry on your resume, it indicates that you’re industrious and can make the best use of your talents even in a difficult situation.

2) It further broadens your network and the number of people who know what you’re seeking and realize what you have to offer. Seek to volunteer in areas that will benefit from your highest areas of expertise. If you have managerial skills, seek to help organize an event or major project. If you have an executive background, research opportunities to join a board of directors in your community. Researching volunteer opportunities can be started quite easily by doing a Google search using such terms as “volunteer work,” “nonprofit center,” etc.

3) Helping others feels good and silently works to repair damaged confidence and self-esteem.

You might also surprise yourself by picking up a new skill set or two.

In summary, keep moving forward by finding constructive things to do with your downtime; it’s a strategy that will help you to strengthen your character and gain strength through adversity.