For many people 2013 is shaping up to be a tough year. Wall Street banks will lay off nearly 200,000 people.will terminate 30,000 employees under its expense cutting program "New BAC", while has plans to lay off 4,500 workers. At Barclay's the plan is to let 3,000 workers go and at the proposed job cuts sum to 1,800 individuals. I was laid off a week ago so I know full well how difficult this time period is for many readers. It's not over. Here are some thoughts on how to move forward in the coming weeks:
- Stop the Bleed - You are entitled to unemployment benefits. These will be a huge help in buying time, especially if you have fixed expenses like rent. The first 26 weeks are covered by the state government where you worked. Thereafter, you may still be entitled to receive unemployment benefits but you will have to file for an extension. The claims after the 26th week are paid by the federal government. As long as your taxes are paying for it, take advantage.
- The ICU - Just because you're receiving unemployment benefits does not mean you can afford to be lazy. You're still in critical condition. Take this time to evaluate what type of job it is you want going forward. Maybe I-banking isn't for you. Once you know the type of job you want, begin networking. There are a few ways to do this. You can reach out to people in your alumni association that have positions in the companies that you're targeting and invite them out for drinks/coffee. Alternatively, it might be wise to join a few Meetup groups, which bring together young professionals in your area. However you choose to make friends is fine. Just remember, finance is a relationship business. It will be very difficult to get a job if you act like a hermit.
- Recovery and Rehab - If you follow steps 1 and 2 you will be in a strong position for the final push. Your finances will still be in order and people in your network will think of you when new positions open up. This means that your resume will be at the top of the stack. Don't hang your hat on this alone. Apply for positions that you find on company websites each day. But try and reach out directly to members on the team you're targeting instead of going through the Human Resource Department. Lastly, broadening your geographic area will help. States like North Dakota, Nebraska, and South Dakota may not have cities as flashy as New York City but they do have some of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. Don't rule anything out.
For those of you with mouths to feed who are feeling battered and bruised, you're not alone in this and you have choices. Don't get discouraged.