Re: laid off

Subject: Re: laid off
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2001 20:10:48 -0800

M Silverspring wrote:
>
> This time I was given four weeks of severance pay. I
> am also allowed to come back into the building for the
> next month to use my computer and voice mail to look
> for jobs. But since this was my first formal tech
> writing job, I don't look very experienced on paper. I
> have lots of skills, and I worked another half-time
> contract while I was doing my day job, so I really
> threw myself into learning. But there are so many
> other writers out there.
>

Being laid off can be hard to handle. It violates the unspoken
belief of most middle class people in North America that, if you've
done nothing wrong, nothing bad can happen to you. Unfortunately,
this belief has more to do with the growing up with comfort and
security than with reality. The plain fact is that, if you work in a
high-tech area, sooner or later you're likely to face a layoff
through no fault of your own.

You don't say how long you were at the position you just lost.
However, it sounds like you were at it for a while. And, with
another contract and "lots of skills," it sounds to me that you are
far better positioned than you give yourself credit for. With all
these things going for you, how can you not look very good on paper?
I can't help thinking that the shock of the layoff is making you
look at yourself too negatively. List all the things you've learned
at your job and and a half, and put those in your resume, and I
suspect that you'll look very good on paper indeed, especially if
you organize your resume by skills rather than by positions.

Other people are getting laid off in the high-tech area, but, to
judge from the people I know who are in your position, the job
market is still reasonably good for experienced writers (whom, let
me stress, probably include you). The main difference is that,
instead of finding a new job inside a week, they're taking 2 to 4
weeks. But they are getting interviews, so a lot of jobs are still
out there.

If losing your job depresses or scares you, throw yourself into job
hunting. At least you'll be doing something about your situation,
which may help you feel more in control.

Illegitimus non carborandum!

(especially since there's lots of the illegitimus out there).

--
Bruce Byfield 315.833.3013 bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com
Director of Communications
Progeny Linux Systems

"I saw a wren kill a man
With a dagger in his hand
Well done, liar!"
- Anonymous, 16th century

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